Nineteenth- and twentieth-century French literature
Gender and sexuality studies
Québec and francophone literatures
Literary theory, translation studies
My current research investigates Marcel Proust’s use of private codes and allusions in his manuscripts, letters, and drawings. I recently published (with Caroline Szylowicz) the first comprehensive inventory of Proust's drawings to the composer Reynaldo Hahn, documenting over 180 sketches (Bulletin d'informations proustiennes, 2022). Other articles related to Proust's drawings and letters have appared in Modern Language Notes (Fall 2018), Bulletin Marcel Proust (2019 and 2021), Bulletin d'informations proustiennes (2019, 2020 and 2021), and Nineteenth-Century French Studies (2020).
In Fall 2022, for the centenary of Marcel Proust's death, I co-edited "Proust to Other Ends" (with Hannah Freed-Thall), a special issue of L'Esprit Créateur. I also contributed four entries to the exhibition catalogue Proust, la fabrique de l'oeuvre (Gallimard / Bibliothèque nationale de France).
Victims of the Book: Reading and Masculinity in Fin-de-Siècle France (University of Toronto Press, 2019) shows how, in a cultural context of perceived national decline and contentious educational reforms, the adolescent male reader became a subject of grave social concern in late-nineteenth-century France. This research project was awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The book was named an Outstanding Academic Title of 2020 by Choice Reviews (Association of College and Research Libraries) and the chapter "Bourget, the Chambige Affair, and the Queer Seductions of the Novel" received the 2020 HRI Faculty Prize for Research in the Humanities. A webinar presenting the book is available on H-France Salon.
Victims of the Book has been praised as "intelligent, timely, and groundbreaking" (Choice); "ambitious and thought-provoking ... one of Proulx's great strengths is his ability to tell a historicist, contextualist story through sustained and sensitive close readings" (French Studies); "a thorough, scholarly work grounded in research that extends well beyond even the margins of the canon and pays rewardingly close attention to texts" (French Forum); "a refreshingly successful example of literary analysis that addresses both critical and historiographical concerns" (H-France Review).
I am Associate Editor of Nineteenth-Century French Studies, as well as a member of the editorial boards of Bulletin d'informations proustiennes and Bulletin Marcel Proust. I am also an affiliate of the Proust research team (Équipe Proust) at ITEM, the Institute for Modern Texts and Manuscripts, Paris (Institut des textes et manuscrits modernes, CNRS/ENS).
I am co-director, with Caroline Szylowicz, of the U.S. team for Corr-Proust, the new digital edition of Marcel Proust's correspondence, an ongoing international research collaboration.
PhD, Harvard University
BA, McGill University (First-Class Honours)
- French 211: Introduction to Literary Studies
- French 311: Love Stories
- French 322: World Literature in French
- French 336: French Cultural History 1789-1968
- French 443: Quebec Literature and Film
- French 543: Gender, Race and Modernity
- French 574: Reading in the 19th-Century French Novel
- French 578: Marcel Proust
- French 579: French Literature meets Queer Theory
- French 579: Reading with Roland Barthes
Additional Campus Affiliations
Honors & Awards
Visiting Professor, Université Grenoble Alpes, France (November 2022)
Conrad Humanities Scholar (2020-2025)
HRI Prize for Research in the Humanities (2020)
Helen Corley Petit Scholar (2019-2020)
Campus Distinguished Promotion Award (2019)
NEH Fellowship (2015-2016)
"Proust to other Ends," a special issue of L'Esprit Créateur (Fall 2022) proposes counter-readings of À la recherche du temps perdu and its manuscripts, in minor or unexpected modes, toward surprising points of comparison or theoretical reflection. Co-edited with Hannah Freed-Thall (New York University).
Victims of the Book: Reading and Masculinity in Fin-de-Siècle France (University of Toronto Press, 2019) shows how the adolescent male reader became a subject of grave social concern in late-nineteenth-century France, and examines literary responses by prominent novelists of the period, including Jules Vallès, Paul Bourget, Maurice Barrès, André Gide, and Marcel Proust.
Listed as an Outstanding Academic Title of 2020 (Choice Reviews).
Proust and the Arts (Cambridge University Press, 2015; paperback, 2018) brings together expert Proustians and renowned interdisciplinary scholars in a major reconsideration of the novelist's relation to the arts. Co-edited with Christie McDonald (Harvard University).
Freed-Thall, Hannah and François Proulx. "Introduction: Proust to Other Ends". L'Esprit Créateur. 2022, 62(3). 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1353/esp.2022.0030
Proulx, François "Céleste". Marcel Proust. La fabrique de l'oeuvre. Editions Gallimard. 2022, 54-56.
Proulx, François, Caroline Szylowicz and Nathalie Mauriac Dyer "Dessins". Marcel Proust. La fabrique de l'oeuvre. Editions Gallimard. 2022, 78-80.
Proulx, François "Informateurs". Marcel Proust. La fabrique de l'oeuvre. Editions Gallimard. 2022, 122-123.
Proulx, François and Caroline Szylowicz. "Les dessins de Proust à Reynaldo Hahn. Un inventaire". Bulletin d’informations proustiennes. 2022, 52. 19-48.