Harriet Stone

Harriet Stone

​Professor of French and Comparative Literature
Director of Undergraduate Studies in French
PhD, Brown University

contact info:

office hours:

  • Monday & Tuesday
    10:00AM - 11:00AM
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mailing address:

  • Washington University
    CB 1077
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

​Professor Stone’s research interests focus on seventeenth-century French court culture, including interdisciplinary studies on art and literature, science and literature, and the formation of knowledge. Her current research focuses on interconnections between texts and paintings at Versailles under Louis XIV and also in the Dutch Republic.

Examining the court's promotion of the Sun King, the role of art and the artist, and the activities of the middle class, she extends the notion of seventeenth-century culture beyond France's nobility to the French bourgeois and the thriving merchant class in Holland depicted by Vermeer and his contemporaries. Her new book, Crowning Glories: Netherlandish Realism and the French Imagination during the Reign of Louis XIV (forthcoming, University of Toronto Press, 2019), recreates what it would have been like for France's elite to experience simultaneously the diverse effects of the French court's elaborate palace decors, official records and commemorations, classical theater, and Northern realist painting.

Prof. Stone's other books include Tables of Knowledge: Descartes in Vermeer's Studio (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2006), The Classical Model: Literature and Knowledge in Seventeenth-Century France (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1996), and Royal DisClosure: Problematics of Representation in French Classical Tragedy (Birmingham: Summa Publications, 1987). In addition, she served as co-translator with Gerhild Scholz Williams of Pierre de Lancre, On the Inconstancy of Witches (1612) (Tempe: Arizona Center of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2006). She also edited Racine: A Tricentennial Issue. Esprit Créateur 38.2 (Summer 1998).

Prof. Stone's seminars examine the plays of Corneille, Racine, and Molière as they relate to questions of power and propaganda; public and private lives in seventeenth-century fiction and history; Paris in literature, film, and photography; and other interdisciplinary topics within French Studies that integrate literature, art, history, and philosophy. She regularly teaches in the Comparative Literature program, offering courses on the city, including "At Home in Paris, Versailles, and Amsterdam" and "Paris and New York," and the arts.