Professor Graham teaches classes on the political and social history of early modern Europe (1550-1815). She rotates surveys of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with a class on the French Revolution. She also teaches "Gender, Sex, and Power in Early Modern Europe" that introduces students to gender theory and its impact on historical thought and method. She offers seminars on Law, Crime and Police in Early Modern Europe; Cultures of Resistance; and Libertinage and Modernity. Her classes reflect her interests in cultural history and encourage interdisciplinary readings and projects.
Professor Graham's research focuses on the political culture of eighteenth-century France. Her first book used police records of individuals arrested for crimes of seditious speech to identify shifting attitudes toward the king and his government. She has recently published articles in French and English that explore the relationship between law and literature in eighteenth-century France. She won a Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship from the ACLS in 2003 to support her current project entitled The Economy of Pleasure in Eighteenth-Century France. This book traces debates about pleasure in France from the reign of Louis XIV to the Revolution of 1789. The book finds evidence of anxiety about pleasure in discussions of fiction, marriage, sexuality, commercial society, and government. These tensions suggest that much of what we take as "modern" rests on Enlightenment efforts to discipline the human drive to pleasure.
- If the king only knew : seditious speech in the Reign of Louis XV (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2000)
- “Les Témoins dans le Droit et la Littérature: La Construction de l'Initmité dans la France du 18e Siècle,” Dix-Huitième Siècle 39(2007): 123–138.
- “Fiction, Kingship and the Politics of Character in Eighteenth-Century France,” in Mystifying the Monarchy: Studies on Discourse, Power and History, ed. by Gita Deneckere and Jeroen Deploige (Amsterdam University Press, 2006), 139–58.
- “Scandal: Law, Literature, and Morality in the Early Enlightenment,” in The Tensions of Interdisciplinarity, ed. Julia V. Douthwaite and Mary Vidal (Oxford: The Voltaire Foundation, 2005), 217–42.