Curriculum vitae

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Revised May 15, 2014


Leon Sachs
University of Kentucky 857 Tremont Ave

Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Lexington, KY 40502

Literatures, and Cultures (859) 335-4977

1033 Patterson Office Tower e-mail:

Lexington, KY 40506-0027

(859) 257-1896


1995-2002 Yale University

Ph.D. in French, December 2002

Dissertation: “La Belle Équivoque: Science, Literature, and Education Reform in France, 1870-1914”

2001 Summer Center for Educational Technology, Middlebury College

Educational Technology Graduate Training Program

1999-2000 École normale supérieure, Paris, France

Pensionnaire étranger

1993-1995 The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Washington, D.C. and Bologna, Italy

M.A. in European Studies and International Economics, May 1995

    1. Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

M.A. in French, May 1993

    1. Haverford College

B.A. (with Honors) in English, May 1989

Professional Experience

2013 – present Associate Professor

Department of Modern and Classical Languages,

Literatures, and Cultures

University of Kentucky
2007 – 2013 Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies

Division of French and Italian

Department of Modern and Classical Languages,

Literatures, and Cultures

University of Kentucky
2002-2006 Assistant Professor of French and Humanities

Department of French

Davidson College, Davidson, NC
2004-2005 Resident Director

Davidson College Study Abroad Program, Tours, France

1997-2002 Graduate Student Instructor and Teaching Assistant

Department of French

Yale University
1989-1990 Middle School Teacher

Jakarta International School

Jakarta, Indonesia



The Pedagogical Imagination: Reading, Schooling and the Republican Legacy in 21st Century French Literature and Film. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2014


“Reading laïcité,French Cultural Studies (2014). Forthcoming.

“Stages of Battle: Theater and War in the Plays of Bernhardt, Raynal, and Anouilh,” (co-authored with Susan McCready). The French Review 87.4 (May 2014): 41-55.
“Un Nouveau roman républicain: la forme de l’histoire dans Leçon de choses,” La réception critique. Ed. Ralph William Sarkonak. Vol. 6. Séries Claude Simon. Paris: Lettres modernes, 2011.
“Eco-Lessons: Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s HOME and the Republican Pedagogical Tradition,” The Environment in French and Francophone Literature and Film. Ed. James Day. Vol. 39. French Literature Series. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
“Literature of Ideas and Paul Bourget’s Republican Pedagogy,” French Forum 33.1/2 (Winter/Spring 2008): 53-72.
“La Scientisation des humanités chez É. Durkheim : une leçon de choses humaniste,” La Mesure du savoir. Ed. Pascale Hummel and Frédéric Gabriel. Paris: Philologicum, 2007. 539-559.
“Finding l’École républicaine in the damnedest of places: François Bégaudeau’s Entre les murs,” Yale French Studies no. 111 (May 2007) : 73-88.
“Putting History into Practice: Intellectual History as Literary Form in Roger Martin du Gard’s Jean Barois,Contemporary French Civilization 28.1 (Winter/Spring 2004): 71-89.
“Historiography,” Encyclopedia of Modern French Thought. Ed. Christopher John Murray. London, New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2004. 314-19.
“Maurice Maeterlinck.” In Dictionary of Literary Biography: Volume 331: Nobel Prize Laureates in Literature, Part 3, edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli, 92-104. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2007. (A significant expansion of Lynn Wilkinson’s article appearing in DLB 192: French Dramatists, 1789-1914.)


French Education: Fifty Years Later. Yale French Studies 113 edited by Ralph Albanese and M. Martin Guiney. Contemporary French Civilization 32.1 (2009): 189-194
Teaching the Cult of Literature in the French Third Republic by M. Martin Guiney. SubStance 36:3 (2007): 135-139.
Novelists in Conflict: Ideology and the Absurd in the French Combat Novel of the Great War by Martin Hurcombe. French Review 79.2 (2005): 416-417.
Legislating the French Family: Feminism, Theater, and Republican Politics, 1870-1920 by Jean Elisabeth Pedersen. Canadian Journal of History 39 (August 2004): 368-370.

