• Position 3

Katherine Maynard

Professor of French
  • B.A., University of Michigan, 1993
  • M.A., University of Washington, 1996
  • DEA, University of Geneva, 2001
  • Ph.D., University of Washington, 2003
Research Spotlight

Professor Maynard’s research focuses on the literature of the French Wars of Religion. She is the author of Reveries of Community: French Epic in the Age of Henri IV (1572-1616).

Image of Reveries of Community coverImage of Reveries of Community cover

Reveries of Community considers the role of epic poetry during the French Wars of Religion, the series of wars between Catholics and Protestants that dominated the political and social landscape of France between 1562 and 1598. Critics have often viewed the epic genre as a casualty of the Wars. Reveries of Community argues the opposite: that the Wars did not impede the writing of epic poetry, but rather, spurred the production of epic and inspired its content. In offering a narrative of continuity and destiny, epic poems provided ways to re-imagine the present and future of many forms of community—among them, religious, civic, regional, and national. Epic poets led readers beyond the temporal problems of war, while maintaining a link to the specific context of ongoing crises. Epic was thus the ideal genre to foster dreams of war and peace in a time of crisis.

Image of Polemic and Literature bookImage of Polemic and Literature book

In addition, along with Jeff Kendrick, she co-edited the volume Polemic and Literature Surrounding the French Wars of Religion, published in 2019 with DeGruyter Press. 

Polemic and Literature Surrounding the French Wars of Religion demonstrates that literature and polemic interacted constantly in sixteenth-century France, constructing ideological frameworks that defined the various groups to which individuals belonged and through which they defined their identities. Contributions explore both literary texts (prose, poetry, and theater) and more intentionally polemical texts that fall outside of the traditional literary genres. Engaging the continuous casting and recasting of opposing worldviews, this collection of essays examines literature’s use of polemic and polemic’s use of literature as seminal intellectual developments stemming from the religious and social turmoil that characterized this period in France.


Selected Bibliography

“Remarque en toy telle marque: Etienne Jodelle’s Parisian Inscriptions and Epitaphs in The French Wars of Religion.” French Studies 68, no. 4 (July 2014): 1-14.


“The Faces of Judith: Nationhood and Patronage in La Judit of Guillaume Salluste Du Bartas.” Romanic Review 100, no. 3 (May 2009): 235-247.


“Writing Martyrdom: Agrippa d’Aubigné’s Reconstruction of Sixteenth-century Martyrology.”  Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme 30, no. 3 (Summer/Été 2006-7): 29-50. 


“To the Point: The Needle, the Sword, and Female Exemplarity in Du Bartas’s  La Judit.Romance Notes 46, no. 2 (2007): 169-183. 

Book Chapters


Exporting Peace and Arming Vengeance in Lescarbot’s Histoire de la Nouvelle-Franceand La Défaite des Sauvages Armouchiquois.“InPolemic and Literature Surrounding the French Wars of Religion, edited by Katherine Maynard and Jeffrey Kendrick. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter/Medieval Institute Publications, 2019.


“Avec la terre on possède la guerre” : The Erasure of Place in Ronsard’s Franciade.”  In Usher, Philip J. and Isabelle Fernbach, eds.  Shield and Field: Virgilian Spaces as/and Early Modern Identities.  Suffolk, UK: Boydell and Brewer, 2012. 237-256.


“’Miel empoisonné’: Satire and Sickness in Ronsard’s Discours des Misères de ce temps.” In Renner, Bernd, ed.  La satire dans tous ses états: Le “meslange satyrique” à  la Renaissance française.  Geneva: Librairie Droz, 2009. 245-264.


Final project by the students of FRS 412, The Renaissance in France, Spring 2017.