Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures
Romance Languages and Literatures
Sills Hall - 206
Teaching this semester
AFRS 2409/FRS 2409/LAS 2209. From the Spoken Word to the Written Text
Examines oral and written traditions of areas where French is spoken in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and North America from the Middle Ages to 1848. Through interdisciplinary units, students examine key moments in the history of the francophone world, drawing on folktales, epics, poetry, plays, short stories, essays, and novels. Explores questions of identity, race, colonization, and language in historical and ideological context. Taught in French.
FRS 3203. Murder, Mystery, and Mayhem: The fait divers in French Literature and Film
Examines the fait divers, a news item recounting an event of a criminal, strange, or licentious nature, as a source for literary and cinematographic production. Traces the development of the popular press and its relationship to the rise of the short story. Explores how literary authors and filmmakers past and present find inspiration in the news and render “true stories” in their artistic work. Readings may include selections from Rosset, J-P. Camus, Le Clézio, Cendrars, Beauvoir, Duras, Genet, Modiano, Bon, newspapers, and tabloids.
- A.B. Colby College
- D.E.U.G. Université de Caen
- M.A., Ph. D. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
- 16th and 17th-Century Literature, History and Culture
- Writing the Body in Early Modern Europe
- History of Tattooing in Europe and New France
- Early Modern Demonology and Mysticism
- Popular Culture, Beliefs and Practices
- History of Science—Natural Philosophy, Medicine, Astronomy
- Graffiti, Writing Practices and History of Print
- Early Modern Travel Narratives
- History of Criminal Justice
- French Language, Culture, and Society
- Contemporary France through the Media
- Film Analysis
- 16th and 17th-Century Literature, History and Culture
- Demonology and Representations of the Occult
- Body, Literature and Society
- History of Science
- Popular Press, Literature, and Film
- Witches, Monsters and Demons: Representing the Occult in Early Modern France
- Body Language: Writing Corporeality in Early Modern France and Today
- Murder, Mystery and Mayhem: The fait divers in French Literature and Film
"Marquage du corps et modernité: La flétrissure des condamnés aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles en France." Ecritures du Corps/Writing the Body . Eds. William J. Spurlin, Anne Tomiche, and Pierre Zoberman. Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2013.
"Ventriloquism and the Voice of Authority: Nuns, Demons, and Exorcists in Early Seventeenth-Century France." Forthcoming in Early Modern Convent Voices: The World and the Cloister. Ed. Thomas M. Carr, Jr. EMF: Studies in Early Modern France 11 (2005).
"Crossing Lines, Encouraging Ownership: Teaching the Occult Early Modern." Cahiers du Dix-Septième 10.2 (2006).
"Textual Performance: Imprinting the Criminal Body." In Intersections. Eds. Faith Beasley and Kathryn Wine. Tübingen: Gunter Narr, 2005.
"Femmes lunatiques: Women and the Moon in Early Modern France." Dalhousie French Studies 71 (2005).
"Médiations, figures et expériences de l'autre vie: Jean-Joseph Surin à la rencontre du démoniaque." In L'autre au dix-septième siècle. Eds. Ralph Heyndels and Barbara Woshinsky. Tübingen: Gunter Narr, 1999. 375-84.
"Witches, Monsters, and Demons: Representing the Occult." Exhibit in the John A. and Helen P. Becker Gallery, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, September 30-November 2, 2003, created in conjunction with French 325 students.
Image: CHARLES MERYON The Vampire (Le Styrge) from the collection of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Work in Progress
Under contract with Ashgate Publishing: Signing the Body in Early Modern France (forthcoming 2015)
Signing the Body examines the representation of the body as a literally written or imprinted surface in early modern France. The book explores how the body served in the late 16th through early 18th centuries as a privileged surface for displaying authority and identity in a time of increased circulation of people and goods. The five chapters reveal the construction of the body as text during this period and highlight intersections between early modern writing and marking practices, the rise of print culture, increased state control, and the inscription or impression of bodies. Chapters examine: popular religious and medical practices such as the wearing of texts or the writing of texts on the skin that blur the frontiers between page and skin; the 16th-century invention and deployment by demonologists of the “devil’s mark” on witches; the use of textual and figurative stigmata by women religious of the 17th century; the discussion of tattooing in the travel writing of pilgrims who journeyed to Bethlehem and of those who encountered the native peoples of North America; and the branding of criminals by the state in connection with the rise of print and commercial branding.
