Edwin Duval is the inaugural Henri Peyre Professor of French

Edwin Duval, newly named as the inaugural Henri Peyre Professor of French, specializes in the lyric poetry and narrative prose of the French Renaissance, from the late 15th century to the early 17th century.

His research focuses primarily on the influences of Greek, Latin, and Biblical literature in Renaissance poetry and prose, and on the way literary form generates meaning and reflects ideology in Renaissance works.

In Yale’s Department of French, Duval previously served as director of graduate studies (1994-1999), chair (2000-2006), and director of undergraduate studies (2008-2010). The author of three books on Rabelais and numerous articles on 16th-century authors Marot, Marguerite de Navarre, Montaigne, and d’Aubigné, Duval is currently writing a book about musical form, poetic form, and the evolution of lyric genres in the Renaissance, tentatively titled “Les métamorphoses de Polymnie: Poésie, musique et la Renaissance des genres lyriques en France (1340-1600).” His future research projects include a book on the “Aeneid” as a model, a reference, and an intertext in Renaissance literature. 

A graduate of Stanford University, where he received his B.A. with distinction in 1968, Duval earned his M.Phil. from Yale in 1971 and his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1973.

He served on the faculty at Princeton University (1973-1977) and the University of California-Santa Barbara (1977-1987) before joining the Yale faculty in 1987.

Duval was named a senior fellow in the National Endowment for the Humanities (1992-1993) and was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship in 1983.