College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Paul A. Scott

Department of French and Italian
Associate Professor
Primary office:
Wescoe Hall
Room 2054
University of Kansas
1445 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594


Ph.D. Durham, UK

Paul Scott is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including holding the Cramer Professorship for meritorious teaching and research (2006–2008), an International Travel Fund for Humanities Research, two KUCR International Travel Fund awards, and six General Research Fund awards. He was a visiting faculty member at Durham University in the United Kingdom during the academic year 2009–2010, and was elected to a fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study during that time as well as to a fellowship-in-residence at Collingwood College. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2010.
Following on from his doctoral dissertation, the first study to examine plays about martyrdom in early modern France as veiled critiques of authority, Professor Scott’s research program focuses on subversion during the Ancien Régime with a particular focus on the seventeenth century. He has worked and published on women writers, the fairy tale, theological treatises, liturgy, sexuality, male fashion, and other seemingly innocuous vehicles in which radical ideas were purposely forwarded. These interests also include proposing re-readings of the works of “canonical” authors such as Bossuet, Corneille, and Molière. He regularly presents at national and international conferences, and gave an invited paper at the Sorbonne in April 2010. From 2006, he has been the seventeenth-century French contributor for the Year's Work in Modern Language Studies and is a member of the editorial board of Cahiers du Dix-Septième. In 2011, he was appointed French and Occitan editor of the Year's Work in Modern Language Studies.

Professor Scott has published widely in both French and English in some of the leading international journals in the field, including French StudiesForum for Modern Language StudiesModern Language ReviewLittératures Classiques, and Revue des Sciences Humaines. His critical editions include the only play to be authored by a nun in early modern France. In 2010, he published the first modern edition of one of the most notorious and virulent anti-government satires of the Ancien Régime, the Miliade, published as volume 14 of the MHRA Critical Texts series. This edition evaluates the contenders for authorship and, based on both internal stylistic evidence as well as contemporary clues, reaches a decisive conclusion as to the authorship, date of appearance, and place of publication, unraveling a literary mystery that Cardinal Richelieu himself, with his wide intelligence network, was never able to resolve. His collected volume of essays, Collaboration and Interdisciplinarity in the Republic of Letters appeared with Manchester University Press in 2010. He is under contract to edit two plays by Thomas Corneille for a major edition of his complete works published by the Éditions Classiques series of Garnier as well as editing the previously unpublished manuscript poems of the Comte d’Ételan to appear in 2013.

Professor Scott is currently working on a book-length study which examines unlikely avenues of dissent during early modern France, tentatively entitled Surreptitious Subversions: Institutional Code-breaking in Ancien Régime France which will include chapters on eccentricity, fantasy (science-fiction and fairy-tales), and ecclesiastics (clergy and nuns). The work explores the fragile yet symbiotic relationship between the establishment and subversive ideas and individuals, arguing that such heterodox manifestations are not only a feature of the Ancien Régime but also permeate it profoundly. This project has received external support with a Clark Short-Term Fellowship (UCLA) for a month’s research, an Everett Helm Visiting Fellowship to spend two weeks at the Lilly Library, Indiana University, and fall 2012 spent in residence as the Calgary Institute for the Humanities 2012–13 Visiting Fellow. It has also attracted internal support with the award of a sabbatical semester during fall 2012 followed by a Hall Center for the Humanities Research Fellowship in spring 2013.


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