Holly Grout

Holly Grout

Dr. Holly Grout

Associate Professor /
On Leave Fall 2016 - Spring 2017

Ph.D., 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


Courses Taught

  • Outraged Europe: Scandals and Controversies at the Fin de Siècle
  • Undergraduate Research Seminar: Fashion and Beauty in Modern Europe
  • Western Civilization since 1648 (HY 102)
  • European Consumer Society 1700-present
  • Honors Western Civilization (1648-present)
  • History of Modern France (1760-present)
  • European Women and Gender History (1750-present)
  • European Gender History (graduate course)
  • Undergraduate Research Seminar: Long 19th-Century
  • Literature of European History (graduate course)

Recent Publications

A picture of the book cover for The Force of Beauty

  • “‘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, January 2017).
  • The Force of Beauty: Transforming French Ideas of Femininity in the Third Republic (Baton Rouge, LSU Press: June 2015).
  • Book Reviews for: Feminist Collections; The Journal of Interdisciplinary History; French Politics, Culture, and Society; The Journal of Women’s History; and ISIS Journal of History of Science.
  • “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.

Current Projects

  • I am currently working on my second book-length project provisionally entitled, Playing Cleopatra: Beauty, Race, Sex, and Spectacle in Third Republic France. This 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.
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