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Philippe Roger


Office Address

339 New Cabell Hall

Fall 2023 Office Hours

Wednesdays 1:00 - 3:00PM

By appointment.

Joint Teaching Appointments

Research Program Director at the French National Center for Scientific Research (Centre d’étude de la langue et de la littérature françaises des 17e et 18e siècles, CNRS/Paris-Sorbonne)

Professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences sociales (Paris)

Global Distinguished Visiting Professor, New York University (2009-2018)


After taking his degrees in Paris in Classics and French Literature, Philippe Roger embarked in an academic career which kept him moving from one side of the Atlantic to the other. His American experience began with an exchange student teaching appointment at Yale. Later on, he came back to the US as the Adjunct-Director to the newly created Institute of French Studies at New York University, where he was then offered a position as Associate-Professor of Literature in the French Department. He moved back to France as a full time Researcher with the National Center for Scientific Research and also became a Professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences sociales in Paris. A Visiting-Professor in many American and foreign institutions (University of Bologna, The University of Chicago, Université de Genève, Harvard University, Princeton University, UCLA, Stanford University, Universidad de Buenos-Aires, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), he eventually fell in love with the Grounds and took a permanent part-time position at UVA, where he teaches every Fall.

A specialist of Eigtheenth-century Literature and Culture, with a particular focus on the Revolutionary period, he has also written extensively on literary theory and Barthes’œuvre. The books he wrote or directed on Sade (La Philosophie dans le pressoir ; Sade, écrire la crise) have laid ground for a scholarly approach to the ill-famed author. His essay Roland Barthes, roman, written shortly after Barthes’ accidental death, is regarded as a book of reference on the late critic, semiologist, and writer. A third major field of interest for Philippe Roger is French-American relations from the Age of Enlightement to our days. Of his Prize-winning book The American enemy. A History of French Anti-Americanism, Edward Rothstein of The New York Times wrote : «Mr. Roger almost singlehandledy creates a new field of study». Among his current interests and projects are a book on sacrifice and self-sacrifice in the Age of Reason and a research on the literary constructs of “heroism”.

Since 1996, Philippe Roger has been the managing editor of Critique , the monthly journal founded by George Bataille in 1946. 


  • Ancien élève de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure (rue d’Ulm)
  • Agrégation de Lettres classiques, Sorbonne (Paris)


● 18th c. Literature
and Culture : Libertine novels, Theatrer and the poetics of Theater, Dictionaries, Pamphlets and Polemical Genres ● Roland Barthes and other «French Theorists» ● Representations of sacrifice and self-sacrifice in literature, philosophy and politics during the Age of Reason and the French Revolution ● (Mis)representations of America in French literature and culture from the 18th to the 21st century.



L'Ennemi américain. Généalogie de l'antiaméricanisme français, Seuil, 2002 ; paperback edition 2004 ; Prix Aujourd’hui 2002 ; translations in Arabic, Chinese, English, Italian and Japonese. English edition :  The American Enemy : The History of French Anti-Americanism, The University of Chicago Press, 2005 (translated by S. Bowman, 2006 Prize for best non-fiction awarded by the French-American Foundation and the Florence Gould Foundation). 

  • Roland Barthes, roman, Grasset , 1986; nominated for the Prix Médicis-Essai ; paperback edition, 1991.
  • Sade, La Philosophie dans le pressoir, Grasset, 1976.  

Books (editor)  

  • Sade : écrire la crise, (co-ed. with M. Camus), Paris, Belfond, 1983.
  • La légende de la Révolution française au XXe siècle. De Gance à  Renoir, de Romain Rolland à Claude Simon, (co-ed. with J.-CL. Bonnet), Paris, Flammarion, 1988.
  • L'Homme des Lumières. De Paris à Pétersbourg, Napoli, Vivarium, «Biblioteca Europea» / Paris, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, 1995.
  • L’ Encyclopédie du réseau au livre et du livre au réseau, (co-ed. with R. Morrissey), Paris et Genève, Éd. Champion-Slatkine, 2001.

• Un Siècle de deux cents ans ? Les XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles : continuités et discontinuités, (co-ed. with J. Dagen), Paris, Éd. Desjonquères, 2004.

Complete Bibliography


Graduate courses :

 “Reinventing the Novel in the 18th c.”

“18th c. French Theater”

“From Page to Screen : Turning 18th c. Fictions into Movies”

“Roland Barthes & Co : Revisiting Modernity”

Undergraduate courses :

«The Many Lives of a French Masterpiece : Screening the Liaisons dangereuses

“The Frogs and the Eagle : (Mis)representations of America in French Literature”

“France and America in the Age of Thomas Jefferson»