Rosemary Peters

Rosemary Peters-Hill

Associate Professor
Bachelor's Degree (s): University of California, Davis - BA, English / French, June 1992
Master's Degree: Harvard University - MA Romance Languages ​​and Literatures, June 1994
PhD: Harvard University - Ph.D., Romance Languages ​​and Literatures, March 2003
Phone: (225)578-6627
Office: 415A Hodges

Rosemary Peters-Hill is a former Fulbright scholar and the Albert and Angelle Arnaud Professor in French Heritage. Her primary area is the 19th-century novel, with a secondary specialization in the 16th century. Her first book, Stealing Things, addressed the rise and evolution of detective fiction and criminology in France, work she is now revisiting to include francophone texts and discuss the adaptation of the genre for a post-colonial world. In addition, she studies pre-colonial and colonial North Africa. Her most recent book offers the first complete translation and critical edition of Charles de Foucauld's Reconnaissance au Maroc, 1883-1884. She is now working on her third book, about exploration, appropriation, and the invention of memory in the imperial world. Dr. Peters-Hill lives in Baton Rouge with her family, including five very vocal chickens. She enjoys practicing analog photography and playing piano with her kids.

Publications :

Charles de Foucauld’s Reconnaissance au Maroc, 1883-1884. A Critical Edition in English Translation (New York: Anthem Press, 2020). Currently available through Cambridge University Press

Stealing Things: Theft and the Author in Nineteenth-Century France (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2013).

Criminal Papers: Reading Crime in the French Nineteenth-Century (essays), editor. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012.) 

Films With Legs: Crossing Borders With Foreign Language Film (essays), co-editor with Véronique Maisier. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011)


"On Being the Other: Following Charles de Foucauld's Call to Go Deeper" in Salaam: a quarterly journal for Christian-Muslim relations, Vol. 44, No. 1, Jan. 2023

"Charles de Foucauld, Sidi Edriss, the Blessed Mother, and ‘the Blue People’" in Salaam: a quarterly journal for Christian-Muslim relations, Vol. 44, No. 2, April 2023

“Women of Letters: Mariama Bâ and Alice Walker,” in Critical Insights: The Color Purple (New York: Salem Press, scheduled for March 2022).

“Can the Subaltern Stream? Trauma, Intersectionality, and Netflix” in Analyser l’intersectionnalité au cinéma. Circulation d’un concept en France et aux États-Unis, special issue of Mise au Point (2022). Article is available here. 

“Contemplating the Desert: on Translation, Colonialism, and Being Out of Time,” in The Nazareth Letters, the Companions of Nazareth’s St Charles de Foucauld blog (13 December 2020). 

“Car(men)tographie: Pour une map Mérimée.” In Cahiers Mérimée (Classiques Garnier), special issue on pedagogical approaches and interpretations of Carmen (2019, no. 11; 165-175). With Claire LaGrone. 

Carmen de Louisiana au Séminaire Mérimée de Paris.” In Cahiers Mérimée, 2019 (11), 161-164. 

“Adapting Émile Zola’s L’Assommoir, René Clément’s Gervaise (1956).” In Fiction and Film for French Historians (November 2017).

“Charles de Foucauld in 3D: traditions, traductions, trahisons,” in Bulletin of the Moroccan American Center for Educational and Cultural Exchange, June 2016. 

“Ways of Seeing/Self (and) Otherness,” in Bulletin du Centre de Recherche Français à Jérusalem, October 2013. 

“Théophile Gautier’s Mademoiselle de Maupin,” Gale Literary Criticism Series. With Christopher Bains (March 2013).

“Reading Royalty in Le Collier de la reine,” in Textual Practice Vol 26, No. 2 (April 2012), pp 181-217. 

“After Arizona: Military Musicians in the Second World War, a microhistory,” in Revue LISA (Literature, Ideas, Images, and Societies of the Anglophone World). Vol. X, No. 1 (March 2012), pp 209-234. 

