Indiana University Bloomington
Department of French and Italian

Eric MacPhail

Eric MacPhail

Professor of French
Adjunct Professor of Comparative Literature

Office: Ballantine Hall 616
Office phone: 855-8948

Research Areas

Renaissance literature, humanism, rhetoric


  • PhD, Comparative Literature, Princeton University, 1988
  • BA, Comparative Literature, University of California-Berkeley, 1983


I teach graduate courses for French and Italian, Renaissance Studies, and Comparative Literature. My current research project is The Sophistic Renaissance or the reception and influence of the ancient Greek sophists in the European Renaissance.

Selected Publications


  • The Voyage to Rome in French Renaissance Literature. Stanford French and Italian Studies. (Anma Libri, 1990)
  • The Sophistic Renaissance. Collection Travaux d'Humanisme et Renaissance (Geneva: Droz, 2011)


  • "The Turpin Method in Comparative Context," Italica 84 (2007) 521-528
  • "Erasmus the Sophist," Erasmus of Rotterdam Society Yearbook 26 (2006) 71-89
  • "Optimus agricola: Nature and Culture in Renaissance Prose Theory," Prose Studies 28 (2006) 184-196
  • "From Caesar to Augustus: A Note on Rabelais' Revisions to Pantagruel," Etudes Rabelaisiennes 44 (2006) 7-11
  • "Synopsis and Scrutiny: A Pictorial Classification of Renaissance Literary Forms," Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature 51 (2003-04) 59-68
  • "The Mosaic of Speech: A Classical Topos in Renaissance Aesthetics," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 66 (2003) 249-63
  • "'Allegare i Romani': Anachronism and Exemplarity in the Renaissance" Storiografia 6 (2002) 171-179


  • Advanced Grammer
  • French Renaissance Poetry
  • Conversational French
  • The French Renaissance
  • Reading and Expression in French
  • French Renaissance Prose
  • Erasmus in Europe

Honors, Fellowships, and Awards

  • Andrew Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities
  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship