Holly  Grout

Holly Grout

Associate Professor


  • PhD, University of Wisconsin, 2008


Research Interests

  • History of Modern France
  • History of Women and Gender
  • Cultural and Intellectual History of Modern Europe
  • History of the Body
  • History of Consumption and Consumer Culture
  • History of Beauty and Fashion

Current Projects

  • I am currently working on my second book-length project provisionally entitled, Playing Cleopatra: Inventing the Female Celebrity in Third Republic FranceThis project examines how, through their portrayals of Cleopatra on the Paris stage, Sarah Bernhardt, Colette, and Josephine Baker, illustrated intersections among gender, race, and national identity. Renowned for her exotic beauty, feared and adored for her unfettered exercise of political and personal power, mythologized for her sexual prowess, Cleopatra has long captured the Western cultural imaginary. Yet her image and her legacy have taken on different cultural resonances at specific historical moments. I am interested in exploring her particular resonance during the Third Republic (1871-1940) and in ascertaining how and why that resonance changed depending upon which performer played her on stage. Tracing these differences, I hypothesize, will illuminate broader cultural and political debates regarding woman’s status in the republic, her duty to herself and to her family, class, and nation, and her capacity to symbolically articulate anxieties related to race and sexuality.

Courses Taught

  • HY 102 Western Civilization since 1648
  • HY 106 Honors Western Civilization since 1648
  • HY 300 Outraged Europe: Scandals and Controversies at the Fin-de-Siècle
  • HY 349 Modern France since 1760
  • HY 365 European Consumer Society
  • HY 430 Undergraduate Research Seminar: Social and Cultural History of the Long 19th Century
  • HY 430 Undergraduate Research Seminar: Fashion and Beauty in Modern Europe
  • HY 448 European Women’s History
  • HY 603 (Graduate) Literature of European History Seminar
  • HY 635 (Graduate) Seminar in European Gender History
  • HY 682 (Graduate) Writing Seminar

Selected Publications



  • “Authorizing Fictions: Narrating a Self in Mistinguett’s Celebrity Memoir” (forthcoming).
  • “Between Venus and Mercury: The 1920s Beauty Contest in France and America,” French Politics, Culture, and Society Vol. 31, No. 1 (Spring 2013): 47-68.

Essays and Reviews

  • Book Review Essay in progress: “History of Celebrity,” Journal of Contemporary European History (forthcoming).
  • Essay in Edited Collection: “‘Le miracle et le mirage’: Beauty Institutes and the Making of Modern French Women,” Mode, vêtements et sociétés en Europe durant la Grande Guerre, 1914-1918. Presses Universitaires de Rennes (forthcoming).
  • Book Review Essay: “Reading Modern Women,” The Journal of Women’s History 29 (Spring 2017): 197-206.
  • Book Review Essay: “Exceptional Women: Rights, Liberty, and Deviance in the French Revolution,” Feminist Collections 30 (Summer 2009): 6-9.