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Willa Z Silverman

Willa Z Silverman

Malvin E. and Lea P. Bank Professor of French and Jewish Studies

Head, Department of French and Francophone Studies

437 Burrowes Building
Office Phone: (814) 863-9660


  1. Ph.D., New York University, French Studies, 1988
  2. M.A.., New York University, French Studies, 1983
  3. B.A., Harvard University, History and Literature, 1981


Dr. Silverman's fields of specialization include French society, culture and politics, 1870-1914, the Dreyfus Affair, Art Nouveau, history of the book/print culture studies and France and the Holocaust. She is the author of The Notorious Life of Gyp: Right-Wing Anarchist in Fin-de-Siècle France (Oxford UP, 1995 and in French translation: Gyp, La dernière des Mirabeau, with a preface by Michel Winock [Plon-Perrin, 1998]); The New Bibliopolis: French Book Collectors and the Culture of Print, 1880-1914 (U of Toronto P, 2008), which received the 2009 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Studies, awarded by the Modern Language Association; and Henri Vever, champion de l'Art nouveau (Armand Colin, 2018), which was the subject of a 2018 symposium at the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris. She has published articles in Book HistoryDix-NeufContemporary French Civilization, Historical Reflections/Réflexions historiquesNineteenth-Century Art WorldwideNineteenth-Century French Studies and Quaerendo. In 2017 Dr. Silverman was a Visiting Fellow at the Van Gogh Museum, where she led a seminar entitled "Life and Art in Belle Époque Paris: Collectors, Decorative Arts, Esthetics." She is currently working on a book about Franco-American culinary exchanges from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. She regularly takes groups of students to Paris to deepen their understanding of France's experience of the Holocaust (


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