Over the last decade, Claire Nettleton's research has attempted to rectify the disciplinary divide between the arts and the sciences and reveal the tremendous significance of humanistic scholarship for the fields of medicine and environmental studies. Her areas of expertise span from the impact of Darwin's theory of evolution on French literary impressionism to the artistic and ethical implications of CRISPR gene editing. She was featured in an article by Pomona College.
Her first book, The Artist as Animal in Nineteenth-Century French Literature(Palgrave Macmillan, Animals in Literature Series, 2019, ISBN: 978-3-030-19344-7 ) examines literary representations of marginalized artists from the Second Empire to the fin-de-siècle as being animal-like. The fictional relationship between artists and animals, in many ways, transforms from ambivalent to empowering. She argues that the “artist-animal,” an embodiment of artistic liberation within an urban setting, is a significant trope of modernity that resonates today. Pairing 19th-century works with contemporary theories of animals and ecocriticism, she investigates the ways in which the disappearance of wildlife and the emergence of machine technology impacted creative practices.
She is currently editing and contributing to the anthology Viral Culture: How CRISPR Gene Editing and the Microbiome Transform Humanity and the Humanities.(Bloomsbury Press. Biotechne: Interthinking Art, Science and Design Series, 2020), based on a conferences she created at Pomona College. These interdisciplinary think tanks provided a forum for scientists, artists, musicians, philosophers and scholars of literature and film to evaluate the aesthetic and ethical implications for biomedical technology. She also organized the Frankenstein bicentennial event at Pomona, which featured professors of neuroscience, geology, law, French and English discussing the impact of this revolutionary novel in the age of gene editing.
How CRISPR genome editing and microbiome are reshaping humanity and humanities.
The Modern Prometheus at 200, Frankenstein in Film and Contemporary Science.
Henry Greely: The Two Stories of Frankenstein - Which One Should We Heed?
In addition to publishing on art and animals in Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, the Sorbonne’s Revue Histoire Culturelle et Sociale de l’Art and an edited volume titled French Ecocriticism (Peter Lang 2016), she has published on early cars and vanguard aesthetics for Nineteenth Century French Studies and the relationship between the decline of the Bièvre River in Paris and the rise of Decadent fiction for Dix-Neuf.
Nettleton is also a passionate and experienced teacher of the French language, having taught for four years as a visiting assistant professor at Scripps College with joint appointments at Harvey Mudd College and Claremont McKenna College, one year as an instructor at Université Paris X Nanterre and for five years as an assistant lecturer at the University of Southern California, where she completed her Ph.D. in French in 2010. Even at the beginning and intermediate levels, her courses integrate visual art, literary excerpts and film clips to increase language proficiency and to promote students’ appreciation for diverse aspects of French and Francophone culture.