Masha Belenky

Professor Masha Belenky
Professor of French, Director of Portuguese Language and Literature
[email protected]

Masha Belenky is a scholar of nineteenth-century French literature and culture. She received her M.A. from NYU and her Ph.D. in French Literature from Columbia University. Her research and teaching interests include 19th-c French popular culture, cultural studies, the genre of the novel, and urban studies.  Her first book investigates representations of romantic jealousy in post-Revolutionary France. Her second book, Engine of Modernity: The Omnibus and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris examines the relationship between early mass transit and popular culture and ways in which they shaped the concept of modernity in France. Most recently, she has co-edited and co-translated (with Anne O’Neil-Henry) an anthology of popular literature from nineteenth-century France. She serves as co-editor of Dix-Neuf: Journal of the Society of Dix-Neuvièmistes, as well as forum editor for H-France. She also serves on the executive committee of the Modern Language Association’s forum for 19th-century French literature.


 Books and edited volumes:

  • Professor of French Masha Belenky collaborated with Anne O'Neil-Henry on this collection of popular French texts which encapsulates one of the liveliest eras in French history. Each work in this volume offers a lively, humorous look into the daily lives of the citizens of France during the 19th century. From literary guidebooks to examinations of fashion and society, Belenky provides a window into the time period and the authors that defined it.
  • Engine of Modernity: the Omnibus and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris (Manchester University Press, 2019)
  • French Cultural Studies in the 21st Century. Edited with Kathryn Kleppinger and Anne O'Neil-Henry (University of Delaware Press, 2017).
  • State of the Union: Marriage in Nineteenth-Century France. Special issue of Dix-Neuf, co-edited with Rachel Mesch (2009).
  • The Anxiety of Dispossession: Jealousy in Nineteenth-Century French Culture (Bucknell University Press, 2008).


  • “Disordered Topographies in Zola’s La Curée,” Romance Notes, 53. 1 (2013)
  • “Transitory Tales: Omnibus in Nineteenth-Century Paris,” Dix-Neuf, 16:3 (November 2012)
  • “Nomadic Encounters: Leïla Sebbar Reads Isabelle Eberhardt,” Dalhousie French Studies, 95.4 (Fall 2011)
  • “Feydeau in the Public Eye: Jealousy, Marriage, and the Bourgeois Culture of Possession,” Romance Studies, 25.3 (2007)
  • “From Transit to Transitoire: Omnibus and Modernity,” Nineteenth-Century French Studies 35. 1 & 2 (2007)
  • “Letters, Lies, and Legible Urban Space in Balzac’s Ferragus,” Romance Notes 45.2 (2005)
  • "Gender Reversals: Reading Jealousy in Balzac and Rachilde" in Visions/Revisions: Essays in Nineteenth-Century French Culture. Ed. Nigel Harkness (New York: Peter Lang, 2003)

Office Hours

By appointment, email instructor to schedule an appointment.

Classes Taught

French 2500: The Cultural Politics of Food in France

French 4540: Power, Politics and the Press in Nineteenth-Century France

French 4540: Windows on Paris: Writing the City in the Nineteenth Century

French 4540: High Culture and Low Culture in Nineteenth-Century France

French 3600: Victor Hugo and the Nineteenth Century

French 4470: Writing Women

French 4910 &4920: Proseminar for French Majors

French 3500: Jewish Culture in Modern France