William & Mary

Macs Smith (11) will be entering Princeton University's doctoral program in French literature in the Fall

Macs Smith ('11) writes:

"I spent my sophomore year studying abroad in Paris, where I took a course in architecture history which ended up being the inspiration for my honors thesis in French & Francophone Studies. Ever since then, I have been interested in studying the intersections between the city and the individual. For instance, how are our lives and thoughts shaped by the places where we live? And how does the city both record historical change and produce it? I analyzed these questions in my thesis by focusing on the Second Empire (1852-1870) in France and the massive urban reconstruction project known as Haussmannization. It was a period of both immense architectural change and a particularly strong communication between literature and the city. I demonstrate in my thesis how Haussmann and the Emperor Napoléon III transformed the city into a tool for disciplining the citizens of Paris and how these political changes in the city show themselves in both the content and structure of the literature of the Second Empire.

This fall I will be entering Princeton University's doctoral program in French literature. I intend to continue my research into the relationship between the city and the text with a focus on the 19th and 20th centuries in France."