Person's photo

Robert Doran

  • Professor of French and Comparative Literature
  • Head, French and Comparative Literature Programs
  • Undergraduate Advisor, French

PhD, Stanford University; PhD, Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris III

414 Lattimore Hall
(585) 275-4251

Office Hours: Spring 2022; Tuesday 7:30-9:00 pm and by appointment.



Robert Doran is Professor of French and Comparative Literature and an Affiliate Faculty member of the Music Theory Department of the Eastman School of Music. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Stanford University and a PhD in General and Comparative Literature from the Sorbonne Nouvelle-University of Paris 3.

He is the author or editor of eight books, including the monographs The Theory of the Sublime from Longinus to Kant (Cambridge University Press, 2015/2017; Spanish translation 2021) and The Ethics of Theory: Philosophy, History, Literature (Bloomsbury, 2017). Most recently, he has edited Liszt and Virtuosity (University of Rochester Press, 2020) and two volumes of Hayden White’s late essays under the title The Ethics of Narrative for Cornell University Press (forthcoming). His current book project is Revolutionary Aesthetics: The Sublime in Nineteenth-Century France.

His teaching focuses on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French literature and culture, in particular on the novel, romanticism, theater, Napoleon, and Paris. He also regularly teaches courses on continental philosophy, aesthetics, and twentieth-century French thought.

Research Overview

Ethics of Narrative book cover.Cover of the book with title and details written in SpanishBook cover.


Critical theorists Michel Foucault, Hayden White, Gayatri Spivak, and Richard Rorty."New book explores ‘ethical turn’ of critical theory"
- UR Newscenter article, 12/20/17

Courses Offered (subject to change)

  • CLTR 200:  Topics in Critical Thinking: The Antihero (Spring 2022)
  • CLT 389:  Major Seminar (Fall 2017)
  • FR 157:  French in France (Summer 2018)
  • FR 202:  Introduction to Literature in French (Spring 2018)
  • FR 207:  French in France (Summer 2018)
  • FR 229:  Existentialism (Fall 2019)
  • FR 230:  French Social Thought (Fall 2018)
  • FR 232:  Hugo's "Les Misérables" (Spring 2015)
  • FR 233:  Realists and Romantics (Fall 2015)
  • FR 245:  Revolution and Romanticism (Fall 2018)
  • FR 246:  Dumas's "The Count of Monte Cristo" (Fall 2017)
  • FR 254:  Camus and Sartre (Fall 2014)
  • FR 255:  Sartre and Heidegger (Fall 2016)
  • FR 259:  Les Philosophes & the French Enlightenment (Fall 2019)
  • FR 262:  French Philosophy Since 1960 (Spring 2014)
  • FR 265:  Aesthetics (Spring 2018)
  • FR 266:  Balzac and Baudelaire in Paris (Fall 2013)
  • FR 267:  Baudelaire: Poetry and Modernity (Fall 2016)
  • FR 268:  Jean Renoir and Cinema (Spring 2017)
  • FR 269:  Foucault and the Ethics of Theory (Spring 2017)
  • FR 281:  French Cinema: 1930-1960 (Fall 2014)
  • FR 289:  Philosophy of Art (Fall 2015)

Selected Publications

Single-Authored Books

Edited Books

Journal Issues

Recent Articles

Recent Translations

  • Translator. "Rupture and Literary Creation in Jean-Paul Sartre [1968]." By René Girard. Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture, vol. 22, Spring 2015, pp. 1-16.
  • Translator. "Living with Others: Reciprocity and Alterity in Lévi-Strauss." By Marcel Hénaff. Rethinking Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009), edited by Robert Doran. Spec. issue of Yale French Studies, no. 123, 2013, pp. 63-82.
  • Translator. "The Future of the Novel [1957]." By René Girard. Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture, vol. 19, 2012, pp. 1-8.

Selected Invited Presentations

  • "On the Use and Reuse of History: Reading Hayden White's The Practical Past." Is Theory Critical? UCI Critical Theory, 22-23 May 2016, U of California, Irvine.