College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Bruce Hayes

Department of French and Italian
Chair, Department of French, Francophone & Italian Studies
Associate Professor
Primary office:
Wescoe Hall
Room 2104
University of Kansas
1445 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594
Second office:
Wescoe Hall
Room 2067



Ph.D., M.Phil., M.A. in French Studies, Yale University

M.A., B.A. in French Studies, Brigham Young University

Bruce Hayes is an associate professor of French literature and culture at the University of Kansas, where I have taught since 2001. I specialize in Renaissance literature and culture, with a particular focus on popular culture and humor. He is currently completing a book-length project, tentatively titled Castigating Comedy: Sardonic Laughter and Religious Conflict in Renaissance France, which explores the ideological and polemical uses (and abuses) of humor and satire during this turbulent time in France’s history. He has published in journals such as French Studies, The French Review, French Forum, and Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme. In 2010, he published a monograph, Rabelais's Radical Farce: Late Medieval Comic Theater and Its Function in Rabelais (Ashgate).

In recent years, he has become involved with issues related to graduate student training, mentoring, and job placement. He teaches classes on Renaissance literature, contemporary French culture, gender in the Renaissance, obscenity in French literature, the French Wars of Religion, and other topics.



Recent Graduate Courses Taught

Masculinity in the Renaissance

Rabelais and Montaigne

Poésie lyrique à la Renaissance

Events, Ideologies, and Literature Surrounding the French Wars of Religion

Introduction to Graduate Studies

Recent Undergraduate Courses Taught

The Obscene and the Grotesque in French Literature

French Literature of the Renaissance

The French Wars of Religion

La France d’aujourd’hui

Survey of French Culture, Middle Ages and Renaissance

Introduction to French Literature


Areas of Interest

French Renaissance Literature and Culture, Renaissance Studies, Late Medieval and Renaissance Drama, Humor Studies

Selected Publications


Rabelais’s Radical Farce: Late Medieval Comic Theater and Its Function in Rabelais.  Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Press, 2010.

Co-edited special issue:

Œuvres et Critiques 38.2 (2013): “Jean Boucher, 1548–1646 ( ?) : prêtre, prédicateur, polémiste”


“Le risus sardonicus de Jean Boucher.” Œuvres et Critiques 38.2 (2013). Forthcoming.

“The Transgressive Ethics of the Trickster in Late Medieval and Post-Reformation French Farce.” At Whom Are We Laughing? Humor in Romance Language Literatures. Zenia Sacks DaSilva and Gregory M. Pell, eds. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2013: 41-54.

“Les perplexités de la masculinité : cynisme, scepticisme et caritas chrétienne dans le Tiers livre de Rabelais.” Les Interférences des écoles de pensée antiques dans la littérature de la Renaissance. Edward Tilson, ed. Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2013: 205-20.

“‘De rire ne me puys tenir’: Marguerite de Navarre’s Satirical Theater.” La Satire dans tous ses états.  Bernd Renner, ed. Cahiers d’Humanisme et Renaissance. Geneva: Droz, 2009: 183-200.

“A Decade of Silence: Rabelais’s Return to Writing in a More Dangerous World.” Études Rabelaisiennes 46 (2008): 101-13.

“Putting the ‘Haute’ Back into the ‘Haute Dame de Paris’: The Politics and Performance of Rabelais’s Radical Farce.”  French Forum 32 (2007): 39-52.

Current Project

Book: Castigating Comedy: Polemical Humor before and during the French Wars of Religion


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2019 Graduation Ceremony