Current Book Project: Lunatics: Men, Women and the Moon in Early Modern France
This project examines popular and scientific ideas about lunar influence on women’s and men’s bodies and minds in early modern France, a period when the study of astronomy captivated the European mind while its companion art of astrology still played a major role in how people thought about themselves and their relationships to each other and to the universe. My study explores how the moon became a key vehicle for defining gender and performing social critique during the debates over male-female equality that raged from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, known as the Querelle des femmes. This interdisciplinary investigation puts into dialogue early scientific, popular, literary, and iconographic media to illuminate how both men and women used the trope of the moon and the study of astronomy to negotiate challenges to traditional gender roles and institutions and to raise questions about social norms and intellectual ability.
Articles in Preparation:
“Shooting the Moon: Women Astronomers in Early Modern France.” Under review.
“Physical Graffiti: Writing on Bark, Stone, and Skin in the Pastorale.” Currently under revision.
“Marks of Identity: Pilgrim Tattoos in Early Modern France.” Tattoo History Uncovered: New Archival Research into Skin Inscriptions. Eds. Anna Friedman Herlihy and Amelia Klem Osterud. Editors currently seeking a publisher for the volume.
“Signs of a Cure: Corporeal Marking and Popular Healing in Early Modern Europe.” Currently preparing for submission.
“Plagued by Love: Tales of Infectious Affections.” Currently preparing for submission.
"The Pilgrim's Body: Holy Land Pilgrimage as Embodied Experience," Modern Languages Association, Vancouver, BC, January 8-11, 2015.
“Shooting the Moon: Women Astronomers in Early Modern France,” North American Society for Seventeenth-Century French Literature, Durham, NC, May 15-17. 2014.
“Signs of a Cure: Corporeal Marking and Popular Healing in Early Modern Europe,” Popular Culture Association, Chicago, IL, April 16-19, 2014.
“Signes de vie: Marks on Skin and Identity in Early Modern France.” North American Society for Seventeenth-Century French Literature Annual Conference, Nashville, TN, May 25-27, 2012.
“Marks of Identity: Passports and Tattoos for the Cosmopolitan Traveler.” Society for Interdisciplinary Seventeenth-Century Studies 30th Annual Conference, Lexington, KY, November 3-5, 2011.
“Stigma: Imprinting the Criminal Body in Early Modern France.” Écritures du corps/Writing the Body, International conference organized by the CENEL and the University of Sussex, Université Paris 13, November 18-20, 2010.
“New France Encounters, Old World Practices: Rewriting the Early Modern History of the Tattoo.” Session on “Relating New France in the Seventeenth Century” (presenter and session organizer), Western Society for French History Annual Conference, The University of Laval, Québec, Canada, November 6-9, 2008.
“The Wanderings of the Worn Word.” Society for Interdisciplinary Seventeenth-Century Studies 27th Annual Conference, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, October 23-23, 2008.
“Plagued by Love: Tales of Infectious Affections.” Session on “Disease and Contagion.” The Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies Annual Conference, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, October 12-14, 2006.
“Prêt à porter: The Rhetoric of the Worn Word.” Session on “Rhetoric and the Body,” Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, The University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, April 20-22, 2006.
“Shaping the Woods, (In)Forming the City: Pastoral and Urban Graffiti in Seventeenth-Century France.” Session on “Forms and Shapes / Formes Concrètes,” North American Society for Seventeenth-Century French Literature Annual Conference: “Formes et Formations au XVIIe siècle,” University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, April 14-16, 2005.
“Crossing Lines, Encouraging Ownership: Teaching the Occult Early Modern.” Session on “Teaching the Seventeenth Century,” The Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies Annual Conference, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, October 28-30, 2004.
Organized and chaired two sessions on “Clandestine Voices / Voix clandestines,” The Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies Annual Conference, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, October 28-30, 2004.
Chaired session on “Family Messes,” North American Society for Seventeenth-Century French Literature Annual Conference: “Relations and Relationships,” Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, May 5-8, 2004.
“Textual Performance: Imprinting the Criminal Body.” Session on “Print and Performance,” North American Society for Seventeenth-Century French Literature Annual Conference: “Intersections,” Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, May 8-10, 2003.
“Gendered Impressions: Marking the Body in Early Modern France.” Session on “Gender and Philosophy,” Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, The University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, April 24-26, 2003.
