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Cécile Alduy



110 Pigott Hall

Office Hours:

On leave

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Affinity links:

French Studies; Renaissance Literature; Poetry
and Semiotics (Renaissance and Contemporary); Representationsof the Body; Early Modern Medicine and Obstetrics; Concepts of Selfand Nation; Immigration; Feminisms

Cécile Alduy

Associate Professor of French

On leave 2014-2015

Professor Alduy works primarily on 16th and contemporary French literature and culture. In a nutshell, she is interested in the long and short-term cultural history of gender, letters and politics in France. Areas of interests include the history and mythology of national and ethnic identities since the Renaissance, the fabric and impact of political discourse, 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 is a regular contributor to The Atlantic, The Nation, the New Yorker's newsdesk, the New York Times, Al Jazeera America, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Boston Review, Le Monde, ELLE and the San Francisco Chronicle. She has a blog on contemporary culture, technology, and literature on Arcade. She has commented current political news on KQED's Forum, CBS News, abc 7, France 24, CCTV America, and the Julianna Forlano Show. 

Her latest book, Marine Le Pen prise aux mots: décryptage du nouveau discours frontiste (Marine Le Pen's Words: Decoding the New National Front Discourse),  is out with Seuil Publisher in February 2015. She has created a website, decodingMarineLePen, to present on-going research results related to this project.  

Her previous book, The Politics of Love: Poetics and Genesis of the "Amours" in Renaissance France (1549-1560) (Geneva: Droz, 2007), 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.

She is an affiliated scholar at the Freeman Spogli Institute as well as a memeber of the Executive Committee of the France-Stanford Center For Interdisciplinary Studies.  


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


FRENCH 122 Nation in Motion: Film, Race and Immigration in Contemporary French Cinema (CSRE 65)

An examination of the current debates in France regarding national identity, secularism, and the integration of immigrants, notably from the former colonies. Confronts films' and other media's visual and discursive rhetorical strategies used to represent ethnic or religious minorities, discrimination, citizens' resistance to government policies, inter-racial marriages, or women's rights within immigrant communities. By embodying such themes in stories of love, hardships, or solidarity, the motion pictures make the movements and emotions inherent to immigration tangible: to what effect? Taught in French. Films in French with English subtitles. Additional paper for students enrolled in 235.



Gregory Haake

Cécile Tresfels

Cici Malik

Fatoumat Seck