Göran Blix studies the tradition of nineteenth-century French prose writing in the context of major historical and political developments. His interests include romanticism, realism, literary aesthetics, the historical imagination, and the relationship between democracy and literature. He has published articles on Balzac, Hugo, Michelet, Flaubert, Tocqueville, the Goncourt brothers, and Zola, among others, and his book on romantic historicism, From Paris to Pompeii: French Romanticism and the Cultural Politics of Archeology (2008), examines the impact of the nascent science of archeology on modern secular attitudes to death, memory, and immortality. He earned a B.A. in Literature from Harvard College (1996), a DEA from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (1998), and a Ph.D. in French from Columbia University (2003). He joined the Department of French and Italian at Princeton University in 2003.
Göran Blix’s recent research interests focus on the fraught relationship between literature and democratization in nineteenth-century France , and especially on how literary and political forms of representation overlap. His current book project, The Heroism of Modern Life, examines literary democratization by looking at changes in the modern conception of the heroic; once a label reserved for great iconic figures, the heroic gradually trickled down to humble, obscure, and low-born characters in the works of Balzac, Hugo, Michelet, Zola, and others, in the course of a large and complex cultural transformation.
Göran Blix has taught undergraduate courses on topics such as memory and modernity, imagined communities, and socially marginal figures, as well as graduate courses devoted to nineteenth-century historicism, the romantic revolution, and the invention of the people.