Iran as a Woman’s Career:
The Exceptional Case of Jane Dieulafoy (1851–1916)
The life and work of Jane Dieulafoy, a writer, archaeologist and women’s activist who is largely forgotten today. I shall be focusing on three chapters of Dieulafoy’s career that were devoted to Iran: her debut as a travel writer (1881–1882); her participation in the first French archaeological mission at Susa (1884–1886); and her efforts to disseminate Achaemenid history to a wider audience by writing a novel and then staging it in collaboration with Camille Saint-Saëns (1890–1902).
In these three stages of her career, Jane Dieulafoy was not only becoming one of the foremost experts on contemporary and ancient Iran of her time, but she was also carving a space for women outside the domestic sphere. I will argue that Dieulafoy’s sustained engagement with Iranian culture and history allowed her to challenge gender hierarchies in a far more complex and engaging manner than she was able to do in her more overt campaigns for women’s rights. Julia Hartley
Dr Hartley grew up in Brussels where she was raised in English and Italian by my parents and went to French-speaking schools. After taking her doctorate in Medieval & Modern French and Italian at Oxford she arrived at Warwick in 2018 as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, to work on French perceptions of Iran in the nineteenth century..
Her main research focus at present is her Leverhulme project, entitled ‘West-Eastern Encounters: Iran in French Literature (1829-1908)’, which looks at the reception of Persian literature and the perception of Iran in French literature in the nineteenth century, including fiction, poetry, essays, travel writing, and drama.
Sa’di at Large’, special issue of Iranian Studies journal.
‘Beyond Orientalism: When Desbordes-Valmore Carried Sa’di’s Roses to France’, Iranian Studies 52 (July 2019).