Benjamin F. Barge Professor of French
82-90 Wall St
B.A., Université de Montréal, 1978
M.A., The Johns Hopkins University, 1980
Ph. D., The Johns Hopkins University, 1981
Pierre Saint-Amand has research interests in the literature of the eighteenth-century, the philosophy of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and literary criticism and theory. His first book, Diderot: Le Labyrinthe de la relation (1984), was devoted to the philosophical and scientific writings of Denis Diderot. He has written on the novel, especially the libertine novel, in The Libertine’s Progress: Seduction in the Eighteenth-Century Novel (1994). Another book, The Laws of Hostility: Politics, Violence, and the Enlightenment (1996) offers a reading of the political writings of the philosophes through the lens of an anthropology of violence. His most recent book, The Pursuit of Laziness: An Idle Interpretation of the Enlightenment (2011), is a study of the resistance to the ideology of work at the dawn of capitalism.
Pierre Saint-Amand has edited two erotic novels of the 18th century, the best-seller Thérèse philosophe and Confession d’une jeune fille, both in Gallimard’s Romanciers libertins du XVIIIe siècle (2000, 2005). He has also published on the literature of the twentieth and twenty-first century on authors such as Marguerite Duras, Roland Barthes, Hervé Guibert, Pascal Quignard and Abdellah Taïa.
Before coming to Yale, Pierre Saint-Amand taught at Brown University where he was the Francis Wayland Professor of French and Comparative Literature. He was recognized as the Walter H. Annenberg Distinguished Professor of the Year in 1995.
Pierre Saint-Amand was named Chevalier in the Order of the Palmes Académiques in 2001.