Profile: Dr. Julie Arnold
Dr. Julie Arnold, professor of French, makes a conscientious effort to combine research and teaching. Trained broadly as a scholar of French studies, Arnold offers courses on French and Francophone civilization, art, film, and literature. Students also appreciate her spring term travel courses to Quebec and Paris. Her published book, Art Criticism as Narrative: Diderot’s Salon de 1767, reflects her interest in the blurring of boundaries between art and literature.
Although Arnold has studied in Europe and traveled extensively, she grew up in Alma and has long been a member of the College community. “Alma College was my playground as a child, my wide-angle lens as a student, and it remains my supportive community of learning and fellowship as a faculty member,” she says, adding: “The Wizard of Oz exhorts Dorothy and her friends not to ‘look behind the curtain.’ Alma College taught me the importance of looking behind the curtain—and I’m still looking!”
Rock climbing is one of many activities Arnold enjoys with her husband and stepson. “It is an exhilarating sport,” she says, smiling, “because you see beautiful vistas and because it demands absolute communication between mind and body.” She also enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, cycling, and she plays folk guitar and hammered dulcimer.
Arnold’s community service includes participation on committees, translation for local businesses, and the maintenance of a mile-long rail trail section with her husband. She has worked on numerous ballot initiatives and expresses her concerns to senators and representatives on a regular basis. “Informing oneself and being engaged in issues that affect our daily lives is an important responsibility of citizenship,” she says.