Photo of Cathy Yandell

Cathy Yandell

Chair of French and Francophone Studies, French and Francophone

W. I. and Hulda F. Daniell Professor of French and Francophone Studies, French and Francophone

Education & Professional History

University of New Mexico, BA; University of California (Berkeley), MA, PhD

IPFE, Sorbonne, Diplôme

Cathy Yandell (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley) teaches courses in Early Modern French literature and culture, autobiography, contemporary cultural and political issues in France, and the French language. Her research focuses on the body, temporality, poetics, and gender in Early Modern France. Having published articles on writers from Louise Labé to Montaigne, she has also authored, edited, and co-edited several books including Carpe Corpus: Time and Gender in Early Modern France, Vieillir à la Renaissance, Memory and Community in Sixteenth-Century France, and most recently a general interest book, The French Art of Living Well: Finding Joie de Vivre in the Everyday World (St Martin’s Press, 2023). Her current project explores the relationship between the body and knowledge, or “ways of knowing,” from Rabelais to Descartes. When not buried in books, she loves dance, yoga, and flying trapeze. She also has a passion for climbing things (mountains, trees . . . and someday, if all goes well, Carleton’s water tower).

At Carleton since 1977.

Highlights & Recent Activity

Current projects: Minding the Renaissance Body from Rabelais to Descartes

Recent Articles:

“Eros and Authority: Rereading Pontus de Tyard’s Solitaires,” Lingua Romana, forthcoming 2023.

“Ronsard et la corporalité des fleurs.” In Éloge du singulier. Lire la littérature de la Renaissance avec Ullrich Langer, edited by Virginia Krause and Jan Miernowski. Paris: Éditions Garnier, forthcoming.

“Le corps criminel dans Les Pitoyables et Funestes Regrets de Marguerite d’Auge.” In Harmoniques littéraires. Études en l’honneur de Jean-Philippe Beaulieu, ed. Diane Desrosiers and Renée-Claude Breitenstein, forthcoming.

“Montaigne’s Cogito,” Montaigne Studies 35(2023): 149-162.

The Body in Renaisance France: Signifier, Symbol, Metaphor.” Routledge Encyclopedia of the Renaissance, edited by Kristen Poole and Gary Ferguson, 2022.

“L’empreinte de la ‘paillardize’: Catulle et les Folastries de Ronsard.” In Paris 1553 : audaces et innovations poétiques, edited by Olivier Halévy and Jean Vignes. Paris: Honoré Champion, 2021.

“Sex, Salvation, Extermination: Contrafacta and Religious Conflict in 16th-Century France.” Storytelling in Sixteenth-Century France: Medicine, Literature, and the Arts, edited by Emily Thompson. Newark : University of Delaware Press, 2021. 259-289.

“Ronsard et le corps homérique. Une génuflexion devant l’humanisme,” Année Ronsardienne 2 (2020): 193-213.

“Ronsard’s Discours for Two Queens: The Poetics of Political Pamphlets.” The Construction of a Vernacular Literature in France, in honor of Edwin Duval, edited by Jessica DeVos and Bruce Hayes. Yale French Studies 134 (2018) : 113-25.

“Rhetorics of Peace: Ronsard and Michel de L’Hospital on the Eve of the French Wars of Religion.” Itineraries in French Renaissance Literature, edited by Jeff Persels, Kendall Tarte, and George Hoffmann. Brill, 2018.

“Le corps dialogique dans l’autoportrait de Catherine des Roches.” In Savoirs, identités et représentations des femmes à l’époque moderne. Ed. Caroline Trotot. Paris: Garnier, 2018, 33-46.

Papers and Invited Lectures from the past few years:

“Ronsard’s Flowers and Early Modern Ecology,” Sixteenth Century Society Conference, San Diego, October 2021.

Ronsard et le corps des fleurs,” Université Gustave Eiffel, Paris, May 2021 (presented virtually).

“Reading the Bodies of Witches,” Washington University, October 2020 (presented virtually).

“Le corps criminel dans Les Miserables et Funestes Regrets de Marguerite d’Auge (1600),” Sixteenth Century Society Conference, October 2019.

“Ronsard et le corps homérique : une génuflexion devant l’humanisme,” Sorbonne Université, Paris, June 2019.

“Ronsard’s Discours for Two Queens: The Poetics of Political Pamphlets. Yale University, December 2018.

“Rabelais’s Corporeal Learning: Panurge and Thaumaste Reconsidered,” Sixteenth Century Society Conference, Albuquerque, November 2018.

“Sex, Salvation, Extermination: Contrafacta and the French Wars of Religion,” Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University, March 2018.

“Reading La Boëtie’s Discours de la servitude volontaire in 2017,” Sixteenth Century Society Conference, Milwaukee, October 2017.

“Mobility and the Writing Subject in Jean de Léry’s Histoire d’un voyage,” Renaissance Society of America, Chicago, April 2017.

Public Interest Talks

“Notre-Dame de Paris: A Once and Future Icon”  (Albuquerque, August 2019; Houston, March 2020)

“Lyon in the Renaissance” (on the Amadeus Provence, May 2022)

“Provence through the Eyes and Ear of Van Gogh” (Amadeus Provence, May 2022)

La joie de vivre: the French Art of Living Well” (Amadeus Provence, May 2022)


Organizations & Scholarly Affiliations

Modern Language Association (Executive Committee, 16th-C. French Literature and Culture, 2015-2019); Chair, 2018

Sixteenth Century Society and Conference (President 2010-2011; Executive Committee, 2009-2012)

The Renaissance Society of America

American Association of Teachers of French (Editorial Board, French Review, 2011-present)

Sociéte Française des Études du Seizième Siècle

Société Internationale pour l’Étude des Femmes de l’Ancien Régime

Women in French (Editorial Board, Women in French Studies)

French Forum (External Editorial Board)

Current Courses

  • Fall 2022
    FREN 210: Coffee and News
    FREN 239: Banned Books
  • Winter 2023
    FREN 210: Coffee and News
    FREN 347: Gender and Sexuality in the Francophone World
    FREN 400: Integrative Exercise
  • Spring 2023
    FREN 210: Coffee and News
    FREN 400: Integrative Exercise