Michaela Hulstyn

Michaela Hulstyn

Contact Information

Assistant Professor
Office Location
Diffenbaugh 303A
Office Hours

T 12:00 - 2:00 & By Appointment

Michaela Hulstyn (Ph.D. French, Stanford) is Assistant Professor of French, specializing on the intersections between philosophy and 20th-century French and Francophone literature. Her book project, Altered States and Narrative Unselfing in Global French Literature, investigates the narrative models that writers from the global French twentieth century use to recount the phenomenology of altered states of consciousness. The book analyzes Paul Valéry, Charlotte Delbo, Henri Michaux, Yolande Mukagasana, Hélène Cixous, Abdelkebir Khatibi, Georges Bataille, and Simone Weil as emblematic of four major models for unselfing: disruption, mutation, fragmentation, and destruction.

Her new research project, tentatively titled Thinking with Francophone Literature, builds a cognitive theory of experimental Francophone aesthetics from groundbreaking postcolonial works that deliberately play with the multiple expectations, languages, and biases of their different audiences.

She has been published in MLN, Women in French Studies, and has forthcoming work in Contemporary French and Francophone Studies and Philosophy and Literature.

Research Interests

20th-century French and Francophone philosophy and literature
Cognitive approaches to world literature and transcultural literature
North African Francophone literature and autobiography
Phenomenology (the self and intersubjectivity)
Experimental aesthetics and the postcolonial
Altered states of consciousness

Courses Taught

French Women Writers
Mind in the World: Cognitive Approaches to North African and Diaspora Literature
Francophone Literature (and the Ethics of Engagement)
Race and Immigration in French Cinema
What is Comparative Literature?

Selected Publications

  • 2019      “Experimental Autobiography and Theory of Mind: Djebar and Robbe-Grillet” Philosophy and Literature, forthcoming.
  • 2018      "The Recourse to the Imaginary: Djibril Diop Mambéty and Sony Labou Tansi” Contemporary French & Francophone Studies: Sites, forthcoming. 
  • 2016      “Charlotte Delbo à l’écoute: Auditory Imagery in Auschwitz et après.” Women in French Studies, Special Issue, vol. 6, 2016, pp. 70-82. 
  • 2015      "Unselfing as Disruption: The Self and Other in Pain in Paul Valéry and Charlotte Delbo." Modern Language Notes, vol. 130, no. 4, 2015, pp. 1113-29.  
  • 2014      “The Mutative Self and the Language of Insight in Henri Michaux’s Mescaline Experiments.” Altered Self and Altered Self-Experience, edited by Alexander Gerner and Jorge Gonçalves, BoD, 2014, pp. 171-82.