Teaching French language and literature and promoting French culture has been my life-long vocation. I enjoy teaching and advising students at all levels, from elementary French to advanced grammar and literature. Over the years, I have developed innovative courses to introduce students to practical and cultural topics such as Business French and African-Francophone Cinema. Outside the classroom, I have directed Marquette’s Study Abroad program in Limoges, France (1982-1984) and served as moderator for Pi Delta Phi, the French honorary (1985-1986; 2003-2006). I introduced service learning to my French courses in the early 1980s, a practice which I continue today.
In particular, I focus on sharing my enthusiasm for French medieval language and literature with students and with the community as Coordinator of Marquette’s Medieval Studies interdisciplinary minor. In addition to developing numerous courses on topics such as medieval women authors, medieval marriage, the medieval city, and Joan of Arc, I organized symposia on “The Cathedral and the Medieval Community,” “Arthur and the Arts,” and “Jewish-Christian Encounter in the Middle Ages: The Psalms.” For more than twenty years, I have been an active member of the Fifteenth-Century Society, organizing sessions which the society and its journal, Fifteenth-Century Studies, sponsor at the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University.
My interest in Medieval French literature and culture is reflected in my scholarly research on late-medieval French authors, including Alain Chartier and Christine de Pizan. The majority of my research has focused on the works of Martin Le Franc, a fifteenth-century French author whose texts provide a wealth of scholarly material through their innovative and provocative structure, content, and context. My primary goal has been to render his allegorical defense of women, Le Champion des Dames (1440-1442), accessible to an English-speaking audience while maintaining the structure and tone of the middle French original. In this regard, I have published a translation of Book IV of that work (The Trial of Womankind; McFarland, 2005); my translation of Book V, dealing with the Immaculate Conception of Mary, is currently under consideration at a major academic press. I have also just completed a translation of Le Franc’s shorter work, La Complainte du livre du Champion des Dames a maistre Martin Le Franc son acteur. I am now preparing a critical commentary to accompany this first English version of the text.