Kathleen Hart (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) has published a book and several articles on the influence of nineteenth-century religious social movements on French women’s writing. Her translations include, with Paul Fenouillet (SUNY New Paltz), a new French edition and English translation of George Sand’s 1839 dialogic novel Gabriel and a translation of Benoît Duteurtre’s essay “The Question of the Cow” for Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment.
Prof. Hart’s more recent publications draw upon cognitive science and related fields to examine how and why various writers (Honoré de Balzac, Samuel Beckett, Muriel Barbery) seek to deny or come to terms with the notion of an animal-human continuum. Her latest article, “Cultural and Scientific Narratives Are Mutually Reinforcing: Tom Stoppard's The Hard Problem and Sarah Treem's The How and the Why” (published in the peer-reviewed track at This View of Life) compares two plays that engage adaptationist approaches to maternal altruism. She is a contributor to the Literary Universals Project.
Formerly a piano performance major at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Prof. Hart incorporates French and Francophone music into courses at all levels, from the chanson réaliste to French New Pop to artists who sing in Creole. Her article, "Evolution, Romance and Ritual in Muriel Barbery’s L’élégance du hérisson" (French Forum Fall 2019) addresses the role of music in existentialist fiction and she has presented papers on fictional representations of the female voice. She is the recipient of two grants from the Vassar-Williams-Mellon Consortium to develop web-based French-language exercises and teaching material using songs and has lectured on “Musicality in Translation,” the topic of a segment aired on NPR’s The Academic Minute.
These plays offer a unique window onto two types of biases that affect people contending with Sarah Hrdy's revelation that women weigh the costs as well as benefits of nurturing.
Weekly book club for two plays with evolutionary themes: The Hard Problem by Tom Stoppard and The How and the Why by Sarah Treem.