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Cécile Alduy



110 Pigott Hall

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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

Director, French and Italian


Professor Alduy is a specialist of French Renaissance Literature and contemporary French politics and culture, particularly political discourse analysis of the far right and presidential campaigns.

Overall, she works on notions of "nationhood", "identity," on cultural and political constructions and mythologies of "Frenchness" at critical junctures of France's cultural history. Areas of interests include the history and mythology of national and ethnic identities since the Renaissance, far right ideology and rhetoric (National Front), the relations between cultural, literary and medical discourses on gender and the body in early modern Europe, poetry and poetics, narrative forms and their discontent, French cinema and contemporary French literature.

Her latest book, Marine Le Pen prise aux mots. Décryptage du nouveau discours frontiste (Paris: Seuil, 2015), which received international coverage, decrypts the new rhetoric of the National Front using digital humanities and textual analysis. The website decodingMarineLePen presents on-going research, bibliographies and ressources related to this project. She has written a profile of Marine Le Pen for The Atlantic, as well as many investigative, analytical and opinion pieces on the National Front in Le Monde, Politico, The Nation, Al Jazeera America, L'Obs, etc. 

Prof. Alduy is a regular contributor to The Atlantic, The Nation, the New Yorker's blog, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Boston ReviewLe Monde, and the San Francisco Chronicle She has a blog on contemporary culture, technology, and literature on Arcade. She has commented current French political news on NPR, the BBC, KQED's Forum, CBS News, abc 7, France 24, CCTV America, BFM tv, itélé, LCP, France Culture, France Inter, Europe A, and the Julianna Forlano Show among others.  She has a blog on contemporary culture, technology, and literature on Arcade. 

She is co-editing with Dominic Thomas and Bruno Cornellier a special issue of the journal "Occasions" on “The Charlie Hebdo Attacks and their Aftermath” that gathers over a dozen essays from French, Canadian, American and English intellectuals from all horizons. 

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.

In Renaissance studies, 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).

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 member 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
Vanessa Glauser
Cici Malik
Fatoumat Seck