Born and educated in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, Denise Rochat joined the faculty of Smith College in 1981.
Professor Rochat taught French language at all levels, as well as literature and culture from the Middle Ages to contemporary French and Francophone fiction and cinema, with special emphasis on the 19th- and 20th-century French novel, Quebec literature and the development of the short story as a genre. She directed the Smith Study Abroad Program in Paris in 2001–02 and 2004–05; and in Geneva in 1989–90, 1994–95 and 2013–14.
Rochat's scholarly work focuses on poets and writers from France, Switzerland and Quebec. Her essays on René Char, Philippe Jaccottet, Gustave Roud, Corinna Bille, Anne Hébert, Hubert Aquin and Monique Proulx have appeared in journals in the United States, Canada and Europe.
Since 2015, Rochat has served as a contributor to the Bibliothèque numérique romande, helping the BNR to provide free digital access to French-language works and translations in the public domain.
Recent BNR Contributions
“Victor Hugo, Histoire d’un crime.” Volume 1; volume 2 (forthcoming 2023–24).
“C.-F. Ramuz, Le Village dans la montagne, La Grande Guerre du Sondrebond.” (7 october 2022)
“Simone Weil, Écrits politiques et historiques (Histoire).” (31 December 2021)
“Jean-Jacque Rousseau, Essai sur l’origines des langues.” (14 December 2020)
“Madame de Staël. Dix années d’exil.” (13 July 2017)
“Alexandre Dumas. Filles, lorettes et courtisanes.” (29 May 2017)
“Isabelle de Charrière. Lettres trouvées dans des portefeuilles d’émigrés.” (27 mars 2017)
“Chateaubriand, Le Voyage en Italie (suivi du Voyage à Clermont et du Voyage au Mont-Blanc).” (2 May 2016)
“Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Rousseau juge de Jean-Jacques, dialogues”. (3 December 2015)
“Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Du contrat social ou principes du droit politique.” (22 June 2015)
“Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Émile, ou de l’éducation.” Livres III à V (13 April 2015).