Faculty Publications


Congratulations to our most recent book authors!

Cynthia J. Brown

The Queen's Library: Image-making at the Court of Anne of Brittany, 1477-1514

Professor Cynthia J. Brown has published The Queen's Library: Image-making at the Court of Anne of Brittany, 1477-1514 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010). In it she examines key cultural issues surrounding female modes of empowerment and book production in the court culture of late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century France. What, her study asks, do the physical characteristics of the books acquired by elite women in the late medieval and early modern periods tell us about their owners, and what in particular can their illustrations—especially their illustrations of women—reveal?

Additional information: University of Pennsylvania Press




Cynthia J. Brown

The Cultural and Political Legacy of Anne de Bretagne: Negotiating Conventions in Books and Documents

Professor Brown is also the editor of The Cultural and Political Legacy of Anne de Bretagne: Negotiating Conventions in Books and Documents (D.S. Brewer, 2010). Taking a variety of cross-disciplinary perspectives, these ten essays by art historians, literary specialists, historians, and political scientists contribute to the ongoing discussion of Anne de Bretagne and seek to prompt further investigations into her cultural and political impact. At the same time, they offer insight of a broader nature into related areas of intellectual interest—patronage, the history of the book, the power and definition of queenship and the interpretation of politico-cultural documents and court spectacles—thereby confirming the extensive nature of Anne's legacy.



Jody Enders

The Farce of the Fart and Other Ribaldries

Professor Jody Enders has published an edition and translation of twelve medieval French plays, entitled The Farce of the Fart and Other Ribaldries (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011). In it she shows that, in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, the sophisticated met the scatological in popular performances presented by roving troupes in public squares that skewered sex, politics, and religion while confronting the real controversies of their day over law, politics, religion, social order, or the battle of the sexes. For centuries, the scripts for these outrageous, anonymously written shows were available only in French editions gathered from scattered print and manuscript sources; they have now been brought back to life! Terry Jones of the Monty Python comedy group writes that The Farce of the Fart "is a real discovery that goes a long way to re-adjusting our perception of the Middle Ages.

Additional information: University of Pennsylvania Press.


Dominique Jullien

Les Amoureux de Schéhérazade


The Thousand and One Nights: no other book, with the possible exceptions of the Bible and the Odyssey, has had such a profound impact on literature since it was first introduced into the Western canon by its French translator, Antoine Galland, in the early years of the 18th century. From Marcel Proust to Salman Rushdie, from Balzac to Naguib Mahfuz, so many writers in love with Scheherazade have sought to reinvent the Nights—without imitating them. Hence the infinite variety of these modern rewritings, which all resemble their model without resembling one another. Here, then, is the story of the French rewriting of the Arabian Nights.

Additional information: Librairie Droz



Dominique Jullien (ed.)

Foundational Texts of World Literature

World literature, first intuited in Goethe's foundational idea of weltliteratur as literature that seeks to transcend national boundaries, is viewed here in its essential mobility and migratory capacity, which relies on the centrality of the reading act. This volume focuses on foundational texts as they are read across cultures, languages and historical contexts. Its goal is to reflect on canonical texts - from Homer's Odyssey to Murasaki's Genji , from Cervantes to Mayan hieroglyphs, from Dante to Coetzee, from Goethe to Lezama Lima, from the Thousand and One Nights to Jorge Luis Borges - in a global perspective: how they are translated, appropriated, transformed, how they travel across different cultures and languages, their foundational status evolving accordingly in a post-European world.

Includes contributions by Gerardo Aldana, Sandra Bermann, Piero Boitani, Michael Emmerich, Azadeh Yamini Hamedani, Stefan Helgesson, Paulo Lemos Horta, Juan Pablo Lupi, Peter Madsen, Ulrich Marzolph, Suzanne Saïd, Evanghelia Stead, Mads Rosendahl Thomsen, and Richard Van Leeuwen.

