Janet R. Horne

Associate Professor of French

(434) 924-7742
317A Cabell Hall
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Field & Specialties

ocial and Cultural History of France (19th and 20th centuries)
Literature and Society
Contemporary France
France in Global Context
French Colonial and Postcolonial Worlds


  • Bachelor of Arts (BA), Brown University
  • Diplôme d’études universitaires générales (D.E.U.G.) Université de Paris-VIII
  • Diplôme d’études approfondies (DEA) Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), New York University


Janet Horne is a social and cultural historian of modern France with a research specialization in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. She has an overarching interest in the history and archeology of modern cultural institutions such as museums and all forms of associational life, both in national and imperial contexts. Her first book, A Social Laboratory for Modern France, focused on the social, political and cultural underpinnings of the French welfare state via a study of social reformers associated with the Musée social. She is currently interested in the history of French as a global language and is engaged in the writing of a cultural and social history of the Alliance Française.

Janet holds a courtesy joint appointment in UVA’s Corcoran Department of History (2002 to present) and is currently serving as the Director of European Studies (2016-2018). In this latter role, she is working with a dynamic team of scholars at UVA to develop a new interdisciplinary MA program in European Studies.

She is also a great believer in the value of living and studying abroad and consequently takes great pleasure in advising students who wish to expand their personal and intellectual horizons in this way. She is the founder and director of the UVA in Lyon exchange and study abroad programs (2000-present) and the UVA summer program in Lyon (2002-present).


Representative Publications


Published in France, with a preface « Le Miroir du Musée social » by Pierre Rosanvallon, as Le Musée social: Aux origines de l’État providence, Editions Belin, 2004 

Reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement; American Historical Review, Journal of Social History; American Journal of Sociology; The Journal of Modern History; French Politics, Culture and Society; Canadian Journal of History/Annales Canadiennes d’Histoire; Nineteenth-Century French Studies; Revue d’histoire modern et contemporaine; Social History; French History; Vie sociale; Le Mouvement social; Sciences Humaines; H-Mediterranean; H-France Review.

  • CURRENT BOOK PROJECT, provisionally entitled: All The World’s An Empire: The Alliance Française and the Making of Global France


  • "Global Culture Fronts: The Alliance Française and the Cultural Propaganda of Free French,"European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire, (forthcoming, 2018)'       
  • To Spread the French Language is to Extend the patrie’: The Colonial Mission of the Alliance Française.” French Historical Studies, vol. 40, no. 1 (Feb. 2017), pp. 95-127.
  • “Laurence Wylie and the Civilizing Mission,” Contemporary French Civilization, vol. 41, nos. 3-4 (Dec. 2016), pp. 397-406.
  • "Dans l'intérêt publlic: Espaces verts et visions de la plannification urbaine au Musée social, 1907-1920." Cités-jardins : Genèse et actualité d’une utopie. Ed. Ginette Baty-Tornikian. Paris : Éditions Recherches/Ipraus, 2001. 73-82.
  • "L'Antichambre de la Chambre: Le Musée social et ses réseaux réformateurs, 1894-1914." Laboratoires du nouveau siècle: La "nébuleuse réformatrice" et ses réseaux en France, 1880-1914. Ed. Christian Topalov. Paris: Éditions de l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences sociales, 1999. 121-140.
  • "In Pursuit of Greater France: Visions of Empire among Musée social Reformers." Domesticating the Empire: Race, Gender, and Family Life in French and Dutch Colonialism. Eds. Julia Clancy-Smith and Frances Gouda. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1998.
  • "Presenting Modern France: The Rhetoric of Reform at the1889 Universal Exhibition," Unfinished Revolutions: Legacies of Upheaval in Modern French Culture. Eds. Robert Denommé and Roland Simon. College Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998.
  • "Le libéralisme à l'épreuve de l'industrialisation: la réponse du Musée social." Le Musée social dans son temps. Paris: Presses de l'École Normale Supérieure, 1998.
  • "Le Musée social à l'origine: les métamorphoses d'une idée, 1889-1900," Le Mouvement social, 171 (August-September 1995): 49-72.

Awards & Honors

  • Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation, University of Virginia (2016, 2017)
  • Sesquicentennial Fellowship, University of Virginia (2012, 2006, 2000)
  • Summer Stipend, University of Virginia, College of Arts and Sciences (2012, 1996, 1993)
  • Dean's Research Grant, University of Virginia, College of Arts and Sciences (2012, 2010, 2009)
  • “Teachers as Writers” grantee, University of Virginia Teaching Resource Center (2009-2010)
  • Study Abroad Teaching Award, University of Virginia (2008)
  • U.S. Fulbright Scholar (2006-2007), French History
  • Teaching With Technology Initiative Fellow, University of Virginia, Teaching Resource Center (1997-1998)
  • Shannon Center for Advanced Studies, Fellow, University of Virginia (1997)
  • Lilly Foundation Teaching Fellow,  University of Virginia Teaching Resource Center (1994-1995)
  • Centre national de recherche scientifique, Travel Grant (1992)
  • Bourse Chateaubriand, French Government (1984-1985)

Courses Taught

Representative Courses

Recently Taught Courses:

  • Modern France in Global Perspective


  • The History of Modern Paris
  • La Laïcité: The Secular Tradition in France
  • France's Mission to Civilize
  • Contemporary France Since 1945
  • The History and Civilization of Contemporary France: 1850-1945


  • Lingua Franca - Language and Nation in Modern France
  • La Laïcité: The Secular Tradition in France
  • French Cultural Studies: A Critical Assessment
  • History, Myth, and Memory in French Cinema
  • Philanthropy, Reform, and Utopia in 19th Century French Literature
  • Constructing the French Past: The Third Republic as an Object of History