Scott M. Sanders

Academic Appointments

Assistant Professor of French

I am an Assistant Professor of French in the Department of French and Italian. My research investigates British and Caribbean influences on French performance culture. 

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My first book, Voices from Beyond: Physiology, Sentience and the Uncanny in Eighteenth-Century French Literature, won the 2021 Walker Cowen Memorial Prize for outstanding scholarship in eighteenth-century studies. An interdisciplinary and transnational study of the voice, this book, in press at the University of Virginia Press, interrogates the philosophical and literary works of well-known and lesser-known French and British writers – including Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Samuel Richardson, Denis Diderot, François Baculard d’Arnaud and Jacques Cazotte, and explores how their texts theorize, represent and construct three inter-related vocal types: the sentimental, the vitalist and the uncanny. These vocal types are connected insofar as the conception of sentimental and vitalist voices – anchored to a physiological understanding of vocal organs–paradoxically led to the development of a disembodied, uncanny voice.

My research has since shifted toward transatlantic influences on French theater. My second book project, entitled In Nature’s Darkness: The Black Atlantic on French Stages, investigates the influence of the Black Atlantic on eighteenth-century French theater, especially in theatrical works produced across the naval admiralties in Metropolitan France, including the slave trading ports Bordeaux and Nantes.

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178 D, Berry Hall
HB 6087
French and Italian
B.M. Indiana University
M.A. New York University
Ph.D. New York University

Selected Publications


Voices from Beyond: Physiology, Sentience and the Uncanny in Eighteenth-Century French LiteratureUniversity of Virginia Press, in press (April 2022). Walker Cowen Memorial Prize.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

“Between Novels and Songs: Eliza Haywood’s French Romance,” Studies in the Novel, 54, no. 3 (Fall 2022), in press.

“Beastly Variations: Allegories on Race, Migration and Marriage,” The Opera Quarterly, 34, no. 3-4 (Fall 2020), in press.

Co-Authored, “Distant Approaches to the Printed Page,” Digital Studies/Le champ numérique, in press.

Code Noir in Marivaux’s Theater,” Eighteenth-Century Fiction. 32, no. 2 (2020): 272-296.

On Chanting, Wailing, and Spell-Casting: Haunting Voices in Jacques Cazotte’s Le Diable Amoureux,” Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. 57, no. 4 (2016): 469-90. 

Multimedia in the Long Eighteenth Century,” Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Digital Libraries for Musicology, 2 (June 2015) 29-32.

Sound and Sensibility in Diderot’s Le Neveu de Rameau,” Music & Letters. 94 (May 2013): 237-62.

Flying the Colonial Skies during the French Enlightenment,” in Rediscovering French Science-Fiction: In Literature, Film and Comics, From Cyrano to Barbarella. Edited by Philippe Mather and Sylvain Rhéault, 41-64. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016. 


Ellen R. Welch, A Theater of Diplomacy: International Relations and the Performing Arts in Early Modern France. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press,” H-France Forum 12, no. 3 (May 2017): 1–6. 

Review of Denis Diderot, Ed. Marian Hobson, Tr. Kate Tunstall and Caroline Warman, Denis Diderot’s Rameau’s Nephew: A Multi-Media EditionEighteenth Century Music. 13:1 (March 2016): 130-32.

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Works in progress

In Nature’s Darkness: The Black Atlantic on French Stages. (Book in progress)