MeCara Bailey is a current PhD student in French at Vanderbilt University. She completed a Master of Arts degree in French and Francophone Studies at the University of Florida in 2016. She has a dual B.A. in French and English with a concentration in creative writing from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. She began to study French at the age of eleven, and her passion for language and literature have grown out of a desire to interact with French culture and history. Without her love of Charles Dickens, she might never have discovered an interest in French nineteenth century studies. Her MA thesis, entitled “French National Education on Trial in Vérité by Emile Zola and Les déracinés by Maurice Barrès,” treats the similar didactic dramatizations of national education in these two novels as evidence of how each author employs the novel both as a means to stage perceived limitations of l’école nationale and as a form of public education.

Her areas of research interest center not only on questions of education in France’s Third Republic, but also of laïcité and of creating national identity (identities). She is also interested in the influence of journalism on literary aesthetics in the nineteenth century; the generic studies of the bildungsroman and of the crime or detective novel; and on the dialogue between cinema and literature.

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