Julie Fette

WEBSITE(S)| French Studies | European Studies | Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality | Politics, Law & Social Thought


  • PhD, New York University and EHESS, Paris


Research and Teaching

  • French History
  • Social Sciences
  • Gender
  • Immigration


Recent Courses

  • FREN 453 Immigration and Citizenship in Contemporary France
  • FREN 424 Women in France
  • FREN 321 Introduction to French Society and Culture
  • FREN 305 Contemporary French Media


An interdisciplinary historian of modern French society, Julie Fette’s research has a strong focus on gender, xenophobia, and other forms of social as well as cultural exclusion. Her first book, Exclusions (2012), examines middle-class discrimination in French society in the professional fields of law and medicine between 1920 and 1945. Shaped by anti-Semitism and xenophobia, such discrimination had a direct effect on social mobility at a decisive moment in twentieth-century French history. Currently, she is completing a new monograph, Gender by the Book, which investigates representations of gender in French children’s literature and their wider effects on the discourses of gender and race in French civil society.

At Rice, Fette is a faculty scholar at the Baker Institute for Public Policy’s Center for the Middle East and she is also a faculty affiliate of the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality and of the Program in Politics, Law & Social Thought. Fette is on the editorial board of French Politics, Culture & Society and she has given interviews with Voice of America and ABC13. Her MOOC course, “America Through Foreign Eyes,” originally launched with Coursera in 2015, has more than 13,000 students.


Selected Publications


1. Books and Edited Volumes

  • With Jean-François Brière and Laurence Wylie, Les Français, 4th edn. (Indianapolis, IN: Focus/Hackett, 2021).
  • Exclusions: Practicing Prejudice in French Law and Medicine, 1920-1945 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2012).


2. Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Heureux comme stéréotype en France,” La Revue des livres pour enfants 310 (December 2019): 136-43.
  • “From Casablanca to Houston: A Family Story,” French Politics, Culture & Society 36/3 (2018), 32-60.
  • “Gender and the Role of Talents Hauts in Contemporary French Children’s Literature,” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 43 (2018), 285-306.
  • “Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and the Future of French Studies,” Contemporary French Civilization 41 (2016), 381-95.
  • “Acting the Dreyfus Affair: History and Theatre in the French Classroom,” PMLA 126 (2011), 737-45.
  • “Apologizing for Vichy in Contemporary France,” in Manfred Berg and Bernd Schaefer (eds.), Historical Justice in International Perspective: How Societies Are Trying to Right the Wrongs of the Past (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 135-63.
  • “Apology and the Past in Contemporary France,” French Politics, Culture & Society 26/2 (2008), 78-113.
  • “Pride and Prejudice in the Professions: Women Doctors and Lawyers in Third Republic France,” Journal of Women’s History 19/3 (2007), 60-86.
  • “The Apology Moment: Vichy Memories in 1990s France,” in Elazar Barkan and Alexander Karn (eds.), Taking Wrongs Seriously: Apologies and Reconciliation (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006), 259-85.


                       Fette Book1           Fette Book2