Department of French and Romance Philology  








Eliza Zingesser



Assistant Professor

Medieval French

Eliza Zingesser (Ph.D. Princeton University; A.B.Smith College) works primarily on medieval French and Occitan literature, often with a focus on issues of assimilation, multilingualism, cultural and linguistic contact, and gender and sexuality. She is currently writing two books. The first, French Troubadours: Assimilating Occitan Poetry in Medieval France, explores the reception of Occitan lyric poetry in France in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, that is, in the period corresponding to the Albigensian Crusade (1209-1229) and its aftermath, which witnessed France’s annexation of the majority of Occitania. French Troubadours shows how Occitan poems—from the very beginning of their French reception—were subtly incorporated into the French canon by way of imitation, compilation with French texts, and adaptation to the French sound system. By extension, it shows how the linguistic and cultural specificity of troubadour lyric was suppressed in its early French transmission. The second book, Borderlands: Intercultural Encounters in the Medieval French Pastourelle, explores how pastoral literature—especially pastourelle poetry—, became a privileged site for French explorations of cultural and linguistic difference in the Middle Ages.

Eliza Zingesser is a member of the Executive Committee of the MLA Discussion Group for Provençal Language and Literature. She is the recipient of awards or grants from the Medieval Academy of America, the Fulbright Foundation, the Institut Français d’Amérique, the Josephine de Kármán Fellowship Trust, and the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Selected Publications:

“The Vernacular Panther: Encyclopedism, Citation, and French Authority in Nicole de Margival’s Dit de la panthère.” Modern Philology 109:3 (2012): 301-311

“The Genesis of Poetry: Machaut’s Prologue, Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy and Chartrian Neoplatonism.” Viator 42:2 (2011): 143-156

“The Value of Verse: Storytelling as Accounting in Froissart’s Dit du florin.” Modern Language Notes 125:4 (2010): 861-872

“Rabelais et Ésope en images.” Études Rabelaisiennes 50 (2010): 23-42

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