“The No. 1 Parisian Detective Agency: Vidocq and the ‘Third Space’ of the Private Police,” in Belgrade BELLS Vol. 2 (December2010), pp 275-306.

“The Individual in the (Catholic) Mass: Restoration, Self and Community in Liturgy and Literature,” in Gramma: Journal of Theory and Criticism Vol. 10 (2010), pp 49-66. 

“Paper Dolls and Post-It Notes: Teaching Le Père Goriot through Prop(p)s,” in Dalhousie French Studies Vol. 87 (summer 2009), pp 105-128. 

“Mapping the Desert: Charles de Foucauld, Arthur Rimbaud, and the Société de Géographie, 1884-1885,” in Journal of Historical Geography Vol. 35, Issue 1 (2009), pp 104-127. 

Oculi omnium : Mystery and Spectacle on the Altar and the Screen,” in Excavatio, Volume XXII (1-2), 2007, pp 87-100. 

“For the Pleasure of Ladies: Theft, Gender, and Object Relations in Thérèse Raquin and Au Bonheur des Dames,” in Excavatio, Volume XII (September 1999), pp 41-52. 

Book Chapters 

“Purloined Letters: Literary Property and Dangerous Documents,” in Criminal Papers: Reading Crime in the French Nineteenth Century, ed. Peters (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012), pp 183-200. 
– “Introduction: Reading Crime, Reading Criminal” for this volume, pp xi-xxv. 

“Able Language, Disabled Narrative: Mar Adentro and Le Scaphandre et le papillon,” in Films With Legs: Crossing Borders With Foreign Language Films, ed. Maisier and Peters (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011), pp 157-172. 
–“Introduction” to this volume, co-authored, pp x-xxiii. 

Beur is the New Black: Minor and Major, Canonicity and Community in the New France,” in At the Borders of Convention, ed. Nikčević Batrićević, A. and Marija Knežević (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010), pp 191-210. 

“For the Pleasure of Ladies: Theft, Gender and Object Relations in Au Bonheur des Dames,” in Anna Gural-Migdal (ed.), L’Ecriture du féminin chez Zola et dans la fiction naturaliste / Writing the Feminine in Zola and Naturalist Fiction (New York/Bern: Peter Lang, 2004), pp 471-487. 

Book Reviews

“Sophie Heywood. Catholicism and Children’s Literature in France. The Comtesse de Ségur. Manchester: Manchester UP, 220pp. £60.00 ISBN 978-0-7190-8466-9.” In Women’s History Review, October 2014. 

“Casta, Isabelle et Vincent van der Linden. Etude sur Le Mystère de la chambre jaune et Le Parfum de la dame en noir de Gaston Leroux. Paris : Ellipses, 2007; collection « Résonances ». 110 p.” In Belphégor, Vol VII, no. 2, June 2008. Available online at

“Lee, Susanna. A World Abandoned by God: Narrative and Secularism. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2006. 197 p.” in Dalhousie French Studies, vol. 80, Fall 2007. 

Invited Talks :

"'Six Months in a Leaky Boat': Navigating Oceanic Space and Voice." The University of London in Paris' Journée d'Études Connected Histories of Empire, 13 Jan 2023. 

The Empire Maps Back: Oceania at Center Stage." The Eric Vogelin Interdisciplinary Faculty Humanities Seminar, 24 Feb 2023. 

“‘Car(men)tographie’ : pour une nouvelle approche à l’œuvre de Mérimée.” Special session of the Séminaire Mérimée, Université de la Sorbonne, Paris, 17 March 2018.

“Sovereign Exchanges: Importing the (end of the) ancien régime in Sidonie de la Houssaye’s Les Quarteronnes de la Nouvelle-Orléans.” Keynote address at “Form and Diversity” conference, Texas Tech University, 27 April 2012.

“Charles de Foucauld: Exemplum of Peace in a Time of War.” Presentation as part of the Tournées French Film Festival at LSU, 14 November 2011.

