Janet Beizer

Janet Beizer is C. Douglas Dillon Professor of the Civilization of France in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Before joining the Harvard Faculty in 2001, she taught at the University of Virginia; she recently held a visiting professorship at I Tatti in Florence. She received her B.A. at Cornell, and her M.A., M. Phil., and Ph. D. at Yale. She is a specialist in nineteenth-century literature and culture, with particular expertise in gastronomic history and cultures, medicine and literature, travel writing, and nineteenth-twentieth century women writers.

Beizer's books include The Harlequin Eaters: From Food Scraps to Modernism in Nineteenth Century France (2024); Thinking through the Mothers: Reimagining Women’s Biographies (2009); Ventriloquized Bodies: Narratives of Hysteria in Nineteenth-Century France (1994; winner of the MLA Scaglione prize for best book in French/Francophone Studies); Family Plots: Balzac's Narrative Generations (1986). She has written numerous articles on writers such as Balzac, Colette, Dumas père, Flaubert, Zola, and Sand, as well as on a range of alimentary practices and cultures. She has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Stanford Humanities Center, N.E.H., N.H.C., A.C.L.S., Australian National University, and University of Canterbury at Christchurch, New Zealand. Her avocations include travel, gastronomy, and food justice. She has received training in culinary and wine history and practice, and volunteers with the Boston Area Gleaners.