©Marva A. Barnett

"Aimer, c'est agir," wrote Victor Hugo three days before his death on May 22, 1885. "To love is to act." An aphorism highly appropriate to Hugo's life and wonderfully open to interpretation, these words summarize well what moves me professionally. Because I believe in young people's potential to learn, grow and contribute in marvelous ways, I teach. Because I care about France, the Francophone world and the importance of cross-cultural understanding, I teach French language, literature and culture. Because I marvel at the beauty, timelessness and power of Victor Hugo's work, I promote understanding of his genius, most recently with Victor Hugo on Things That Matter (Yale University Press, 2009) . And because I love teaching and believe in its potential to improve lives, I established and direct the University of Virginia Teaching Resource Center.

My teaching and research are synergistic both conceptually and pragmatically. I encourage the sharing of ideas, not the proprietary hoarding of them, because ideas call each other forth. Open lines of communication, branched jointly among students and teacher/researcher, broaden the
whole field of inquiry. (For details, see My Teaching Informed by My Research: A Portfolio.)

"Allumons les esprits, c'est notre loi première."
["Let's light up minds; that's our primary law."]

Victor Hugo, "Ecrit après la visite d'un bagne", Les Quatre
Vents de l'esprit
, 1881.
Chanté par Alain Lecompte, Hugo Live


Site created by Jann Lacoss, Bill Murad, Marva Barnett, and Lindsey Benson. Last update 6 May 2010.