“Charles de Foucauld: Mapping Identity Spaces. A Mystic in France and North Africa, 1883-1916.” Lecture at Washington University in St Louis, March 2011

“After Arizona: Military Musicians and the Second World War.” Plenary address at Regards Croisés/Varieties of Experience conference. Caen, France, May 2010.

Conferences :

Regular participation in the Nineteenth-Century French Studies, Conseil International des Études Francophones, Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies, and French Colonial History Society conferences, as well as the American Comparative Literature Association's annual meeting and the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference.

Works in Progress :

At Home in Nazareth : A Ten-Day Retreat with Charles de Foucauld. With Lennie Tighe. (Trade publication; solicited by Ave Maria Press, June 2021.)

This project draws on the traditions of pilgrimage and retreat, through the writings of Blessed Charles de Foucauld (to be canonized on 15 May 2022), to offer a space of meditation and reflection guided by one of the foremost ground-breakers in religious dialogue. Charles de Foucauld's life among the Muslim populations of North Africa, both before and after his conversion and entry into holy orders, also took place during the pre-colonial (Morocco) and colonial (Algeria) periods. In my work, I illustrate how Foucauld's unique understanding of both the responsibilities of Empire and the general inhumanity of the mission civilisatrice informed his religious and scientific work among the Tuareg of Tamanghasset, Algeria. His vocation to the desert positioned him at the juncture of a historical "perfect storm": he foresaw the Arab uprising of 1917-1918 on the near horizon, as well as the tremendous cultural loss represented by the indigenous Tuareg's encounter with Europeans posted in the region. During all of the turmoil, Foucauld leaned in to his vocation, even knowing it could cost him his life. Organized over ten days, this "retreat-in-a-book" offers readers a deeper acquaintance with Charles de Foucauld, his life and times, and also proposes a novel way to "read" inter-religious dialogue from then and now.

Travellers With Baggage : Inventions, Locations, and Appropriations of Cultural Memory. (Proposed to Lexington Press, Fall 2021.)

This project studies the invention of memory across France’s Imperial enterprise and the ways in which national interest and the politics of Empire directed human sciences. From cataloguing Chaldean myths to plundering Cambodian temples and collecting “curiosities” in both colonial and non-colonized places, these explorers, missionaries, traders, writers, and artists used cultural antiquities and archaeological epistemes as a way to anthologize France’s accomplishments. The four chapters, which span the years from 1769 to 2021, are organized geographically – Napoléon III's archaeological maraudeurs in Thessaloniki/Thrace in northeastern Greece; the European "discovery" of the Angkor temple complex near Siem Reap, Cambodia; Captain Cook's explorations around Tahiti-New Zealand and his complex passanger, "Star Navigator" Tupaia; and the linked locations of Aden, Yemen, and Harar, Ethiopia, where a young Lyonnais named Alfred Bardey ran a thriving import-export business. In a foray into altogether different territory, the book begins and ends with two nineteenth-century evocations of Louisiana. In his 1801 novella Atala, François-René de Chateaubriand painted the West Florida Territories as a lush, impenetrable wilderness populated by savages both noble and barbaric. Half a century later, the Paris-educated lawyer-priest Adrien Rouquette would leave his posting in the New Orleans cathedral to cross Lake Pontchartrain and live among the Choctaw, a native tribe that had gradually been moved out of the city of New Orleans and into the wilderness of St Tammany Parish. Rouquette had long been fascinated by the Choctaw, and he fulfilled his vocation by living amongst them, celebrating his faith in nature and incorporating the Choctaw rituals into his Catholic liturgies. Ultimately, Rouquette would write his own novel, La Nouvelle Atala, a kind of “writing back” against Chateaubriand, to represent the indigenous peoples of Louisiana accurately. In each of these examples, my project considers the roles of history and nature, of local culture and imperial politics, and aims to demonstrate the nineteenth century’s evolving comprehension of socio-cultural structures and the significance, implications, and consequences of usurping native voices. Across the sweep of the globe and time, this book examines the relationship of empirical and Imperial knowledge to the ancient, modern, and future world.


