Libby Murphy

  • Associate Professor of French


  • BA, University Georgia Athens, 1997
  • MA, University of Virginia, 1999
  • PhD, Stanford University, 2006


I teach courses in French language, literature, and cultural history, focusing on the period from the 19th century to today.

With Professor Greggor Mattson, Oberlin Library Digital Initiatives Coordinator Megan Mitchell, and students from FREN 312 and SOCI 338, I am working on a collaborative digital humanities project on prostitution in early 19th-century Paris.

I am also working on a book about recreational swimming in France. The Bathers: French Swimming Culture from Balzac to the Burkini begins with a look at the floating swimming pools on the Seine that were popular in Daumier’s time and moves to an examination of the cultural politics of municipal swimming pools and seaside resorts in metropolitan France and the colonies.

The book charts changing attitudes to the public performance of leisure (and, with the burkini ban of 2016, of laïcité and Republicanism) through fashion, fitness, environmentalism, and conspicuous consumption.

  • FREN 301 Expression orale et écrite
  • FREN 311 La Comédie humaine: Social Identities in Nineteenth Century France
  • FREN 312 In Search of Lost Women: Digital Humanities Lab
  • FREN 376 La France Moderne: Histoire, Société, Culture
  • FREN 372 Littérature française II: De la Révolution à nos jours
  • FREN 450 Écrire la guerre
  • FREN 418 Baudelaire/Flaubert

  • The Art of Survival: France and the Great War Picaresque (Yale University Press, 2016)
  • “Illustrators, Icons and the Infantryman Re-imagined: Cartoon Soldiers of the Great War,” Artistic Expressions and the Great War, One Hundred Years On, ed. Sally Charnow (Oxford: Peter Lang, book chapter in forthcoming collected volume)
  • “A Brief History of Le Système D,” Contemporary French Civilization, 40.3 (Dec. 2015), pp. 351-371
  • Marguerite Duras, L’Amour, trans. Kazim Ali and Libby Murphy (Rochester, NY: Open Letter Books, 2013)
  • “Trespassing on the ‘Trench-Fighter's Story’: (Re)-Imagining the Female Combatant of the First World War,” Gender and Conflict Since 1914: Historical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives, ed. Ana Carden-Coyne (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 55-68 (book chapter)
  • “Charlot français: Charlie Chaplin, the First World War, and the Construction of a National Hero,” Contemporary French and Francophone Studies: Sites, Volume 14, Issue 4 (September 2010), pp. 421-429
  • “Gavroche and the Great War: Soldier gouaille and the Legend of the poilu,” Journal of War and Culture Studies, Volume 2, Number 2 (2009), pp. 121-133
  • “Newspapers, Novels, and the Comic Book War,” France and its Spaces of War: Experience, Memory, Image. Patricia Lorcin, Daniel Brewer, eds. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), pp. 193-209 (book chapter)
  • The Human Comedy: Chronicles of Nineteenth-Century France,” on display fall 2013, Ripin Print Gallery, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College