Dr. Dean de la Motte

Professor, Modern Languages

Contact Information:

Room 307
(401) 341-2473


B.A. in comparative literature, University of California, Santa Barbara (1983)
M.A. in comparative literature, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1985)
Ph.D. in comparative literature, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1990)

Research Interests:

As a teacher I have always been a "generalist," teaching across the curriculum in French literature and language as well as humanities courses, but my research and publications are almost exclusively in the area of 19th-century France. I am most interested in how technological, social and political changes (industrialization, revolution, democratization and the rise of mass culture, for example) are related to the evolution of the novel as a genre. In much of my research, I have focused on how the notion of "progress" - a relatively new and contested idea at the time of the Enlightenment - increasingly comes to permeate all aspects of the 19th-century culture, from the rise of consumer capitalism to the subject matter of novels, including the birth of modern science fiction with Jules Verne. I have a great interest in the teaching of literature as well, and have published a number of articles on this topic, also co-editing a volume of "Approaches to Teaching Stendhal's 'The Red and the Black'" (New York: MLA, 1999).  More recently, I have moved from the pure study of literature to creative writing, publishing a historical novel entitled "Oblivion: The Lost Diaries of Branwell Brontë" (Scarborough, UK: Valley Press, 2022).


Personal Statement:


My junior year of study in France, at the University of Poitiers, transformed my life and charted the future course of my studies, and I have been involved in international programs for most of my career, both as a faculty leader and an administrator. I plan to create and lead programs abroad in the future and, more generally, I encourage all students to spend time studying in another country. 

Salve's students come from diverse backgrounds, and will go on to a wide range of careers. Helping them achieve a heightened, more critical understanding of the world around them through the serious study of language and literature - regardless of their major - is a challenge and a pleasure.