Pauline Goul

Pauline Goul

Address: Phillips Hall
District Of Columbia
[email protected]


Pauline Goul specializes in early modern literature and environmental criticism. She is currently working on her first book, An Ecology of Waste, examining the emergence of early forms of anxiety in the human relationships to the environment in the French Renaissance. She explores the notion of waste as crucial to the construction of a notion of ecology in the early modern period. Bridging Renaissance France and modern ecological thought both in the Francophone world and in Anglophone productions, her work has been published in the Forum for Modern Languages Studies and in volumes like Global Garbage and French Ecocriticism. Additionally, she is currently editing, with Phillip John Usher (NYU), a volume entitled Early Modern Écologies, forthcoming with the University of Amsterdam Press, on the theoretical intersections between early modern French literature and ecocriticism. More recently, she is looking at the relationship between humor and the sense of vanity in early modern literature, art, and modern theater (théâtre de l’absurde).

She received her PhD in Romance Studies from Cornell University, where she was awarded the Dean’s Prize for Distinguished Teaching. She also holds a Maîtrise and double BA from the Université Paris 4-la Sorbonne in English Literature and Lettres Modernes. Before coming to GW, she taught at Vassar College for two years.



Co-edited Volume

 Early Modern Écologies, co-edited with Phillip John Usher, under contract at the University of Amsterdam Press, series “Environmental Humanities in Pre-Modern Cultures”

Journal Articles

“The Pointless Ecology of Renaissance Cynicism”, The Comparatist, forthcoming fall 2019.

 “Le branle de Montaigne : mouvance et environnement dans les Essais,” Lendemains: Etudes comparées sur la France, Vergleichende Frankreichstudien, forthcoming.

 “‘Et voylà l’ouvrage gasté’: the Poetics of Plenitude and Scarcity in Rabelais’ Gaster”, Forum for Modern Language Studies, Oxford University Press, 2014.

Books chapters

 “Is Ecology Absurd? Diogenes and the End of Civilization,” chapter in volume Early Modern Écologies, forthcoming 2019.

“An Ecology of Vanity: Expenditure in Montaigne’s Vision of the New World”, chapter in French Ecocriticism anthology, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, “Studies in Culture, Environment, and Literature” series, ed. D.A. Finch Race and Stephanie Posthumus, 2017.

 “Dirt Poor/Filthy Rich: Urban Garbage from Le Corbusier’s Radiant City to Abstention”, chapter in Global Garbage: Urban Imaginaries of Excess, Waste, and Abandonment, Routledge, “Sustainable Urbanism” series, ed. Christoph Lindner, 2016.

Book reviews

Natural History in Early Modern France: The Poetics of an Epistemic Genre, Ed. Raphaele Garrod and Paul J. Smith, for the Sixteenth Century Journal, forthcoming.

Stephanie Posthumus, French Ecocritique : Reading Contemporary French Theory and Fiction Ecologically, for H-France, May 2019.

Michael Wintroub, The Voyage of Thought (Cambridge UP, 2017), for the Journal of Modern History, 2019. Vol. 91, Number 2, June 2019.
“Balzac, roman de crédit et crédit du roman”, Acta fabula,, 2013

Manuscript in Preparation

A Renaissance Ecology of Waste: French Visions of the New World’s Environment (book-length manuscript in progress through 2020)