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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2019/20 Dr. Julia Elsky

Dr. Julia Elsky

Loyola University Chicago
French Studies
Junior Fellow
VW-Mellon Fellow
June 2015 - June 2016


Julia Elsky received her PhD in French Studies from Yale University in 2014, where she was a Whiting Fellow. She was appointed Assistant Professor of French at Loyola University Chicago starting in Fall 2016, after the completion of her Volkswagenstiftung & Andrew W. Mellon Foundations Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Freiburg. In 2015 she was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Global Studies and Languages at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her work has been funded by numerous grants, including a Bourse Chateaubriand from the French Government to study at the École Normale Supérieure (Paris) and a Fox Fellowship (Yale University, MacMillan Center for International Affairs) through which she was an Invited Researcher at the Centre d’histoire de Sciences Po (Paris). Her primary interests include émigré writers and artists in France during World War II, Jewish culture in France, as well as cultural diplomacy, translation, bilingualism, and the intersection of language and integration.


Selected Publications

  • “Eugène Ionesco 1942-1944: Political and Cultural Transfers Between Romania and France,” re-inaugural issue of Diasporas. Histoires et sociétés, Presses Universitaires du Mirail, 2015
  • Informations juives (1941-1942) ou les ambiguïtés d’un périodique français/yiddish au début de l’Occupation,” Archives Juives: Revue d’histoire des Juifs de France 46:2, Spring 2013
  • Introduction to and translation of Un enfant génial by Irène Némirovsky, Yale French Studies 121, special issue: “Irène Némirovsky and Jonathan Littell: Two French Exceptions,” Spring 2012


FRIAS Research Project

French and Foreign: Émigré Writers in Occupied France

My project explores the wartime experience of Eastern European émigré writers who came to France in the 1910s-1920s and adopted French as their literary language. Well-known authors including Romain Gary, Irène Némirovsky, Eugène Ionesco, and Elsa Triolet, as well as lesser-known figures, among them Arthur Adamov, Benjamin Fondane, and Ilarie Voronca, bear witness to a double displacement: they wrote about immigration and the choice to write in French just as France denied them the right to claim French nationality and identity. Reading their works alongside their correspondence and unpublished diaries, as well as in light of scholarship on transnationalism and multilingualism, reveals a new aspect of literary production in France during the Occupation.