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Marcus Keller

Associate Professor

Research Interests

  • Early Modern French Literature and Culture
  • French and European Theater
  • Literature and Philosophy
  • The Literature and Culture of Belgium

Research Description

In my research and teaching, I focus on 16th- and 17th-century French literature and culture with a special interest in aesthetics and politics/ethics. I am currently finishing a book manuscript entitledThinking through the Turk: Islam and the Ottoman Empire as Paradigms in Renaissance France, an exploration of French orientalist discourses of the sixteenth century (literature, political discourses, cosmographical writings, and travel narratives). Other research and teaching interests of mine include the rise of a national and European consciousness in early modern French texts; the experience of the first age of globalization in the sixteenth century and its representation in text and image; early modern notions of friendship and forms of social networks; humanism and humanist ideals of learning and education. I am also interested in contemporary Belgian literature and culture, with a focus on the processing of the country's colonial history and its aftermath. 

In connection with my research for Thinking through the Turk, I edited "The Turk of Early Modern France" (L'Esprit Créateur 53.4, 2013) and co-edited the collection The Dialectics of Orientalism in Early Modern Europe (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

Since 2012, I am also the co-editor of the series "Rethinking the Early Modern" (Northwestern University Press)



Ph.D. UC Irvine


Additional Campus Affiliations

Associate Professor, French and Italian
Associate Professor, Program in Comparative and World Literature
Associate Professor, Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory
Associate Professor, European Union Center
Associate Professor, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Recent Publications

Keller, M. (2021). The Turk in the Symbolic Civil Wars of France: Ally and Combatant. In B. Holm, & M. B. Rasmussen (Eds.), Imagined, Embodied and Actual Turks in the Early Modern Era (pp. 245-262). (Ottomania; Vol. 10). Hollitzer Verlag.

Keller, M. (2019). The Paradox of Civil War in Agrippa d'Aubigné's Tragiques. In J. Kendrick, & K. S. Maynard (Eds.), Polemic and Literature Surrounding the French Wars of Religion (pp. 118-129). (Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Culture; Vol. 68). Medieval Institute Publications.

Keller, M. (2019). The paradox of civil war in Agrippa d'Aubigné's Tragiques. In Polemic and Literature Surrounding the French Wars of Religion (pp. 118-129). De Gruyter.

Kibbee, D. A., & Keller, M. (Eds.) (2018). Scipion Dupleix: Liberté de la langue françoise dans sa pureté. (Descriptions and Theories of the French Language; No. 3). Classiques Garnier.

Keller, M. (2017). France, Europe, and the Orient in the Essays: Montaigne’s Dialectics. In M. Keller, & J. Irigoyen-García (Eds.), The Dialectics of Orientalism in Early Modern Europe (pp. 121-136). Palgrave Macmillan.

View all publications on Illinois Experts