Profile picture for user Margot Szarke

Margot Szarke

Mondays 12-1pm; and Fridays 11-12pm in person (4216 Dwinelle Hall). Please note: additional office hours on zoom or in person are available upon request

Research Areas

Margot’s research investigates the intersections of culture, medicine, and technology in the long nineteenth century. Her work on Zola through the lens of medical humanities has appeared in French Studies, French Forum, and Nineteenth-Century French Studies. Her article, "Modern Sensitivity: Emile Zola's Synaesthetic Cheeses," was awarded the 2021 Society of Dix-Neuviémistes Publication Prize. In addition, she has written on early French vaccine literature. Margot is working currently on a monograph about sense perception in 19th-century naturalism and medico-scientific discourse.

Her research and teaching interests include second language acquisition, naturalism, French impressionism, cognitive studies, affect theory, sound studies, the history of science, and medical humanities.



Since completing her Ph.D. in 2016, Margot has been a lecturer in the French department at UC Berkeley where she teaches a wide range of courses and materials. As a Berkeley Language Center fellow, Margot has developed curricula for lower division French language courses. She is a recipient of the campus-wide Teaching Effectiveness Award

Selected Publications

“Zola’s Sense of Reality: Repetition, Deadtime, and Boredom in La Joie de vivre. Forthcoming in Dix-Neuf:

"Textual ‘Piqûres’: Vaccination in the Hands of Nineteenth-Century French Writers." Nineteenth-Century French Studies, vol. 51, nos. 1 & 2, Fall-Winter 2022-2023, pp. 1-19

"Novel Touch: Feeling Fabric in Zola's Au Bonheur des Dames." French Forum, vol. 46, no. 1, Spring 2021, pp. 1-18

"Using a Literacy-Based Approach to Elicit and Examine Forms of Attention." L2 Journal, Vol. 13, issue 1 (2021), pp. 108-111

Modern Sensitivity: Emile Zola's Synaesthetic Cheeses.” French Studies, issue 74:2, April 2020, pp. 203-222 

“Copies and Perceptions: Human Expression in Duchenne and Zola.” Nineteenth-Century French Studies, vol. 47, nos. 1 & 2, Fall-Winter 2018-2019, pp. 114-131