Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the College
Pauline Goul is a scholar of early modern French literature and environmental criticism. Her research seeks to investigate the many ways that early modern texts represent concerns about sustainability and the increasing weight being put on the environment by human appetites. Through her research and teaching, her aim is to assert the role and power of literature to formulate, complicate, and unsettle what we think our relationship with the environment, and with each other, is.
She has published on topics such as urban garbage, ecology, the dating of the Anthropocene, and ancient cynicism, particularly in the works of François Rabelais and Michel de Montaigne. In her first book project, “Ecologies of Waste: Literature and Sustainability in Renaissance France,” she argues for the influence of the conquest of the New World in the ways French authors, in the Renaissance, conceived of and worried about their growing environmental footprint. She also co-edited Early Modern Écologies (University of Amsterdam Press, 2020). She is currently at work on a project on early modern ecofeminism, investigating the structural link between women and the environment in Renaissance and 17th-century France.
Goul holds a double BA in French literature and English literature from the Sorbonne University in Paris. She received her PhD in romance studies from Cornell University, and previously taught at Vassar College and The George Washington University.