Mary McAlpin


Dublin Core



Mary McAlpin is Professor of French at the University of Tennessee. Her research interests include the French Revolution, the epistolary novel, and the history of medicine, with an emphasis on gender and sexuality. She is the author of two monographs, most recently Female Sexuality and Cultural Degradation in Enlightenment France: Medicine and Literature (Ashgate, 2012). In her current book-length project (Rationalizing Rape: Sexual Violence and the French Enlightenment) she explores the rise of a modern discourse on rape in the eighteenth-century French cultural imagination, by examining medical treatises, politico-philosophical works, novels, and paintings. Recent articles include “Rape in Paradise: Naturalizing Sexual Violence in Diderot’s Tahitian Reverie,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 50.3 (April 2017); “The Rape of Roxane and the End of the World in the Lettres persanes,” Romanic Review, 107.1-4 (January-November 2016); “Health and the Eighteenth-Century French Woman: A History of Decline,” in Women, Gender and Disease in Eighteenth-Century England and France, eds. K.H. Doig, Felicia Sturzer (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2014); and “Accablé de tant de vêtements”: Climat et désir dans les Lettres persanes, in Les Lettres persanes en leur temps, ed. Philip Stewart (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2013).

View the material that Mary has curated for this website here.

Image Description: A woman sits on a couch in front of a window. She smiles at the camera with green eyes. She has shoulder length blonde hair and white seeming skin. She is wearing a blue blouse and silver wire earrings.


“Mary McAlpin,” Legacies of the Enlightenment, accessed April 17, 2024,