History, Indiana University, Purdue University-Indianapolis, United States

Fellowship : October 2016 to June 2017

Discipline(s) : History

Pays : United States

Research Project : "The Curiosity of Madeleine Hachard: Networks of Influence and Local Interests in the French Atlantic"

Madeleine Hachard was one of the twelve Ursulines who set sail from the port of Lorient in 1727 to establish a mission in New Orleans, Louisiana. Only a novice at the time, she is famous for being "Louisiana’s first female author" because of the publication in 1728 of letters attributed to her describing the nuns’ voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. This research project reveals that the letters are not by Hachard, but are rather the product of an anonymous editor, one who copied and altered real letters sent to France by Hachard’s Mother Superior, Marie Tranchepain. The editor’s motive was to critique the Ursuline’s Jesuit directors’ morality by parodying letters that were authored by French Jesuit missionaries working in Asia and in the Americas and published under the title Lettres édifiantes et curieuses. In seeking the "culprit" behind the Hachard parody, this project highlights networks of information and power in the 17th and 18th-century French Atlantic World.


Daniella Kostroun is a historian. After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a degree in History from Cornell University (1992), she attended Duke University, where she received an M.A. and Ph.D. in European History. In 1999-2000, she was a dissertation fellow at the Erasmus Institute at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. The following year, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the UCLA Center for Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Studies in Los Angeles, CA. It was here, in the collaborative and interdisciplinary environment at the center, that she began developing research projects related to the Atlantic World in addition to her work on Jansenist women in France. After teaching for two years at Stonehill College in Easton, MA, (2002-2004) she took a position at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis where she is now an Associate Professor. She is the recipient of several grants and awards, and has served on the governing board of the Western Society for French History and on the Editorial Board of French Historical Studies.

Major publications

KOSTROUN, Daniella. Feminism, Absolutism, and Jansenism: Louis XIV and the Port-Royal Nuns, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011,  289 p.

 KOSTROUN, Daniella and Lisa Vollendorf, eds. Women, Religion, and the Atlantic World (1600-       1800), Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009, 352 p.   

KOSTROUN, Daniella. "The Gendered Self and Friendship in Action among the Port-Royal Nuns," in Men and Women Making Friends in Early Modern France, edited by Lewis C. Seifert and Rebecca M. Wilkin, Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2015, pp 189-217.