Susan Hiner Professor of French and Francophone Studies on the John Guy Vassar Chair
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.
- BA, University of Virginia; MA, MPhil, PhD, Columbia University
- At Vassar since 1998
- FFS 232. The Modern Age: The Worlds of Madame Bovary
- FFS 348. Fashion's Empires
- VICT 150. Revolution, Evolution, and the Global Nineteenth Century
- WMST 130. Introduction to Women's Studies
“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
In the Media
[Video] Professor Hiner’s Art Talk on Adèle Romany’s “Portrait of the Artist’s Family”
Susan Hiner, associate professor of French and Francophone studies, discusses the significance of fashion and accessories in Adele Romany’s painting “Portrait of the Artist’s Family in Front of the Chateau de Juily, Ile-de-France.” Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College
Download images for non-commercial use, photo credit required.
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 teaches in the Women’s Studies Program.
Professor Hiner has published articles on various aspects of nineteenth-century French culture and has received grants relating to both her current research on women and fashion in nineteenth-century France and to curricular development. Her first book, Accessories to Modernity: Fashion and the Feminine in Nineteenth-Century France, about women’s fashion accessories and their relation to French modernity, was released in June 2010 from the University of Pennsylvania Press and won the Millia Davenport Publication Award of the Costume Society of America in June 2011.
In Spring 2015, she was a Visiting Fellow of the American Library in Paris where she was researching a new book project entitled Behind the Seams: Women, Fashion, and Work in Nineteenth-Century France. She was awarded an NEH fellowship to continue work on this project in 2016-17. She is recently the author of a chapter in A Cultural History of Fashion (Bloomsbury 2016) and a catalogue essay in Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade, which accompanied an exhibit by the same name at the St. Louis Art Museum and the Legion of Honor in San Francisco in 2017. A recently completed article, "Feminized Commodities, Female Communities: The Colin Sisters and the Stealthy Work of the Fashion Plate" is forthcoming in 2020 from French Historical Studies 43.2.
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. You may read a review of the exhibit here: https://miscellanynews.org/2018/02/07/features/loeb-exhibit-revives-french-fashions/.