Jody Enders

Distinguished Professor
Director of The Public Speaking Initiative

Office Hours

Varies from quarter to quarter as posted

Office Location

Phelps 5327


Distinguished Professor of French and Theater

Director, The Public Speaking Initiative
Affiliate of the Department of English
Affiliate of Medieval Studies Program



  • University of Pennsylvania, 1980-86
    Ph.D. in Romance Languages, 1986
  • University of Virginia, 1973-80
    M.A. in French Literature, 1979
    B.A. in French, Russian summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1977
  • Université de Paris III, Institut de Langues et Civilisations Orientales, 1975-76



Academic Distinctions and Awards

  • Barnard Hewitt Award, 2003, for outstanding research in Theater History and Cognate Studies, from the American Society of Theatre Research for Death by Drama and Other Medieval Urban Legends
  • Honorable Mention for the Joe A. Callaway Prize for Best Book in Drama or Theatre
  • Finalist for George Freedley Memorial Award from the Theatre Library Association
  • John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, 1999 for Death by Drama and Other Medieval Urban Legends
  • Inaugural Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize, 1993, French and Francophone Studies, awarded by the Modern Language Association, to Rhetoric and the Origins of Medieval Drama
  • Official Visitor to the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University. Spring, 1997
  • Mary Isabel Sibley Award from the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, 1986-87

Research Interests

  • Medieval theater and performance; medieval French literature
  • Translating theater; translation studies
  • Theater history; history of comedy
  • History of rhetoric
  • Performance theory
  • Interrelations of law and literature


  • Classroom Farces: A Dozen More Medieval French Comedies in Modern English. (In progress)
  • Norton Anthology of Rhetoric and Writing (co-ed.). Norton, forthcoming.
  • Trial by Farce: A Dozen Medieval French Comedies in Modern English. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2022.
  • Immaculate Deception and Further Ribaldries: Yet Another Dozen Medieval French Plays in Modern English. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021.
  • A Cultural History of Tragedy: The Middle Ages (co-ed.). Bloomsbury, 2019
  • Holy Deadlock and Further Ribaldries: Twelve More Medieval French Plays in Modern English. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017
  • A Cultural History of Theatre: The Middle Ages (ed.) Bloomsbury, 2017.
  • The Farce of the Fart and Other Ribaldries: Twelve Medieval French Plays in Modern English. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011
  • Murder by Accident: Medieval Theater, Modern Media, Critical Intentions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009
  • Death by Drama and Other Medieval Urban Legends. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002
  • The Medieval Theater of Cruelty: Rhetoric, Memory, Violence. 1999; rpt. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2002
  • Rhetoric and the Origins of Medieval Drama. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992
  • & many articles in such journals as Mediaevalia, Modern Language Quarterly, Rhetorica, Theatre Journal, Yale French Studies
  • Editor, special issue of Theater Survey, 45.2 (November 2004): "Theater History in the New Millenium"

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The Public Speaking Initiative: Public Speaking Across the Curriculum 

            At a moment when the University of California is rising to the challenges posed by the twenty-first century, real communication has never been more urgent. For our undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows, so too is training in effective public speaking, which is as foundational to law, politics, and art as it is to virtually any field, career, industry, or community. Thus, UCSB renews its commitment to this cornerstone of our curriculum with a UC-wide approach to the history, theory, and practice of the time-honored rhetorical art of oral persuasion.


Thanks to generous support from UCOP and from UCSB’s Office of Undergraduate Education and Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, The Public Speaking Initiative is designed to foster creative collaboration in civic persuasion. A coalition of scholars from such Departments and Programs as Communication, English, Foreign Languages, History, Theater, Writing, and various interdisciplinary units is dedicated to these core goals:


·      To help our students empower themselves as articulate citizens on their campuses, in their nations, and in their world

·      To teach, foster, and model open, respectful conversation with all types of listener, including those with whom the speaker disagrees

·      To share our research on the history, theory, pedagogy, and practice of oral communication

·      To devise and facilitate strategies for system-wide implementation of curricula in public speaking

·      To explore partnerships with local commerce and nonprofits as well as vocational and avocational societies

·      To amplify grant recipients’ expertise in the public outreach increasingly mandated by national granting agencies

·      To continue to sustain UC’s mission of diversity through campus workshops for advocacy- and special interest groups.


Consistent with the purpose of UCOP’s Research Opportunity Funds—to  “increase UC’s competitiveness, advance research discoveries, impact the lives of Californians, inform public policy or support innovative graduate student research”—we believe that face-to-face conversation must play its part in that mission. On behalf of the Steering Committee (Leo Cabranes-Grant, Spanish and Portuguese, Theater and Dance; James Donelan, Writing; Norah Dunbar, Communication; Eric Jorgensen, Graduate Representative; Madeleine Sorapure, Writing; and William Warner, English), we welcome questions and invite you to join us in our work.       


                        Jody Enders, Director, The Public Speaking Initiative

                        Distinguished Professor of French




English 18/Writing 18: PUBLIC SPEAKING





Selected Recent Courses Taught





Spring 2016


Advanced Public Speaking

Winter 2016

ENG 18

Introduction to Public Speaking


FR 147b

La Comédie à travers les âges

Fall 2015

FR 104a

Advanced Critical Writing in French

Spring 2015

FR 101a

Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance French Literature

Winter 2015

FR 151A

Medieval Urban Legends


FR 153a

Medieval French Farce in English Translation

Fall 2014

FR 26

Advanced French Grammar  Composition

Spring 2014

FR 148A

Law and Literature in the Middle Ages

Winter 2010

FR 227C

Medieval Theater and Theatricality

Fall 2008

FR 227A

Introduction to Old French

Fall 2007

FR 233A

Advanced Critical Writing for Graduate Students