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You are here: Home / People / Willa Silverman

Willa Silverman

Willa Silverman

Malvin E. and Lea P. Bank Professor of French and Jewish Studies

Director of Graduate Studies

Fields: French society, culture and politics, 1870-1914; Belle Époque; Art Nouveau; history of the book/print culture studies; France and the Holocaust; history of Jews in modern France.



  1. Ph.D., French Studies, New York University, 1988
  2. M.A., French Studies, New York University, 1983
  3. B.A., History and Literature, Harvard University, 1981


Dr. Silverman is the director of the graduate program in French and Francophone Studies. Her fields of specialization include French society, culture and politics, 1870-1914, Art Nouveau, history of the book/print culture studies and France and the Holocaust. She is the author of The Notorious Life of Gyp: Right-Wing Anarchist in Fin-de-Siècle France (Oxford UP, 1995 and in French translation: Gyp, La dernière des Mirabeau, preface by Michel Winock [Plon-Perrin, 1998]) and The New Bibliopolis: French Book Collectors and the Culture of Print, 1880-1914 (U of Toronto P, 2008), which received the 2009 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Studies, awarded by the Modern Language Association. Her current book project, under contract with Armand-Colin, is Journal de Henri Vever, Bijoutier de la Belle Époque. She has published articles in Book History, Dix-Neuf, Contemporary French Civilization, Historical Reflections/Réflexions historiques, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, and Nineteenth-Century French Studies

Current and Recent Courses:

    • FR 597: Beauty and Decadence: France, 1880-1914
    • FR 597: History of the Book in Modern France
    • FR 580: Approaches to French Culture
    • FR 501: Pro-Seminar in French Studies
    • FR 453Y: La Belle Époque
    • FR 332: Introduction to French Civilization I (1789-1940)
    • FR 331: Introduction to French Civilization I (Middle Ages-1789)
    • FR/JST 197: France and the Holocaust in Film and Literature