I maintain interests both in foreign language teaching and in Renaissance literature. After my father's retirement from Indiana University, I enjoyed the responsibility of preparing the second, and more recently the third edition of his textbook, L'Art de Lire (Prentice Hall). It was also my father who handed me the materials for the first of my two critical editions, the Descriptions poëtiques (1649) by the little-known poet Jean de Bussières. The book has been out since 1990 (Biblio 17) though his poems remain strangely neglected.
My second critical edition is the Violier des histoires rommaines (Droz 2002). It is a text from 1521, the anonymous translation into French of most of the Latin exempla, popular tales with Christian moralizations, of the Gesta Romanorum(thirteenth and fourteenth century). Some of the research in that project involved folklore references and I have become interested in observing how folklore works in a number of early texts that I teach. I have an article related to this interest in a volume (2004) edited by Russell Ganim and Jeff Persels entitled Fecal Matters in Sixteenth-Century Literature & Art. Scatology stinks but can hardly be ignored.
Some acquaintance with folklore was also useful in the preparation of my article “’Pour faire rire la compagnie’: Comedy and Laughter” in the MLA volume Approaches to Teaching Marguerite de Navarre’s Heptaméron edited by Colette Winn (2007).
Currently, I am working slowly on a pedagogic anthology of French poetry from the Middle Ages to Apollinaire, writing up discussions of some of these poems. My goal is to help advanced readers of French who can only read poetry at what might be termed a novice or intermediate level move to a more advanced level of that set of skills. I am calling this project Hasards de la rime.
Another project I am working on now is a study of the Florilège des Amours de Ronsard by Henri Matisse, an artist's book, an anthology of some Ronsard love poems that Matisse put together with his illustrations in 1948 (Skira). An article in the French Review (February, 2008) introduces the topic.
I sometimes present my research at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference or at meetings of the Renaissance Society. I have published articles in Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance, Papers in Seventeenth-Century French Literature, and the French Review. I am also an assistant editor for pedagogy for the French Review.
I teach the Renaissance in France and classes on French language, civilization, folklore and poetry.