Work in Progress

Book: Playing Dead: The Great War on the French Stage (early stages of research)

Article: “Disciplination: The Identity Politics of Academic Disciplines”
Article: Skirting the Issue: Critical Republicanism in Jean-Paul Lilienfeld’s Journée de la Jupe
Article: “A Rousseauist Reading of Jules Vallès” (abstract accepted for inclusion in an edited volume entitled “The Paradise of the Learned”)

Invited Talks and Lectures

"Reading the Tyranny of Laicity" - One-day conference on "The Representation of Tyranny in French Literature and Thought," University of Chicago, November 16, 2012

"The Classroom Inside Out" - Education Policy Studies and Evaluation Colloquium, University of Kentucky College of Education, February 29, 2012

Respondent to Heather Jacklin’s lecture, “The Subject of Schooling in the Logic of Policy”  University of Kentucky, January 26, 2011

“Republican Literacy: From Pierre Larousse to Agnès Varda” – University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, March 5, 2010

“Agnès Varda’s Gleaners and I as Visual Literacy Manual” – University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, February 20, 2009

“Watching Johnny Read” – University of Kentucky Honors Program Lecture Series, November 12, 2008

“The Pedagogical Imagination (or, what do a 19th-century school manual and a documentary road movie have in common?)” – Education Policy Studies and Evaluation Colloquium, University of Kentucky College of Education, March 25, 2008

Paper: “Eco-Lessons: Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s HOME and the Republican Pedagogical Tradition”  The Environment in French and Francophone Literature and Film, March 17-18, 2010, University of South Carolina.

Paper: “Eco-Pedagogy: From G Bruno’s Republican Citizen to Yann Arthus Bertrand’s Global Citizen”  Nineteenth-Century French Studies Colloquium, October 14-16, 2010, Yale University.

Paper: “ ‘Toute école est buissonnière’: Progressive Geography in Colette’s Claudine à l’école”– Nineteenth-Century French Studies Colloquium, October 22-24, 2009, Brigham Young University.

Paper: “Allegorizing Literary Studies: Erik Orsenna’s Story of Suspicion” – Romance Studies Colloquium on Storytelling, October 1-3, 2009, Montclair State University.

Paper: “How to Study Republican Classics and Why? Kechiche’s Esquive as evasion of Finkielkraut’s Répliques” – “Séismes / Seismic Shifts.” 20th and 21st-Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium, March 26-28, 2009, University of Minnesota.

Paper: “Visual Literacy for All: Agnès Varda's Republican Pedagogy” – “Sublimely Visual: The Art of the Text” Conference, September 5-7, 2008, University of Bristol (United Kingdom)

Paper: “Higher Learning for the Lower Classes? G. Bruno’s Le Tour de la France pour deux enfants as object lesson.” – Nineteenth-Century French Studies Colloquium, October 19 – 21, 2007, University of South Alabama

Panel Organizer: “The Culture of Education” – The 20th & 21st Centuries French Studies Colloquium. March 21–24, 2007, Texas A & M University

Paper: “The Laicity of Literary Form in François Bégaudeau’s Entre les murs (2006)” – The 20th & 21st Centuries French Studies Colloquium. March 21 – 24, 2007, Texas A & M University

Paper: “Reading Like a Republican.” – Romance Studies Colloquium, October 19-21, 2006, University of Oregon

Paper: “Avant-Garde Pedagogy: Art et Action’s University Theater (1934)” -- Annual meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies, April 20-22, 2006, University of Illinois

Round Table Organizer and Panelist: “Jean-Paul Sartre and Qu’est-ce que la littérature?,” Round-table commemorating the 100th anniversary of Sartre’s birth, October 2005, Davidson College

Invited Panel Chair: “Transatlantic Encounters,” -- 31st Annual Nineteenth-Century French Studies Colloquium, October 27-29, 2005, University of Texas at Austin

Panel Organizer: “Literary Representations of the Great War,”-- Annual meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies, June 17-20, 2004 (EHESS) Paris, France

Paper: “La Guerre chez Molière: Paul Raynal’s Le Tombeau sous l’arc de triomphe (1924) at the Comédie-Française,” -- Annual meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies, June 17-20, 2004 (EHESS) Paris, France

Paper: “Pandora’s Books: the 'Modern Educated Woman' in Eugène Brieux's Blanchette (1892)” -- Nineteenth-Century French Studies Colloquium, October 23-25, 2003, University of Arizona

Paper: “The ‘Sorbonne Crisis’ in the Belle Époque,” -- Twentieth-Century French Studies Colloquium, March 27-29, 2003, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Paper: “Republican Education at the Start of the Twentieth Century: Teaching Uncertainty,” -- Twentieth-Century French Studies Colloquium, April 4-7, 2002, University of Connecticut

Paper: “The Quarrel over Bourget’s Disciple,” Paper presented at the Nineteenth-Century French Studies Colloquium, October 19-21, 2000, University of Illinois

