Guillaume  Ansart

Guillaume Ansart

Professor, French and Italian


  • Ph.D., French Literature, Princeton University, 1995
  • M.A. and Diplôme d'Etudes Approfondies (ABD), American Literature, Université Paris VII Denis Diderot, 1983-1984
  • B.A., English Linguistics, Université Paris VII Denis Diderot, 1982

Research areas

  • Eighteenth-century literature and culture, especially the novel and political theory

About Guillaume Ansart

My initial primary field of research was the eighteenth-century novel, which I tended to approach first from a formal perspective and then increasingly from a sociological one. Dating back to my graduate studies at Princeton, I have also had a strong interest in political theory, and lately it has become my main area of research. I have recently worked on the political culture of the late eighteenth century, particularly on Raynal and Diderot’s Histoire des deux Indes, and on Condorcet. Some of my other interests include utopian literature, historiography, and the development of mathematics in the eighteenth century.

Selected publications

  • Condorcet. Ecrits sur les Etats-Unis. Edition critique par Guillaume Ansart. Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2012.
  • Condorcet. Writings on the United States. Edited, translated, and with an introduction by Guillaume Ansart. University Park: Penn State University Press, 2012.
  • Réflexion utopique et pratique romanesque au Siècle des Lumières: Prévost, Rousseau, Sade. Paris: Lettres Modernes Minard, 1999.
  • “‘One injustice can never become a legitimate reason to commit another’: Condorcet, Women’s Political Rights, and Social Reform during the French Revolution (1789–1795).” Intellectual History Review 33.2 (2023).
  • “Rousseau and Condorcet: Will, Reason and the Mathematics of Voting.” History of Political Thought 41.3 (Autumn 2020).
  • “Tocqueville’s Democracy in America and the End of History.” In Hall Bjørnstad, Helge Jordheim and Anne Régent-Susini, eds. Universal History and the Making of the Global. London: Routledge, 2018.
  • “The Invention of Modern State Terrorism during the French Revolution.” In Elena Coda and Ben Lawton, eds. Re-Visioning Terrorism: A Humanistic Perspective. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 2016.
  • “Variations on Montesquieu: Raynal and Diderot’s Histoire des deux Indes and the American Revolution.” Journal of the History of Ideas 70.3 (July 2009).
  • “Condorcet, Social Mathematics, and Women's Rights.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 42.3 (Spring 2009).
  • “From Voltaire to Raynal and Diderot’s Histoire des deux Indes: The French Philosophes and Colonial America.” In Aurelian Craiutu and Jeffrey C. Isaac, eds. America through European Eyes. British and French Reflections on the New World from the Eighteenth Century to the Present. University Park: Penn State University Press, 2009.
  • “Le Triomphe de l’amour: Cross-Dressing and Self-Discovery in Marivaux.” MLN (Modern Language Notes) 117.4 (September 2002).
  • “Rousseau, Bataille, et le principe de l’utilité classique.” French Studies 55.1 (January 2001).
  • “Aspects of Rationality in Diderot’s Supplément au voyage de Bougainville.” Diderot Studies 28 (2000).
  • “Le concept de figure dans les Pensées.” Poétique 121 (février 2000).
  • “‘Ancien’ et ‘Moderne’ dans Manon Lescaut et La Vie de Marianne.” Revue d’histoire littéraire de la France 99.5 (septembre 1999).
  • “L’imaginaire politique de l’abbé Prévost: De Cleveland aux Mémoires de Malte.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 10.1 (October 1997).

Courses taught

  • Autour du Cleveland de Prévost : roman philosophique, roman d’aventures et utopie
  • L’Essai au XVIIIe siècle
  • Tocqueville’s America
  • Molière et Marivaux
  • Writing History in France: From Enlightenment to Romanticism
  • The Enlightenment and Other Cultures: Images of the Exotic Other in Eighteenth-Century Literature
  • Le Roman au XVIIIe siècle: Le roman-mémoires et le roman épistolaire
  • Enlightenment Narrative: Love, the Family, and Social Order

Honors, fellowships, & awards

  • Summer Faculty Fellowship, 2009
  • College Arts & Humanities Institute (CAHI) Fellowship, 2006
  • Teaching Excellence Recognition Award (TERA), 1999
  • Summer Faculty Fellowship, 1995