French Studies; Renaissance Literature; Poetry

Cécile Alduy

portrait: Cécile Alduy

110 Pigott Hall

Office Hours: 
By appointment
Focal Group(s): 
Digital Humanities
Focal Group(s): 
Humanities Education
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Professor Alduy works primarily on French Literature, the history of the body and its representations, and the long and short-term cultural history of gender, letters and politics in France. Areas of interests includes the history and mythology of national and ethnic identities since the Renaissance, the intersection between cultural, literary and medical discourses on gender and the body, poetry and poetics, narrative forms and their discontent, French cinema and contemporary French literature.

Prof. Alduy maintains a blog on contemporary culture, technology, and literature on Arcade and is a contributor to the New Yorker's blog, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Boston Review,  Zyzzyvas, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Her new research project is called "Identity Politics: Marine Le Pen and the Makeover of the National Front in France."

Her last book is The Politics of Love: Poetics and Genesis of the "Amours" in Renaissance France (1549-1560) (Geneva: Droz, 2007). It  examines how the poetics of French Petrarchan love collections was exploited by the generation of Ronsard and Du Bellay to promote a nationalist agenda, that of a "Defense and Illustration of the French Tongue" and its cultural supremacy.

She has published extensively on the works of Marot, Scève, Du Bellay, Ronsard, Louise Labé, La Boétie, Montaigne, Rabelais, and Philippe Jaccottet among others. Her publications also include a revised critical edition of Maurice Scève's Délie (Paris: STFM, 2001) and a comprehensive study of all works written by or on Scève from his lifetime to the present (Maurice Scève. Roma: Memini, 2006). She has served as guest editor of two collected volumes: a special issue of Réforme Humanisme Renaissance entitled "Licences et censures poétiques. La littérature érotique et pornographique vernaculaire à la Renaissance" (vol. 69, 2009); and the proceedings of the 2008 interdisciplinary conference Between Experience and Experiment In The Early Modern World, co-edited with Roland Greene and published in Republic of Letters (2010).

In recent work, she expands the traditional field of Renaissance poetics by exploring new areas of inquiry: multi-authored collections as polemical proto-media (The Anatomical Blazons); the intersection between the emerging field of obstetrics, its book market, and the pre-history of obscenity and pornography ("Archeology of a Close-up"); the instability of gender in male and female lyrics ("The Anatomy of Gender"); or the economy of poetic production ("Self-Sustainable Economies," RQ. 2010).

Prof. Alduy was the Director of the Center of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (CMEMS) from 2010 to 2013.


2003: Docteur ès Lettres (Ph. D.), University of Reims, France - cum laude
1999: D.E.A., French Literature, University of Paris III - Sorbonne Nouvelle, cum laude
1994-1999: École Normale Supérieure (Ulm), Paris, France.
1997: Agrégation de Lettres Modernes (Rank: 2nd)
1996: Maîtrise (B.A.), Paris VII - Sorbonne Nouvelle


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