Paper: “Monumental War Story: Vercor's La Marche à l'étoile,” Paper presented at the Space Between the Wars (1919-1939) Conference, October, 29-31, 1998, SUNY-New Paltz

Playing With The Future ? A short film directed by Philippe Chanet and Ruchi Gangwar, written by Philippe Chanet, Ruchi Gangwar and Isabelle Delannoy, produced by Digital District, forthcoming 2011
Fellowships and Awards
2014 Winner, University of Kentucky Provost’s Outstanding Teacher Award
2010-2011 Winner, University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award
2010 Finalist, University of Kentucky Provost’s Award for Outstanding Untenured Teacher
2008 Article on François Bégaudeau’s Entre les murs received “High Commendation” by the (British) Society of French Studies in the Malcolm Bowie Prize competition for the best article in French studies by an early career researcher published in 2007
2008 University of Kentucky Junior Faculty Nominee, 2009 NEH Summer Stipend Competition
2003-2004 Assistant Wall Professor of Humanities, Davidson College, 2003-2004
2004 Faculty Summer Research Grant, Davidson College, Summer 2003
1999-2000 Fulbright Research Fellowship (France)
1999-2000 Bourse Chateaubriand for research in France (declined)
1995-1999 Thomas B. Enders Fellowship for gradate studies,Yale University
1999 John F. Enders Fellowship for summer research, Yale University
1998 John F. Enders Grant for collaborative research, Yale University

    1. Florence J. Gould Fellowship for graduate studies,

Bryn Mawr Graduate School

Professional Service
Advisory Board French Cultural Studies
Editorial Advisory Contemporary French Civilization

Referee Excavatio

Department and University Service

2012 Fall Member, A & S Committee on the Future of Undergraduate Education

2012 Spring Member, MCL Subcommittee on departmental administrative and curricular questions (development of MCL 200 "Global Literacy")
2011 Spring A & S Outstanding Teaching Award selection committee
2010 Fall MCL Chair Search Committee
2010 May A & S Envision 2020, Faculty Work Group
2009 - present French Division Liaison to Deauville Sister City Teaching Assistantship Program and Caen University Exchange
2009 - 2010 MCL Learning Outcomes Committee (SACS)
2009 Fall Member, Subcommittee for the creation of the MCL core course, MCL 101 “The World of Language and Its Study”
2009 Fall Primary Director, International Relations Senior Essay: Katherine Lorenzo
2009 Fall Discussion Leader, Common Reading Experience during K week
2007-2008 Subcommittee Chair, Subcommittee for the creation of a MCLLC core curriculum.
2007 January Participant, Art, Literature, and Cultural History Symposium, University of Kentucky
2006 Fall Member, Subcommittee charged with drafting proposal for MCL PhD program
2007-present Organizer of twentieth/twenty-first-century sessions

Kentucky Foreign Language Conference

2007 – present Member, Gaines Center Thesis Committees: Andrew Klein 2007-2008,

Katie Noe, 2009-1010

2007 – present Member, MA Oral Examination Committees
Undergraduate and Graduate Courses Taught
University of Kentucky
Gaines Seminar, "Identity, Memory and Time" -- unit on Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time

French 621c, "From Realism to Modernism"

French 621b, “The 3 R’s: Reading, Writing, Republicanism” (graduate seminar)
French 621a, “Instituting Culture” (graduate seminar)
French 699, “Jules Verne” (graduate independent study)
French 470G, “War, Literature, Film”
French 406, “Advanced Grammar and Composition”
French 350, "Profiles in French Culture: Le Cinéma français”
French 350, "Francophone Cultures: The Multicultural Nation"
French 335, "War, Literature, Film" (in English translation)
French 325, “Introduction au cinéma français”
French 306, Intermediate Composition
French 204 (revised): “Introduction to French Studies”
French 204, French Culture: Reading and Conversation, “Screening and Reading”
Davidson College
French 329, “Fin-de-siècle Culture Wars: Science versus Religion”
French 225, “Comment raconter une guerre – The Great War in literature, film, and the bande dessinée
French 221, “Teachers, texts and turbulence” — An introductory study of twentieth-century literature and film treating the theme of education
French 201, Intermediate French
Humanities 250: “The Renaissance through the Eighteenth Century”
Humanities 251: “The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries”
Yale College
French 160, Introduction à la littérature française du XIXe et du XXe siècle
French 130, Intermediate French
French 115, Beginning French
History 270, “European Thought in the Wake of the New Science” (teaching assistant)

Professional Organizations

Modern Language Association

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