Holly Runde

Doctoral Student
342 New Cabell Hall

2018 Spring Semester Office Hours
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Ph.d., French, University of Virginia (ABD, expected 2018)

M.A., French, University of Virginia (2014)

A.B., Philosophy, Vassar College (2012)

A.B., French and Francophone Studies, Vassar College (2012)

Research Interests

Women writing the reproductive and sexual body

Feminist epistemology and ethics

20th and 21st century French and francophone literature and cinema

Cultural Studies and Cultural History of France


Tota mulier ex utero: towards an empathetic reading of contemporary abortion narratives

(Director: Janet Horne)

This dissertation analyzes how postwar and contemporary French writers and artists have turned to various forms of fiction, life-writing and film in an effort to create new discursive spaces that put into words the historically “unspeakable” experience of abortion. These works take abortion from the margins of culture and bringing to the fore the stories of women that have been stifled and devalued by anti-feminist political and religious discourse. Focusing on empathetic readings of these diverse narratives, my work argues for the importance of literature, art and film as a means of imparting speak-ability and coherence to a feminine reality that has long been excluded from public and political debate, but that has also lingered beyond the limits of artistic and cultural representability. This dissertation is composed a broad corpus that combines literature, film and history, and includes works from Annie Ernaux, Marie Darrieusecq, Claude Chabrol and Lorette Nobécourt.

Scholarly Activity

“Knowing my body, knowing myself: interpreting aborted corporeality in Annie Ernaux” Revue TRANS 21 (Summer 2017).

“Portrait of a Woman Lost: Recovering the Aborted Body in Histoire d’un secret” Women in French UK Annual Conference. Leeds, England, May 2017.

“The Meaning of Abortion and the Painted Body in Mariana Otero’s Histoire d’un secret (2003)” International Colloquium for 20th and 21st Century French and Francophone Studies. Bloomington, IN, April 2017.

“The Pest of Capitalism: Championing Hybridity in Lawrence Scott’s Witchbroom” Panel on Global Studies and Critical Theory, University of Bologna, Italy, July 2016.

“Declaration of Independence: Rebuking the Feminine Commune in The Book of Night Women” Caribbean Studies Association 40th Annual Conference. New Orleans, LA, May 2015.

Panel Chair, Representations of Alternative Gender and Sexuality in the Caribbean, Caribbean Studies Association 40th Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, May 2015.

“The Politics of Hair in Le Bonheur d’Elza” University of Virginia French Film Festival, Charlottesville, VA, March 2014.

“Maternity and its Detours: Reversing the traditional in Black Caribbean Literature,” University of Pittsburgh French and Italian Graduate Conference, Pittsburgh, PA October 2012.


FREN 1010

FREN 1050

FREN 2010

FREN 2020

Summer Language Institute

Alliance Française affiliated instructor

Honors and Awards

Buckner Clay Endowment Summer Research Grant (2017)

Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation Summer Grant (2017)

University of Virginia Dean's Office Travel Grant (2016)

University of Virginia Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Summer Research Award (2016)

South Atlantic Studies Fellowship Recipient (2015, declined)

Caribbean Studies Association Travel Grant (2015)

University of Virginia French Department Travel Grant (2015)

Relevant Professional Experience

Fellow of the Institute of the Humanities and Global Culture (2017-2018)

UVA-EHESS Paris exchange (2017)

Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory Participant, University of Bologna (Summer 2016)

Mellon Teaching Fellowship for Excellence in the Humanities: “Pluralism and Multiculturalism in Academia" (2015-2016)

Documents Compass Public History Project Participant, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (2013-2016)

Department Mediator, UVA Department of French (2014-2015)

M.A. Representative to the Faculty, UVA Department of French (2013-2014)