Go to m.barnard.edu for the Mobile Barnard web app or download it from the App Store or Google Play.

Introducing Masha Mimran ’04, Lecturer in French

What is your specific area of research? What are you currently working on?
My area of research is the 19th-century French novel, psychoanalysis, and late nineteenth century French medical treatises and medical philosophy. I am particularly interested in the ways in which 19th-Century medical prose and diagnosis became greatly influenced by fictional accounts of illness.
 
I am currently working on an article, “Scalpels, Pens, and the Diagnosis of the Heroines of Hysteria: Charcot, Richet, and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary,” as well as turning my dissertation, “The Poetics of Pathology: Hysteria from Neurology to Psychology” into a book. In this project, I investigate fictional and visual depictions of hysteria and their influences on medical treatises between the 1850s and 1930s. I argue that cross-pollinations occurred between the novel and medical discourses, and between the mental sciences and artistic media such as photography, painting, and drawing. I’m looking at how this impacted the way hysteria was diagnosed and treated, and how fictional descriptions of hysteria reflected and inspired the diagnostic breakthrough that focused on the psychological roots of the illness.
 
What are your other research/teaching interests? Any broader projects or initiatives you're involved with in your field?
My broader research interests are the 19th-century Russian novel and Russian theory, American modernism, and film studies, the American avant-garde in particular.
I am also passionate about the cinematography of Georges Méliès, René Clair, and Jean Cocteau, and the relationship between early cinema, magic, and medicine in the representation of altered states of consciousness. Recently, I have also developed an interest in law and literature.
 
What is most exciting to you about joining Barnard's faculty? What are you looking forward to most about being here?
I cannot express how excited and honored I am to be joining the faculty. Having graduated from the College in 2004, I secretly always wanted to be back at Barnard and part of a community of students and faculty who gave me so much, including the desire to pursue an academic career. I am forever grateful to Barnard and so excited to be back as faculty! It is daunting too, no longer having the comfort of being a student…but my experience as an adjunct in the French department last year has helped with the transition, and it is a wonderful opportunity to be part of this department for the coming year.
 
What courses will you be teaching?
I will be teaching "Intermediate French" and "Conversation & Composition."
 
Outside of your academic life, any interests, hobbies, accomplishments of note?
I love to box. I am an animal lover, with a particular fondness for Chihuahuas. I like anything that is in the Gothic style and I love strange antique canes. I spend most of my free time at the movies.