A native of Belgium, Janie Vanpée earned an A.B. from Smith College and a M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale University.
Professor Vanpée's scholarly work focuses on problems of representation in the 18th-century novel and theatre. Her essays on Rousseau's Emile, ou de l'Éducation; Laclos's Liaisons Dangereuses; the painter Jean-Baptiste Greuze; the revolutionary pamphleteer, playwright and feminist, Olympe de Gouges; and on the Encyclopédie, have appeared in journals such as Eighteenth-Century Studies, Eighteenth-Century Fiction, L'Esprit Créateur, Theatre Journal, Modern Language Studies and Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century. She is also the co-editor, with E. S. Burt, of "Reading the Archive: On Texts and Institutions" in Yale French Studies.
Vanpée joined the Smith faculty in 1985 and has taught intermediate language courses, the French immersion January interterm course, as well as courses that highlight the literature and culture of the French enlightenment. She participates regularly in the comparative literature program, teaching courses on the epistolary novel, the picaresque novel and contemporary literary theory.
Vanpée directed the Smith Junior Year Abroad Program in Paris in 1999-2000 and again in 2003-04.