Additional information: Peter Lang



Didier Maleuvre

The Horizon: A History of our Infinite Longing The Art of Civilization: A Bourgeois History

Professor Didier Maleuvre is the author of The Horizon: A History of our Infinite Longing (University of California Press, 2011). This book invites the reader on a journey through the changing attitudes and ideas concerning the ultimate framework of existence in Western history, posing the horizon as an image of human finitude and limitedness, or, perhaps, as the fraying edge where—shadowed by the unknown, death, the cosmic silence—human knowledge comes to reflect on its ultimate value and purpose. Passing seamlessly from antiquity to the present day, Professor Maleuvre tells the story of the myriad ways in which culture stays in dialogue with the transcendent in order to turn outward, beyond the horizon.

Additional information: University of California Press




The Art of Civilization: A Bourgeois History


In The Art of Civilization (2016), Didier Maleuvre argues that works of art in Western societies from Ancient Greece to the interconnected worlds of the Digital Age have served to rationalize and normalize an engagement with bourgeois civilization and the city. Maleuvre details that the history of art itself is the history civilization, giving rise to the particular aesthetics and critical attitudes of respective moments and movements in changing civilizations in a dialogical mode. Building a visual cultural account of shifting forms of culture, power, and subjectivity, Maleuvre illustrates how art gave a pattern and a language to the model of social authority rather than simply functioning as a reflective one. Through a broad cultural study of the relationship between humanity, art, and the culture of civilization, Maleuvre introduces a new set of paradigms that critique and affirm the relationship between humanity and art, arguing for it as an engine of social reproduction that transforms how culture is inhabited.


Eric Prieto

Literature, Geography, and the Postmodern Poetics of Place


This book opens up an understudied area within the field of literary spatiality: the question of geographical emergence. A study of contemporary literary representations of place, it draws on phenomenological, poststructural, and postcolonial theories of space and place to show how literature contributes to the formation of new geographical identities. With chapters devoted to the in-between spaces of Samuel Beckett, France's suburban ghettoes, and the postcolonial proto-nations of France's Caribbean territories, this study emphasizes literature's ability to subtly but decisively shape readers' attitudes toward the world around them, making it possible to see such places not as defective or derivative versions of established modes of dwelling but as laboratories for the ways of life of tomorrow.

Additional information: Palgrave Macmillan


Skenazi, Aging Gracefully


cynthia skenazi

Aging Gracefully in the Renaissance


In Aging Gracefully in the Renaissance: Stories of Later Life from Petrarch to Montaigne Cynthia Skenazi explores a shift in attitudes towards aging and provides a historical perspective on a crucial problem of our time.
From the late fourteenth to the end of the sixteenth centuries, the elderly subject became a point of new social, medical, political, and literary attention on both sides of the Alps. A movement of secularization tended to dissociate old age from the Christian preparation for death, re-orienting the concept of aging around pragmatic matters such as health care, intergenerational relationships, and accrued insights one might wish to pass along. Such changes were accompanied by an increasing number of personal accounts of later life.

Additional information: Brill

Jon R. Snyder

Love in the Mirror

Professor Jon R. Snyder is the editor and translator of Love in the Mirror (ITER/CRSS, The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series, 2). This bilingual edition of the experimental 1622 comedy by Italy's leading Baroque playwright, G.B. Andreini, is the first work of his to appear in English. It tells the path-breaking story of a passionate love affair between two women in early modern Florence, which takes a number of unexpected twists as it unfolds, subverting traditional views of the relationship between art and life, representation and reality, and the two sexes. Professor Snyder's edition includes a wide-ranging introduction to this avant-garde comic masterpiece, as well as to the life and works of G.B. Andreini. The play, which was adapted into a major motion picture in 1999, pushes far beyond the bounds of commedia dell'arte through its gender-bending illusionism, reminding us of the bonds between the Baroque aesthetic and modernity.

Additional information: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies


Ronald Tobin

Changing Perspectives: Studies on Racine in Honor of John Campbell

Research Professor Ronald W. Tobin is the principal editor of a volume of 17 articles, Including one of his own, entirely devoted to the theater of France’s greatest tragic author, Jean Racine. At the invitation of the French Department at the University of Glasgow, Tobin recruited colleagues from Australia, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States at once to honor a distinguished Racinian and to offer an Etat Présent of Racine studies to specialists and students. From stage to page, the essays reach into the corners of Racine’s oeuvre to illuminate his theater through analyses of his poetics and of his practice when compared to his seventeenth-century rivals and his modern disciples