Masano Yamashita
Associate Professor • Associate Chair, Undergraduate Studies

HUMN 329

Office Hours:

Monday: 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm (virtual)
& by appointment


BA., King’s College London

Ph.D., New York University

Masano Yamashita was born in Japan and educated in the United States, France and England.

Yamashita’s research focuses on eighteenth-century French literature and social thought. She enjoys teaching the French Revolution and human rights, the female Bildungsroman, as well as contemporary cinema and coming-of-age narratives.

Her first book, Jean-Jacques Rousseau face au public: problèmes d’identité (Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2017) studies the communicative, social and literary issues that accompany the development of early modern information societies. In particular, Yamashita interrogates the complexities of writing and performing philosophy in an emergent culture of public information and distracting “noise.”  

Her current book project investigates the relationship between chance, accidents and inequality in eighteenth-century France.

Masano Yamashita's research has appeared, or is forthcoming in L’Esprit Créateur, European Drama and Performance Studies, Forum for Modern Language Studies, Orbis litterarum, as well as in edited volumes on theater and theatricality, and collections devoted to interdisciplinary understandings of Rousseau. She received a Center for the Humanities and the Arts Faculty Fellowship in 2016 and was recently elected to the MLA French Eighteenth-Century Division Executive Committee (2018-2023).

She is currently Vice-President of the Rousseau Association.




Jean-Jacques Rousseau face au public: problèmes d'identité (Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2017. English title. Facing the public: self-fashionings in Jean-Jacques Rousseau).

Recent Articles and Book Chapters:

“Selfhood in the Early Finance Capitalism of Manon Lescaut,” Forum for Modern Language Studies, forthcoming 2020

“Destiny’s Child: Accidents and Repetition in La vie de Marianne,” Orbis Litterarum, vol. 75, issue 3, June 2020, p. 103-113.

Julie, or the New Eloise,” in The Cambridge Guide to the Eighteenth-Century Novel1660-1820, ed. April London, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2020

“Laconism and the Literary Politics of the Social Contract,” Silence, implicite et non-dit chez Rousseau/ Silence, the implicit and the unspoken in Rousseau, ed. Brigitte Weltman-Aron, Ourida Mostefai, Peter Westmoreland, Boston/Leiden: Brill, 2020.

“Fate and Consolation in the Late Rousseau,” Sens Public, September issue, 2019. accessible at

“Rousseau and the mechanical life,” Rousseau, between Nature and Culture: Philosophy, Literature and Politics, eds. Anne Deneys-Tunney and Yves Zarka. Boston, MA: De Gruyter, 2016, p. 67-81.

“Poverty as Spectacle: Marivaux’s Beggars and Chance in Enlightenment Paris,” L’Esprit Créateur, 55.3 (Fall 2015): p. 59-71.

“Mute Performances: Silence and Deafness in Diderot’s Theater Criticism,” European Drama and Performance Studies, n˚2, Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2014, p. 307-325.

“Le philosophe et ses masques: statut du visible et mise en scène de la sincérité chez Rousseau,” Rousseau et le spectacle, eds. Jacques Berchtold, Christophe Martin, Yannick Séïté. Paris: Armand Colin, 2014, p. 371-385.

“Love as habituation in Rousseau,” L’Esprit Créateur, 52.4 (Winter 2012), p. 55-67.

“The Revolutionary Return of the Orator: Public Space and the Spoken Word in the Work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau,” Rousseau and Revolution, eds. Holger Ross Lauritsen and Mikkel Thorup. London and New York: Continuum Studies on Political Philosophy, now Bloomsbury Press, 2011, p. 161-174. 


Rousseau and the perils of public addressMay 3, 2017