Rhonda Garelick

Professor Duwain E. Hughes, Jr. Distinguished Chair for English Professor of Journalism, by courtesy, in the Meadows School of the Arts



Office Location

DH 233




Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. in French and Comparative Literature, Yale University
Doctoral studies, on French government fellowship, Ecole Normale Supérieure
M.A. degree studies in literature and art history, University of Paris VII

Rhonda Garelick is the D.E. Hughes Jr. Distinguished Chair for English at SMU.  She writes and teaches in a wide range of fields including modernist and contemporary literature; European history; visual art; popular culture; fashion; style; politics; theater, dance, and performance; and women’s studies.

Professor Garelick is the author of three monographs: Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History (Random House), a political and critical biography; Electric Salome: Loie Fuller’s Performance of Modernism (Princeton University Press), awarded Outstanding Title in the Humanities and Performing Arts by Choice; and Rising Star: Dandyism, Gender, and Performance in the Fin de Siècle (Princeton University Press), winner of the Kayden Prize for Outstanding Manuscript in the Humanities. She has also edited collections on art, literature, and fashion, including Fabulous Harlequin: ORLAN and the Patchwork Self, contributed essays to museum catalogues in the United States and Europe, and written many book chapters and scholarly articles.

Professor Garelick’s New York Times column “Face Forward,” is devoted to the intersection of fashion, media, style, and politics. For five years, she wrote the “Reading the Signs” column for New York Magazine’s “The Cut.”  Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair, Salon; The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic and many other venues. She is interviewed frequently in the press and in documentary films, and is currently a writing consultant for Apple+ TV’s upcoming series, “The New Look,” about European fashion.

In addition to her academic and writing career, Professor Garelick has been an international corporate consultant, working in market research, branding, strategy, and crisis management—for industries such as television, fashion, cosmetics, banking, insurance, and publishing.

She is currently at work on a book about the relationship of fashion to global politics.

Prior Positions:

Parsons/The New School: Dean of the School of Art and Design History and Theory and Professor of Fashion and Design Studies, 2019-2022

NYU/Gallatin School: Guess Visiting Distinguished Chair of Fashion Studies, 2017-2018

Princeton University: Stanley Kelly Jr. Visiting D Professor of Distinguished Teaching in Comparative Literature, 2015-2016

The Graduate Center of the City University of New York: Visiting Professor of Theater Studies: 2014

University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Professor of English and Performing Arts and Director and Founder of the Interdisciplinary Arts Symposium, 2008-2018

Connecticut College: Associate Professor and Chair of French, 1998-2008

Columbia University: Visiting Professor of Theatre Studies, 2002


Yale University: Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. in French and Comparative Literature

Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris: Doctoral studies, on French government fellowship

University of Paris VII: Masters degree studies in literature and art history


National Magazine Award Nomination for “Best Criticism,” nominated by New York Magazine for “Reading the Signs,” cultural criticism column in “The Cut,” 2019

Fellow, New York Institute for the Humanities, elected May 2017

French Heritage Literary Award Shortlisted (one of five), for Mademoiselle, 2017

NEA, Excellence in Arts Presentation Award, For the Interdisciplinary Arts Symposium, 2010

Outstanding Academic Title in the Humanities/Performing Arts, awarded to Electric Salome by Choice Magazine and the American Library Association, 2008

John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, 2005 (deferred to 2006)

Dedalus Foundation Senior Fellowship (one of two given annually for studies in modern art

American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 2005 – 2006

Getty Research Institute Visiting Scholar, Residential Fellowship, 2005

American Association of University Women Fellowship, 1993 – 1994

Gilbert Chinard Prize: For excellence in French Cultural Studies, 1993

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