Languages, Literature, and Living Abroad: Cultivating One’s Garden in our Global World, featuring Chloe Summers Edmondson

“The tools that you gain through studying the humanities are going to serve you in any career that you have…the ability to write and express clearly, to communicate clearly, to solve problems that have no clear answers, to collaborate with others and to think critically. And I think that studying abroad… the skills that it takes, and the tools that you gain that are required to have a positive study abroad experience, are tools that will serve you in any career.” Chloe Summers Edmondson

In this special video episode, recorded via Zoom this past January, Chloe reflects upon how her time abroad, both in Florence and Paris, impacted her professional and personal path and continues to do so to this day. We muse on the power of learning a foreign language, the cruciality of spending time in another country, and why studying the humanities is more important than ever right now. Chloe also speaks about her approach to teaching, and I ask her to tell us more about her incredible classes and how she is bringing a new generation of students closer to the humanities, guiding them on a journey of historical awareness that leads them to a profound understanding of the value of the humanities and their relatability to today’s world and its problems. She also shares with us her current research interests, her take on what we can learn from the past, and how she frames contemporary media issues through an historical and interdisciplinary lens. Chloe also ruminates on storytelling through time, what she’s doing to bring her research to a broader public and explains why it’s so necessary to cultivate one’s own garden in our global world.

Biography and Links

Dr. Chloe Summers Edmondson is an interdisciplinary and multilingual scholar who specializes in the literature and history of France. Her research is situated at the crossroads of literary criticism, cultural history, and media studies, with a focus on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France. She currently holds the position of Acting Assistant Professor of French at Stanford University. She is also the France-Stanford Center Fellow for the Roxane Debuisson Collection on Paris History. Lastly, Chloe is the Director of the Undergraduate Research Program for CESTA, the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis. She is the author of articles that have been published in multiple academic venues. Chloe co-edited, with Dan Edelstein, the volume, Networks of Enlightenment: Digital Approaches to the Republic of Letters (Liverpool University Press/ Voltaire Foundation, 2019). Her current research has also been featured on the podcast Entitled Opinions about Life and Literature. Chloe earned a Ph.D. in the Department of French & Italian at Stanford in 2020. She also holds a B.A. in French, with Honors and Distinction, and a M.A. in Communication, both from Stanford. During her time as an undergraduate student, she studied abroad in Florence and in Paris through the Stanford Bing Overseas Studies Programs.


Personal Website

Stanford profile

@Chloe_mhse Entitled Opinions

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