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Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Our People

Jeff Persels

Title: Associate Professor of French
French Program Director
Department: Languages, Literatures and Cultures
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: J. Welsh Humanities Bldg, 806
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Jeff Persels in character


Dr. Persels’ primary research interests focus on early modern French prose and verse polemic. He teaches courses in early modern French literature & culture, French theatre, contemporary French culture & society & and European Studies. From 2005 to 2013 he directed the undergraduate European Studies Program for the Walker Institute. He also annually authors, adapts and/or directs French-language theatre productions for both UofSC’s venerable student company, Les Comédiens Carolingiens, and a community troupe. 2019 productions were his original bilingual adaptation of La Fontaine’s Fablesand a reworking of François Ozon’s adaptation of Robert Thomas’s 8 Femmes, complete with music videos. He and his wife Brigittealso adapt, produce and perform puppet shows in French based on classic children's tales for elementary school children. Texts, production details and recordings available for free download and use via his dedicated website Sur les planches.

Publications include Itineraries in French Renaissance Literature: Essays for Mary B. McKinley(co-edited with Kendall Tarte and George Hoffmann, Brill, 2018); FLS 39. The Environment in/and French and Francophone Literature and Film (editor & introduction, Rodopi 2012), Fecal Matters in Early Modern Literature and Art: Studies in Scatology(co-edited with Russell Ganim, Rodopi, 2004). Among his recent articles: “‘Reduced’ Molière: Rebooting the Master for a Twenty-First-Century Audience” (in Molière Re-Envisioned / Renouveau et renouvellement moliéresques, edited by M.J. Muratore, Paris: Editions Hermann, 2018); “Blasons, seigneurie du cul”(in Anatomie d’un anatomie.Nouvelles recherches sur les blasons anatomiques du corps féminin, edited byJulien Goeury and Thomas Hunkeler, 2018); “Through a Glass Darkly: Dominion and the French Wars of Religion,” French Ecocriticism. From the Early Modern Period to the Twenty-First Century, edited by Daniel A. Finch-Race and Stephanie Posthumus,2016.

He is currently working on a manuscript (working title: Man Bites God: the Ludic Quality of Early Modern French Religious Polemic), an article on “reduced” French classics for the French stage, and an adaptation for the English-language stage of Montaigne's Essais.

He is also Executive Vice-President and webmaster of the Alliance Françaisede Columbiaand for the past ten years has been co-organizing an annual Tournées film festival and its local offshoot, CinéCola.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.