MeCara Bailey is a current PhD candidate 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 primarily on the relationship of journalism and literary production in the nineteenth century, in particular with regards to the representations of female criminals in fiction and in the popular press during the fin de siècle. Her dissertation, titled “‘Cherchez la femme’: Female criminals in fin de siècle France,” examines the paradoxical treatment of women criminals in several novels and true-crime cases. She is also interested in representations of education in France’s Third Republic, in the creation national identity (identities), and the dialogue between cinema and literature. As part of her doctoral studies, she will also complete a certificate in Second Language Studies.

During the academic year of 2017-2018, she served as the Assistant Course Coordinator for the beginning French sequence of courses, where she aided in the curriculum design for the first two introductory French courses.

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