Grants and Fellowships :

-Affiliate Research Fellow with the Center for Khmer Studies in Siem Reap, Cambodia, 2023 - Present.
-Core Fulbright Scholar Program, awarded for AY 2015-16.
-Albert and Angelle Arnaud Professorship in French Heritage, awarded summer   2015.-
-ATLAS Grant, summer 2015.
-Office of Research and Economic Development Faculty Travel Grant, April 2014.
-LSU College of Humanities and Social Sciences travel grant, April 2014.
-Core Fulbright Scholar Program (alternate), 2011.
-Louisiana State University faculty travel grant, awarded 2011.
-Teaching Enhancement Fund, awarded 2011.
-Core Fulbright Scholar Program (finalist), 2010.
-Louisiana State University faculty travel grant, awarded 2010.
-Louisiana State University junior faculty travel grant, awarded 2009.
-Manship Summer Research Fellowship, awarded 2009.
-Council on Research Summer Stipend Program, awarded 2008.
-Louisiana State University faculty travel grant, awarded 2008.


Service :

-LSU Faculty Senate, 2020+.
-LSU Athletic Council, 2012-2016.
-Department of French Studies Peer Review Committee, Spring 2012.
-French language liaison, Baton Rouge Symphony Chorus, Fall 2010-present.
-LSU Faculty Senate, Fall 2011-Spring 2014.
-External reviewer for AWP (Arts of War and Peace) Review, Fall 2011-present.
-External reviewer for L’Érudit Franco-Espagnol, Fall 2011-present.
-Junior Faculty Interdisciplinary Writing Group, co-organizer, 2008-2014.
-Founder and co-organizer, Foreign Language Film Conference, 2007-2014.
-External reviewer for Journal of Historical Geography, Winter 2009-present.
-LSU College of H&SS Faculty Senate, 2008-2010.
-Committee on Graduate Education, LSU Department of French Studies,     2008-09.
-Executive Committee, LSU Department of French Studies, 2007-08.
-Lyrica Society for Word-Music Relations, Communications Officer, 2007-08.
-Graduate advisor, SIU Carbondale Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Spring 2007.
-Foreign Language Day Committee, SIU Carbondale Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, 2006-2007.
-French Club Advisor, SIU Carbondale, 2006-2007.
-Pi Delta Phi (French Honor Society) Advisor, SIU Carbondale Chapter, 2006-2007.

Community Involvement :

-Catholic Charities, English tutor for refugees, 2021-+.
-Miracle League, volunteer, 2021-+.
-Christ the King at LSU Catholic Center, lector, 2019+.
-Christ the King at LSU Catholic Center, choir member, 2019-2020.
-St. Agnes Catholic Church, choir member, 2018-2019.
-Opéra Louisiane, Chorus member, August 2011-February 2014.
-Fred R. Peters, Jr. “Freesax” Foundation for Music Education, Programs Director, November 2010-2017.
-CSULB Forty-Niner Chorus, spring 2011.
-Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure, 2009-2011.
-Missionary Sisters of Charity shelter and soup kitchen, volunteer, 2007-2008.
-Baton Rouge Symphony Chorus, Alto and French-language liaison, August 2007-+. Outstanding -Chorus Member of the Year, 2013-14 season.
-Chorale Saint Placide, Lyon, France – music director and conductor, 2001-2004.
-Harvard University library – archival assistant, 1993-1995.
-The California Aggie – staff writer, Arts desk, 1990-1992.
-Arrowbear Music Camp – counselor, violin coach, summers 1988-1993.


Other Teaching Experiences :

-Ecole Normale Supérieure/Université Mohammed V, Rabat (Morocco) – Department of French. 2015-2016.
-Harvard University Extension School – 2005-2006.
-Harvard University – Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, 2004- 2006.
-ENS-LSH Lyon – Department of English, 2000-2002.