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College of Arts and Sciences

Faculty and Staff

Jeff Persels

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Languages, Literatures and Cultures
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: J. Welsh Humanities Bldg, 806
Resources: Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Dr. Persels’ research interests focus on early modern French prose and verse polemic. He teaches courses in early modern French literature & culture, French theatre, contemporary French culture & society & and European Studies. From 2005 to 2013 he directed the undergraduate European Studies Program for the Walker Institute. He also stages student and amateur French-language plays, most recently an original co-authored creation at the Columbia Museum of Art, Tableaux vivants, tableaux parlants (March 2013), inspired by a traveling exhibition from the Dixon Gallery and Gardens as well as a student production of an original adaptation of French fairy tales Il était une fois... (April 2013). He and his wife Brigitte also write, produce and perform puppet shows in French based on classic childrens' tales. Publications include FLS 39. The Environment in/and French and Francophone Literature and Film (editor & introduction, Rodopi 2012), Fecal Matters in Early Modern Literature and Art: Studies in Scatology (co-edited with Russell Ganim, Rodopi, 2004), and "Boucher et le premier sermon de la Simulée conversion (1594)" for Œuvres & Critiques (forthcoming). He is currently working on a manuscript (working title: Man Bites God: the Ludic Quality of Early Modern French Religious Polemic) as well as an adaptation for the English-language stage of Montaigne's Essais. He is also an active member of the Alliance Française.

Hoc scio pro certo, quod si cum stercore certo,
Seu vinco, aut vincor, semper ego maculor.