Department of Languages, Linguistics & Comparative Literature
Marcella Munson
PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
Associate Professor of French & Comparative Literature
Areas of Expertise
Medieval courtly literature
Comparative poetics
Women authors
Theories of medieval auctoritas
Post modern authorship
Epistolary fiction
Translation theory
faculty photo
Hypsipyl?, wife of Jason, from Octavien de Saint-Gelais’ translation of Ovid’s Epistulae heroidum (1496-98) ? Biblioth?que Nationale de France, Manuscripts Department, Western Section, Fr. 875
Marcella Munson is Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature. She earned her BA in French Literature from Pomona College (1990), and her Ph.D. in French Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (2000). Professor Munson's research focuses on the dual problematics of author and nation in medieval verse romance and late medieval prose. She is the past recipient of a Borchard Foundation Fellowship to conduct manuscript research at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and in 2006 she was awarded a Scholarly and Creative Activities Fellowship, through the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, to co-author a book with colleague Jan Hokenson entitled The Bilingual Text: History and Theory of Literary Self-Translation (Manchester, UK: St. Jerome Press, 2007). Other recent publications include “Destruire et Disperser: Violence and the Fragmented Body in Christine de Pizan’s Prose Letters,” in Violence in Medieval Courtly Literature: A Casebook, ed. Albrecht Classen (New York: Routledge, 2004): 269-96;  “Eclipsing Desire: Masculine Anxiety and the Surrealist Muse,” French Forum 29.2 (Spring 2005): 19-33; and "Bien m'en avés rendu le conte": Redeeming Economies in Yvain," in Civilization in French and Francophone Literature, French Literature Series 33, eds. Buford Norman and James Day (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006). Professor Munson is currently at work on a book project which focuses on beeswax as both metaphor and concrete referent in medieval literature.

Professor Munson's teaching specialties include medieval courtly literature and the development of vernacular prose, comparative poetics (both medieval and modern), women authors (with special emphasis on Christine de Pizan), theories of medieval auctoritas and (post)modern authorship, epistolary fiction, and translation theory. In 2003-2004, Professor Munson was the recipient of the university award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
 Last Modified 7/24/14