Professor Harrison regularly teaches the survey of European history, women in modern Europe, the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. She teaches graduate seminars on history and theory and on women and gender. Her first book, The Bourgeois Citizen in Nineteenth-Century France: Gender, Sociability, and the Uses of Emulation, explored the formation of a male bourgeois elite in provincial France. Her new book, Romantic Catholics: France's Postrevolutionary Generation in Search of a Modern Faith examines how lay French women, men, and children practiced their faith, aspiring to create a revitalized Catholicism that could reconcile itself with revolutionary political principles.
I am presently writing a biography of the nineteenth-century French writer Pauline Craven, née de la Ferronnays, whose memoir of family life, Le Récit d'une soeur, was a staple of adolescent girls' reading until the First World War. Craven lived a colorful life: she was a French aristocrat and émigrée, the daughter of a putative miracle-working saint, an Italian nationalist, a prominent opponent of papal infallibility, a cosmopolitan salonnière, as well as a best-selling author. Her career sheds light on the interactions among women, religion, and emerging nation-states in nineteenth-century Europe.
I am also interested in the history of science, and with a team of Australian and French researchers and grant support from the Australian Research Council, I am preparing a book on French scientific voyages of the revolutionary era, which will focus particularly on the exploration of the Pacific. Beginning in 2014, Kay Edwards and I will be editing the journal French Historical Studies at USC.