University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Romance Languages and Linguistics

Faculty - Gretchen van Slyke


Gretchen van Slyke

Professor of French

  • Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania
  • C.V.
Area of expertise

Nineteenth-century novel and society; contemporary women's autobiography in France and Senegal; translation

Contact Information
Email: Gretchen van Slyke
Office: 517F Waterman

Office Hours: Mon., Wed., & Fri. 12:00-12:50; and by appointment

My scholarly interests range over the whole field of French language, culture, and literature, but there are two topics that I particularly enjoy teaching: a) the repercussions of the Revolution of 1789 on nineteenth-century French novels, and b) the autobiographies of twentieth-century women from France and French-speaking areas of Africa and North America. I also love teaching French grammar and composition at the advanced level, for it is thrilling to witness students gaining mastery over a second language.

In addition to writing various articles on autobiography, poetry, artists, and dress-code legislation in nineteenth-century France, I have come to love the challenge of translation. This has resulted in the publication of two book-length translations, Rosa Bonheur: The Artist's (Auto)biography by Anna Klumpke and The Countess von Rudolstadt by George Sand. I am now working on a translation of George Sand's La Petite Fadette as well as a critical edition of the nineteenth-century opéra-comique based on the novel.

After growing up in a small town in northern Minnesota, I pursued my undergraduate education at Macalester College, the Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III) and the University of Minnesota, where I earned a B.A. summa cum laude and a M.A in French. I earned my Ph. D. in French literature at the University of Pennsylvania and have been teaching at the University of Vermont ever since.