Professor Emeritus of French Studies, Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature


I came to Brown with a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Yale. (Before graduate school, I had attended a French lycée and Princeton, where I majored in English.) At Brown I joined two departments, Comparative Literature and French Studies, each of which I would eventually chair. I participated in the Medieval Studies program and in faculty governance, especially on the Faculty Executive Committee. My career path has included several literary domains of the Western Middle Ages, with forays into teaching literary theory. I have researched the cultural and political messages that hand-written books conveyed to the patrons who commissioned them, to the book collectors who fought over them, and to other readers in medieval courts and cities. I am investigating, for instance, the political implications of troubadours songs for their original listeners and also, in later circumstances, for scribes who gathered them into manuscript anthologies, especially in northern Italy.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas