Contemporary politics is never far from the minds of professors, whether they are in the political science department or not. For example, at the Modern Language Association (MLA) conclave of English professors in Seattle this month, one scholar tried to make a connection between the French Republic of 1789 and the American Republicans of 2012.
“People do not trust in principles, which is probably apt today given the Republican primary,” Julia V. Douthwaite said at an MLA panel on Dickens in France. Douthwaite teaches at the University of Notre Dame.
The aside came in an otherwise informative lecture on Dickens and Flaubert. Douthwaite is, by all accounts, expert in both, steeped in French and British literature and history.
“A Tale of Two Cities is largely unknown in France and when it is discussed, it is dismissed,” she said.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia .
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