Caroline Weber

Associate Professor of French

Caroline Weber, Associate Professor of French, joined the faculty of Barnard in 2005. In addition to her teaching duties for the French department, Professor Weber is affiliated with Barnard's Comparative Literature Program. Before coming to Barnard, she taught at the University of Pennsylvania.

Professor Weber is a specialist in eighteenth-century French literature and culture, with particular emphasis on the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Additional research and teaching interests include critical theory, gender studies, and costume history.

Her essays have appeared in a wide variety of academic and mainstream publications. She has published articles on eighteenth-century authors such as Rousseau, Voltaire, Diderot, Sade, Charrière, and La Chaussée, and on contemporary thinkers like Lacan and Lyotard. She writes regularly for The New York Times Book Review.

Professor Weber's book, Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution, was selected by both The New York Times and The Washington Post as a Notable Book of the Year.

She is working on a book about ideology in bourgeois drama.

Selected Bibliography

Books and Edited Volumes:

  • Terror and Its Discontents: Suspect Words in Revolutionary France. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003.
  • Fragments of Revolution. A special issue of Yale French Studies 101. Co-edited with Howard Lay (Spring 2002).
  • Queen of Fashion: What Marie-Antoinette Wore to the Revolution. New York: Henry Holt, 2006/Picador, 2007.
  • The Last Salonnière [in progress]

Selected Articles:

  • “Marie-Antoinette, reine de la mode.” La Règle du jeu. Ed. Bernard-Henri Lévy. Vol.49, mai 2009.
  • “La Terreur vestimentaire.” Penser la Terreur. Ed. Bruno Chaouat. Presses Universitaires de Dijon, 2009.
  • “A Beautiful Idea.” Vogue. March 2009.
  • “The Brains of the Outfit: In Sarajevo with Bernard-Henri Lévy.” T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Fall 2008.
  • “The Devil Sells Prada.” The New York Times Book Review. August 26, 2007.
  • “Queen of the Zeitgeist.” The New York Times. October 21, 2006.
  • “French Fashion.” Columbia Dictionary of Twentieth-Century French Thought. Ed. Lawrence D. Kritzman. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005.
  • “On the Hardness of Virtue, or Fetishizing Disinterest inBeaumarchais’ Les Deux amis.” MLN 119.4 (September 2004): 800-818. 
  • “Rewriting Rousseau: Isabelle de Charrière’s Domestic Dystopia.” Gender and Utopianism in the Eighteenth Century. Ed. Nicole Pohl & Brenda Tooley. New York & London:Routledge, 2004. 335-351. 
  • “Dreams of Stone: Femininity in the Eighteenth-Century Sculptural Imagination.” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 33 (Spring 2004): 1-29.
  • “Voltaire’s Zaïre: Fantasies of Infidelity, Ideologies of Faith.” South Central Review 20.4 (Winter 2003): 11-32.
  • “Fashion.” French Popular Culture: An Introduction. Ed. Hugh Dauncey. London: Hodder Arnold, 2003. 193-205.
  • “The Sins of the Father: Colonialism and Family History in Diderot’s Le Fils naturel.” PMLA 18.3 (May 2003): 488-501.
  • “The Sexist Sublime in Sade and Lyotard.” Philosophy and Literature 26.2 (October 2002): 397-404.
  • “Freedom’s Missed Moment.” Fragments of Revolution. A special issue of Yale French Studies 101. Ed. Caroline Weber & Howard G. Lay (Spring 2002): 9-31
  • “The Giver Giveth, and the Giver Taketh Away.” Lacanian Ink 16 (Spring/Summer 2000): 54-63. 
  • “Overcoming Excess: Jouissance and Justice in Nivelle de la Chaussée’s École des mères.” MLN 14.4 (Fall 1999): 719-742.
  • “Madame de Mistival’s Differend: Animality and Alterity in Sade’s Philosophie dans le boudoir.” Utah Foreign Language Review 1997 (Spring 1997): 49-61.
Academic Focus: 

Eighteenth-century French literature and cultural history


305 Milbank Hall
(212) 854-5455


AB, Harvard University

MA, MPhil, PhD, Yale University

In the News

Following recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Prof. Weber delves into the history of the French tradition of religious mockery

French professor reviews a new anthology of 18th century French poetry

In The New York Times' "Room for Debate" forum, French literature professor responds to the question, "Are French women more tolerant?"