Université de Montréal (Department of History)

Susan Dalton is an associate professor in the History Department at the Université de Montréal, and was Principal Investigator in this team’s emergent phase. She works on political culture, sociability, and gender in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century France and the Veneto. Building on her previous work on French and Venetian salon women’s correspondence (Engendering the Republic of Letters, McGill-Queen’s 2003), she is currently examining the links between civility and aesthetics in the published writing of two Venetian salon women: Isabella Teotochi Albrizzi (1760-1836) and Giustina Renier Michiel (1755-1832). Although their writing took on a number of forms (including descriptions of festivals and sculptures, literary portraits, and translation), they all encouraged readers to identify with moral models presented in human form. Furthermore, in each text, Renier Michiel and Teotochi Albrizzi pushed their audience to read aesthetically by monitoring their emotional reactions to the authors, characters, and revellers the women had reproduced on the page. By charting the evolution in the type of model and the nature of identification over time, Susan Dalton argues that it is possible to find the origins of nineteenth-century Italian romantic nationalism in eighteenth-century Enlightenment universalism.