Cécile Alduy

Cécile Alduy

Cécile Alduy, PhD

  • Professor of French
  • Affiliated faculty at The Europe Center

110 Pigott Hall
Building 260
Stanford, CA 94305-2010

(650) 793-7712 (voice)


Professor Alduy is an expert on French Renaissance Literature and contemporary French politics and culture, especially political discourse analysis of the far right and presidential campaigns.

Overall, she works on notions of "nationhood," "identity," on cultural and political constructions and mythologies of "Frenchness" at critical junctures of France's cultural history. Areas of interests include the history and mythology of national and ethnic identities since the Renaissance, far right ideology and rhetoric (National Front), the relations between cultural, literary and medical discourses on gender and the body in early modern Europe, poetry and poetics, narrative forms and their discontent, French cinema and contemporary French literature.

Her new book, Ce qu’ils disent vraiment. Les politiques pris aux mots (Seuil, 2017) sifts through over 2.5 million words to analyze the values, underlying ideologies, storytelling and political communication strategies of the five leading presidential candidates of a crucial presidential campaign, 2017, that resulted in the election of newcomer Emmanuel Macron.

Her previous book, Marine Le Pen prise aux mots. Décryptage du nouveau discours frontiste (Paris: Seuil, 2015), which received international coverage, decrypts the new rhetoric of the National Front using digital humanities and textual analysis. The website decodingMarineLePen documents research, bibliographies and resources related to this project. She has written a profile of Marine Le Pen for The Atlantic, as well as many investigative, analytical and opinion pieces on the National Front in Le MondePoliticoThe NationAl Jazeera AmericaL'Obs, etc. 

Prof. Alduy is a regular contributor to The AtlanticThe NationThe New YorkerPolitico, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Boston Review, Le MondeMediapart, Liberation, Le Nouvel Obs, among many other French, American and British publications. She has commented on current French political news on NPR, the BBC, KQED's Forum, CNN, CBS News, abc 7, France 2, France 24, CCTV America, BFM.tv, itélé, LCP, France Culture, France Inter, Europe 1, etc.

She has co-edited, with Dominic Thomas and Bruno Cornellier, a special issue of the journal Occasions on “The Charlie Hebdo Attacks and their Aftermath” that gathers over a dozen essays from French, Canadian, American and English intellectuals from all perspectives. 

Her previous book, The Politics of Love: Poetics and Genesis of the "Amours" in Renaissance France (1549-1560) (Geneva: Droz, 2007), examines how the poetics of French Petrarchan love collections were exploited by the generation of Ronsard and Du Bellay to promote a nationalist agenda, that of a "Defense and Illustration of the French Tongue" and its cultural supremacy.

In Renaissance studies, she has published extensively on the works of Marot, Scève, Du Bellay, Ronsard, Louise Labé, La Boétie, Montaigne, Rabelais, and Philippe Jaccottet among others. Her publications also include a revised critical edition of Maurice Scève's Délie (Paris: STFM, 2001) and a comprehensive study of all works written by or on Scève from his lifetime to the present (Maurice Scève. Roma: Memini, 2006). She has served as guest editor of two collected volumes: a special issue of Réforme Humanisme Renaissance entitled "Licences et censures poétiques. La littérature érotique et pornographique vernaculaire à la Renaissance" (vol. 69, 2009); and the proceedings of the 2008 interdisciplinary conference Between Experience and Experiment In The Early Modern World, co-edited with Roland Greene and published in Republic of Letters (2010).

Prof. Alduy was Director of the Center of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (CMEMS) from 2010 to 2013.

She is currently Chair of the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.  



Journal Articles
February 2022

La Langue de Zemmour

cover link La Langue de Zemmour
June 2017

 The Illusions of Disillusion

cover link  The Illusions of Disillusion
January 2017

Ce qu'ils disent vraiment: Les politiques pris aux mots

cover link Ce qu'ils disent vraiment: Les politiques pris aux mots