• Helen Solterer

  • Professor, French Studies, Director of Center for French and Francophone Studies
  • Romance Studies
  • 217B Languages Building
  • Campus Box 90257
  • Office Hours: Tuesday: 5-6 pm
    or by appt.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Overview

    Helen Solterer studied in Washington, Paris, Dublin, and Toronto where she received her PhD. Her research focuses on pre-modern literature and culture, and its interplay with twentieth-century and contemporary thought. Her last book, Medieval Roles for Modern Times, investigates the politics and aesthetics of reviving the earliest drama during two World Wars. The French adaptation, Un Moyen Âge républicain: paradoxes du théâtre en temps de guerre, is appearing with Presses de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne, June 2014.

    She is currently working on two books: “Timely Fictions” on the multiple times and places of pre-modern theater, poetry, pictorial narrative; and “Love to Hate: A Premodern Legacy?” on hate speech and fiction. Her first book that debated the question of defamation in a feminist vein won the MLA Scaglione Prize: The Master and Minerva: Disputing Women in French Medieval Culture (California, 1995). A third area of her work involves performance – history and practice. It led to her co-organizing a workshop at the Théâtre Ouvert, Paris, “Théâtre et Résistance -- Dépersonnalisation et Identité: Odette Rosenstock & Moussa Abadi,” in June 2009. She is a contributor to a forthcoming collection on the History of Theater in France with l’Avant-Scène. After hours, she pursues other writing: on teaching fiction in French, as well as on Franco-Irish literary connections.

    Her teaching challenges students to explore critical questions historically. Courses include “Courtly Love and Hate;” “Imagining Europe;” “History of Free Speech: France-USA;” “French Short Fiction”; “World War II: Fiction meets History.” Current graduate seminars are: “Premodern Times: A User’s Manual” and “The Writer in the City.”

    In research as in teaching, Solterer collaborates actively. As Director of the French and Francophone Studies, she coordinates the initiative, “Francophone Digital Humanities”, that received a major grant from the Embassy of France. She is also involved in collaborations with French universities, especially the Université Diderot-Paris 7. Her work on the project “Translating Europe,” brings writers to campus, those in the French, as well as other Romance traditions.

  • Specialties

    • French
    • Early Modern
    • European Studies
    • Performance Studies
    • Gender Studies, Feminism, Women Studies, Queer Studies
    • Historicism
  • Research Description

    Pre-modern French Literature and Culture; Twentieth-Century European Cultural History; Performance Studies; Gender Studies. Research Interests include questions of cultural memory, biography, political writing -- Christine de Pizan, Alain Chartier, François Villon; and contemporary theater.
  • Teaching

    • FRENCH 89S-1.01
      • FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR IN FRENCH
      • Social Sciences 107
      • TuTh 11:45 AM-01:00 PM
  • Education

      • PhD,
      • University of Toronto,
      • 1986
      • Boursière, Ambassade de France,,
      • Université de Paris VII,
      • 1983
      • Masters of Art,
      • University of Toronto,
      • 1981
      • Bachelor of Arts,
      • Georgetown University,
      • 1978
      • Year of Study,
      • University College of Dublin,
      • 1978
  • Selected Publications

      • H. Solterer, Marion Chénetier Alev, trans..
      • (2014).
      • Un Moyen Âge républicain : paradoxes du théâtre en temps de guerre.
      • Presses universitaires Paris-Sorbonne,.
      • (An adaptation of Medieval Roles and Modern Times with additional figures, 53 in total.)
      • (February, 2010).
      • Medieval Roles in Modern Times: Theater and the Battle for the French Republic.
      • The Pennsylvania State University Press.
      • H. Solterer.
      • (2014).
      • "Aimer un pays tout autre: Christine de Pizan, Alain Chartier, & Compagnie”.
      • In Sylvie Lefèvre, Christopher Lucken, Estelle Doudet (Eds.),
      • Mélanges Jacqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet
      • .
      • Droz.
      • H. Solterer.
      • (2013).
      • Parcours d’un militant de théâtre: Moussa Abadi.
      • In Valérie Vignaux et Marion Chénetier Alev (Eds.),
      • Le texte critique : expérimenter le théâtre et le cinéma aux XXe et XXIe siècles
      • (pp. 207-220.).
      • Presses universitaires François-Rabelais.
      • H. Solterer with Véronique Dominguez.
      • (2014).
      • Réactivations scéniques.
      • In Olivier Halévy, Gabriella Parussa, Darwin Smith (Eds.),
      • Le Théâtre du XIIe au XIIe siècles
      • .
      • L’Avant-Scène.
      • H. Solterer.
      • (2013).
      • “Strange or Elegant or Foul Matter,”.
      • Exemplaria, 25 (2013)
      • .
      • (A Book-review essay)
      • H. Solterer.
      • (2013).
      • Timely Fictions.
      • H. Solterer.
      • (2013).
      • "Love to Hate: A Premodern Legacy?".
      • H. Solterer.
      • (September 6, 2007).
      • Teaching Free Speech in Times of War.
      • In InsideHigherEd. com (Eds.),
      • .
      • (1995).
      • The Master and Minerva: Disputing Women in French Medieval Culture.
      • University of California Press.
      • (co-awarded The Modern Language Association Scaglione Prize, 1995)
  • View All Publications
  • PhD Students

    • Julie Singer
      • 2000-2006
      • Status: Graduated
    • Brooke Heidenreich Findley
      • 1997-2003
    • Daniel De Cillis
      • 1994-1999
Helen Solterer