Susan Hiner received her doctorate in French Literature from Columbia University after completing a double major in French and English at the University of Virginia.
Susan Hiner received her MA and PhD in French Literature from Columbia University after completing her BA in French and English (Modern Studies) at the University of Virginia. Professor Hiner’s research and teaching interests include women and material culture in nineteenth-century France, fashion studies, and the intersection of literature, visual culture, and social history. She also directs the Global Nineteenth-Century Studies Program, serves on the advisory committee of Women, Feminist, and Queer Studies, and acts as the Faculty Director of Research Development.
Professor Hiner has published articles on various aspects of nineteenth-century French culture and has received grants relating to both her current research and to curricular development. Her most recent book, “Behind the Seams: Women, Fashion, and Work in Nineteenth-Century France” takes a multidisciplinary approach to the women fashion producers—both working—and middle-class – who were key to shaping the nineteenth-century French fashion economy and is forthcoming from Bloomsbury Academic in October 2023. Her first book, Accessories to Modernity: Fashion and the Feminine in Nineteenth-Century France (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010), about women’s fashion accessories and their relation to French modernity, won the Millia Davenport Publication Award of the Costume Society of America. She recently guest-edited a special issue of Dix-Neuf: Journal of the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes, entitled “Fashion’s Soft Power in Nineteenth-Century France” (2023) and co-edited a special issue of Romanic Review (2021) devoted to the work of Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson.
She has been a Visiting Fellow of the American Library in Paris (2015) and was awarded an NEH Fellowship in 2016-17 for her most recent book. Recent and forthcoming publications include “Intertextual Fashion: Influencer Journalism and the Realist Novel in Nineteenth-Century France,” Cambridge Critical Concepts, 2024), “Adèle Romany” and “Jean-François Millet” in Making & Meaning: The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center (Vassar College, 2023), “When Fashion Stood Still,” in “La Commune n’est pas morte …,” (NCFS, 2021), “Feminized Commodities, Female Communities” (French Historical Studies 2020), “Picturing Work in the Age of Empire” in A Cultural History of Work in the Age of Empire: 1800-1920 (Bloomsbury, 2019), and “Fashion animation: heads, hats, and the uncanny work of fashion” (SUNY 2018).
You may visit the Vassar YouTube channel to view Professor Hiner’s Art Talk on Adèle Romany’s “Portrait of the Artist’s Family,” on exhibit at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Gallery. In Spring 2018, Professor Hiner co-curated, with Elizabeth Nogrady of the FLLAC and a student scholar, in collaboration with Vassar’s Costume Shop and Archives and Special Collections, a Faculty Focus exhibit revolving around women’s fashion accessories in nineteenth-century Paris. Read a review of the exhibit.
Departments and Programs
FFS 232 The Modern Age
FFS 291 19th-Century POP
“When Fashion Stood Still,” in “La Commune n’est pas morte …,” eds. Seth Whidden and Robert St. Clair, special issue of Nineteenth-Century French Studies 49, nos. 3 & 4 Spring-Summer 2021, 549-566.
“Femininized Commodities, Female Communities: The Colin Sisters and the Stealthy Work of the Fashion Plate,” French Historical Studies, (43:2) April, 2020, 223-252.
“Picturing Work in the Age of Empire” in A Cultural History of Work in the Age of Empire:
1800-1920 (volume 5 of 6). Bloomsbury Press, January 2019. 31-50.
“Fashion Animation: Heads, Hats, and the Uncanny Work of Fashion,” Fashion, Modernity, and Materiality: From Rousseau to Art Deco, ed. Heidi Brevik-Zender, SUNY Press, November 2018. 33-56.
“The Modiste’s Palette and the Artist’s Hat” in Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade, Exhibition Catalogue edited and co-curated by Simon Kelly and Esther Bell. St. Louis Art Museum and Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, February 2017. 67-80.
“Picturing the Catherinette: Reinventing Tradition for the Postcard Age,” Beyond Tradition: French Cultural Studies, 1800-2014, eds. Masha Belenky, Kathryn Kleppinger and Anne O’Neil-Henry, University of Delaware Press, April 2017. 119-152.
“Production and Distribution in the Age of Empire” in A Cultural History of Dress and Fashion: The Age of Empire: 1800-1920 (volume 5 of 6). Bloomsbury Press, December 2016. 35-57.
“From pudeur to plaisir: Grandville’s Flowers in the Kingdom of Fashion.” Dix-Neuf: Journal of the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes, April 2014, 18(1): 45-68
“Becoming (M)other: Reflectivity in Le Journal des Demoiselles.” Romance Studies, April 2013, 31(2): 84-100
“Monsieur Calicot: French Masculinity between Commerce and Honor.” West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture, Spring-Summer 2012, 19(1): 32-60
Accessories to Modernity: Fashion and the Feminine in Nineteenth-Century France, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010.
Grants, Fellowships, Honors, Awards
NEH Fellowship, 2016-17, to advance a new book project entitled “Behind the Seams: Women, Fashion, and Work in Nineteenth-Century France”
Spring Fellow at the American Library in Paris, 2015
Recipient of the Millia Davenport Publication Award, sponsored by the Costume Society of America, for Accessories to Modernity, 2011
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