Dr. Dean de la Motte
Professor, Modern Languages
As a teacher I have always been a "generalist," teaching across the curriculum in French literature and language as well as humanities courses, but my research and publications are almost exclusively in the area of 19th-century France. I am most interested in how technological, social and political changes (industrialization, revolution, democratization and the rise of mass culture, for example) are related to the evolution of the novel as a genre. In much of my research, I have focused on how the notion of "progress" - a relatively new and contested idea at the time of the Enlightenment - increasingly comes to permeate all aspects of the 19th-century culture, from the rise of consumer capitalism to the subject matter of novels, including the birth of modern science fiction with Jules Verne. I have a great interest in the teaching of literature as well, and have published a number of articles on this topic, also co-editing a volume of "Approaches to Teaching Stendhal's 'The Red and the Black'" (New York: MLA, 1999).
My junior year of study in France, at the University of Poitiers, transformed my life and charted the future course of my studies, and I have been involved in international programs for most of my career, both as a faculty leader and an administrator. I plan to create and lead programs abroad in the future and, more generally, I encourage all students to spend time studying in another country.
Salve's students come from diverse backgrounds, and will go on to a wide range of careers. Helping them achieve a heightened, more critical understanding of the world around them through the serious study of language and literature - regardless of their major - is a challenge and a pleasure.