Melissa Deininger

Assistant Teaching Professor of International Studies and French


Dept:World Languages And Cultures

Area of expertise: architecture in literature, cultural production, Marquis de Sade, nation and community formation, The French Revolution

Topics of interest: college writing, French history and civilization, French literature and politics, international studies


Dr. Melissa Deininger joined ISU in 2009, after earning her PhD in French Literature and Politics at the University of Pittsburgh. A specialist of the long nineteenth century, Dr. Deininger has taught classes in French history, civilization, literature, and politics. Her research interests include the French Revolution, the Marquis de Sade, cultural production, nation and community formation, and the use of architecture in literature. She has published articles ranging from the Revolution to 21st-century politics in France. She has presented both nationally and internationally on these topics, and is always looking for ways to connect the 18th and 19th centuries to our contemporary world.

Grants and Awards

  • LAS Early Achievement in Teaching Award

  • Engineering and LAS Online Grants

  • Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Grant

Recent / Major Publications

  • "The Marquis de Sade and Twisted Political Protest." Protest in the Long Eighteenth-Century, 2021 (Routledge)

  • “The French Revolution and Modern Propaganda.” MLA Approaches to Teaching the French Revolution, 2018

  • “The Marquis de Sade and the Resurgence of Erotica in Modern Literature.” Invited contribution to special refereed issue of Journal of International Network of Sexual Ethics and Politics 3.1 (2016)
    “ ‘Aures habet et non audiet’: Sound Imagery in Hugo’s Quatrevingt-treize.” Symposium 69.3 (Fall 2015)

  • “Sade’s Interior Motives: The Importance of the Unseen in the Château de Silling.” French Forum 38.3 (Fall 2013)