Margaret Cohen

Margaret Cohen, PhD

  • Andrew B. Hammond Professor in French Language, Literature, and Civilization
  • Professor of Comparative Literature
  • Professor of English
  • Professor, by courtesy, of French and Italian
  • Affiliated faculty at The Europe Center

107 Pigott Hall
Stanford, CA 94305-2031

(650) 724-0106 (voice)


Margaret Cohen is the Andrew B. Hammond Professor of French Language, Literature and Civilization at Stanford University, where she is appointed in English and directs the Center for the Study of Novel. Her current fields of research include the novel and narrative as well as interdisciplinary oceanic studies. In her most recent book, The Novel and the Sea (2010), she revealed the impact of the ship’s log and the history of writing about work at sea on the development of the modern novel. The Novel and the Sea received the Louis R. Gottschalk Prize from the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the George and Barbara Perkins Prize from the International Society for the Study of the Narrative, and an honorable mention from the American Comparative Literature Association.

In The Sentimental Education of the Novel (1999), co-winner of the MLA’s 2000 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Studies, she recovered forgotten sentimental fiction by women writers important to the emergence of French realism. Other books include Profane Illumination: Walter Benjamin and the Paris of Surrealist Revolution (1993), as well as co-edited collections, most recently The Aesthetics of the Undersea (2019) with Killian Quigley, and a Norton critical edition of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary (2004). Professor Cohen has been awarded fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, the ACLS, NYU’s International Center for Advanced Studies, the NEH, the John Carter Brown Library’s Alexander O. Vietor Memorial Fund, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Current projects include a book on the history of underwater film and editingThe Age of Empire for the six-volume A Cultural History of the Sea (Bloomsbury), for which she is general editor as well.


Journal Articles
April 2019

The Underwater Imagination: From Environment to Film Set, 1954–1956

cover link The Underwater Imagination: From Environment to Film Set, 1954–1956
Journal Articles
June 2015

Fish Eye Fish: Diver in Fish Bowl

cover link Fish Eye Fish: Diver in Fish Bowl