Helen Solterer

Helen Solterer

Professor of Romance Studies

External address: 
217B Language Center, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90257, Durham, NC 27708-0257
(919) 660-3118
Office Hours: 
Wednesdays, 5-6 pm.& by appt.

My research and teaching focus on pre-modern literature and culture in French and their interplay with contemporary thought; twentieth-century French cultural history; writing through gender.

Published works include:  Un Moyen Âge républicain: les paradoxes du théâtre en temps de guerre (Presses Paris-Sorbonne, 2014) Medieval Roles for Modern Times (Penn State 2010); The Master and Minerva (California 1995); European Medieval Studies Under Fire, 1919-1945, an edited collection (JMEMS, Duke. 1995).  Current book in progress: Timely Fictions on the historical action of the earliest literary and graphic arts in French

Students interested in researching all forms of fiction in French in historical depth are particularly welcome. 


  • Ph.D., University of Toronto (Canada) 1986

Solterer, H. Timely Fictions (In preparation), 2017.

Solterer, H. Un Moyen Âge républicain : paradoxes du théâtre en temps de guerre. Translated by M. Chénetier Alev. Presses universitaires Paris-Sorbonne, 2014.

Solterer, H. Medieval Roles in Modern Times: Theater and the Battle for the French Republic. The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2010.

Solterer, H. The Master and Minerva: Disputing Women in French Medieval Culture. University of California Press, 1995.

Solterer, H. “Another Land's End of Literature.” In Founding Feminisms in Medieval Studies Essays in Honor of E. Jane Burns, 153–68. Boydell & Brewer, 2016.

"Another Land’s End of Literature”.” In Founding Feminisms in Medieval Studies, 153–68. Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer, 2016.

Solterer, H. “"Aimer un pays tout autre: Christine de Pizan, Alain Chartier, & Compagnie”.” In Sens, Rhétorique, et Musique : Études Réunies En Hommage à Jacqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet, edited by S. Lefèvre, C. Lucken, and E. Doudet, 769–82. Champion, 2015.

Solterer, H., and Véronique Dominguez. “Réactivations scéniques.” In Le Théâtre Du XIIe Au XIIe Siècles, edited by Olivier Halévy, Gabriella Parussa, and Darwin Smith. L’Avant-Scène, 2014.

Solterer, H. “Parcours d’un militant de théâtre: Moussa Abadi.” In Le Texte Critique : Expérimenter Le Théâtre et Le Cinéma Aux XXe et XXIe Siècles, edited by Valérie Vignaux et Marion Chénetier Alev, 207-220. Presses universitaires François-Rabelais, 2013.

Solterer, H. ““Jouer le Moyen Âge: Gustave Cohen et la troupe théophilienne,”.” In Les Pères Des Études Médiévales: Examen Critique de La Constitution d’un Savoir Académique, edited by Marie Bouhaïk-Gironès, Véronique Dominguez, and Jelle Koopmans, 255-281[8figures]. Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2010.

Solterer, H. “Theatre and Theatricality.” In The Cambridge Companion to Medieval French Literature, 181–94. Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Solterer, H. “Making Names, Breaking Lives: Women & Injurious Language.” In Cultural Performances in Medieval France: Essays in Honor of Nancy Freeman, edited by Eglal Doss-Quinby, Robert Krueger, and E Jane Burns, 207–21. Boydell & Brewer, 2007.

Solterer, H. “Gustave Cohen at Pont-Holyoke : The Drama of Belonging to France.” In Artists, Intellectuals and World War II, edited by C. Benfey and K. Remmler, 145–61. University of Massachusetts Press, 2006.

Solterer, Helen. “Defense of Women.” In Women and Gender in Medieval Europe, edited by Susan Stuard, Margaret Schaus, and Thomas Izbicki, 64–68. Routledge, 2005.


Solterer, H. ““Strange or Elegant or Foul Matter,”.” Exemplaria, 25 (2013), 2013, 79–92.

Solterer, H. “review of Carol Symes, "A Common Stage:Theater and Public Life in Medieval Arras.” Theatre Survey 51 (2010): 135–37.

Solterer, H. “Fiction versus defamation: The quarrel over the tomance of the rose.” Medieval History Journal 2, no. 1 (December 1, 1999): 111–41. https://doi.org/10.1177/097194589900200106. Full Text

Solterer, H. “Performing pasts: A dialogue with Paul Zumthor.” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 27, no. 3 (1997): 595–640.

Solterer, H. “The Waking of Medieval Theatricality, Paris 1935-1995.” New Literary History 27 (1996): 257–90.

Solterer, H. “The Waking of Medieval Theatricality: Paris 1935-1995.” New Literary History 27, no. 3 (1996): 357–90. https://doi.org/10.1353/nlh.1996.0041. Full Text

SOLTERER, H. “Seeing, Hearing, Tasting Woman : The Senses of Medieval Reading.” Comparative Literature 46, no. 2 (1994): 129–45. https://doi.org/10.2307/1771574. Full Text

SOLTERER, H. “Dismembering, Remembering the Châtelain de Couci.” Romance Philology 46, no. 2 (November 1992): 103–24.


Solterer, H., and J. Delabroy. “Teaching Abroad With Obama.” Insidehighered.Com, 2008.

Solterer, H. “Teaching Free Speech in Times of War.” Insiderhighered.Com, September 2007.