“Stigma: The Criminal Body as a Site of Memory.” Organized and chaired session on “Inscribing Memory on the Body,” The Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies Annual Conference, Tampa, Florida, November 15-17, 2002.
“Demonic Signatures, Divine Stigmata: The Female Body Inscribed.” Session on “Early Modern Women and Gender,” Western Society for French History Annual Conference, Baltimore, Maryland, October 3-5, 2002.
“Gossip and Gossipers in the Court of Louis the XIVth.” Presentation and post-play discussion leader on Molière’s Misanthrope in Portland Stage Company’s “Scholars on Stage” series, October, 2001.
“Femmes lunatiques: Women and the Moon in Early Modern France.” Session on “Reading Signs: Astrology and Superstition,” Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, The University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, April 19-21, 2001.
Organized and chaired session on “Mothers, Maternity, and Births / Mères, maternité et naissances,” The Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies Annual Conference, Bloomington, Indiana, November 2-4, 2000.
“The Possessed Body, Inside Out: Reading, Writing, and Authority in Cases of Demonic Possession.” Session on “Bodies/Borders: Constructing the Corporeal in the Early Modern,” Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, The University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, April 27-28, 2000.
“Fleshy Thresholds and Paratextual Prescriptions: Writing the Body in Cases of Demonic Possession.” Session on “Paratexts and Thresholds / Paratextes et seuils,” The Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies Annual Conference, Lexington, Kentucky, November 11-13, 1999.
“Writing Violence in Women’s Memoirs of Possession.” Organized and chaired session on “Writing Violence,” Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, The University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, April 22-24, 1999.
“Signing the Body: Demonic Wounds and Sacred Scars in Early Modern Possession Narratives.” Session on “Written on the Body,” MLA Convention, San Francisco, California, December 27-30, 1998.
“Medicine at the Margin: Demonic Possession and the Limits of the Natural.” Session on “Science and Frontiers / Science et frontières,” The Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies Annual Conference, Orange, California, October 8-10, 1998.
“Médiations, figures et expériences de l’autre vie: Jean-Joseph Surin à la rencontre du démoniaque.” Session on “Religion et mysticisme,” Centre International de Rencontres sur le XVIIème Siècle, “L’Autre au Dix-Septième Siècle,” Miami, Florida, April 23-25, 1998.
“Voices of Authority: Transgression and Truth-Telling in Seventeenth-Century Cases of Demonic Possession.” Session on “Authority and Transgression / L’autorité et la transgression,” The Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies Annual Conference, New Bern, North Carolina, October 16-18, 1997.
“(Un)veiling the Demonic.” Workshop on “Catholicism Reads Veiled Bodies,” The Rhetorics and Rituals of (Un)Veiling in Early Modern Europe Conference, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, October 3-5, 1997.
“Écriture possédée et reprise de possession: Les mémoires de Sœur Jeanne des Anges (1644).” Colloque “Littératures,” Université de Franche-Comté, Besançon, France, June 1-2, 1997.
“Bodily Fluids and Gender Fluidity: Writing Excess in Sixteenth-Century Medical Discourse.” The Fifth Annual Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Symposium, The University of Miami, Miami, Florida, February 22-24, 1996.
“Translating Texts, Translating Bodies: The Life of Saint Alexis and the Medieval Cult of Relics.” The Second Annual Forum for Graduate Students of French and Francophone Studies, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, May 7, 1994.
- Executive Director and Executive Committee Chair, The Society of Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies, 2005 to present. se17.bowdoin.edu
- Reviewer, Cahiers du dix-septième: An Interdisciplinary Journal , 2009 to present.
- Medieval and Early Modern Studies Program, Bowdoin College.
- President, Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha of Maine, 2012 to present.
- Treasurer, Friends of Tubeho
- Modern Languages Association
- Society for Interdisciplinary Seventeenth-Century French Studies
- Renaissance Society of America
- North American Society for Seventeenth-Century French Literature
- Société Internationale pour l’Étude des Femmes de l’Ancien Régime
- American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages
- Women in French
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Bowdoin Magazine - Winter 2015: Beyond the Language Lab
- Bowdoin News: Scholars Explore Science Before the Scientific Revolution
- Academic Spotlight: Demon Marks Lay Bare the Twisted History of Tattooing
- Katherine Dauge-Roth Receives 2005 Karofsky Award
- Honor's Day Address: Katherine Dauge-Roth
- Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS), Bowdoin College
- Society for Interdisciplinary Seventeenth-Century French Studies