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Cynthia B. Kerr Professor of French and Francophone Studies

After graduating from Vassar, Cynthia Kerr earned a master’s degree in French and a Joint PhD in French and the Humanities from Stanford University. Her research and teaching interests include Early Modern France, French and Francophone theater, performance studies, and the history of literary censorship.

Professor Kerr completed the Afterword for Penguin Signet Classics’ latest edition of Cyrano de Bergerac (2012.) She has published three books: Corneille à l’affiche: vingt ans de créations théâtrales, 1980–2000 (2000), Une Fenêtre ouverte sur la création: essais sur la littérature française (1983), and L’Amour, l’amitié et la fourberie: une étude des premières comédies de Corneille (1980.) She is currently working on a book on text and performance, the theory and practice of play production in contemporary France.

The recipient of numerous research grants, Professor Kerr is the author of more than one hundred articles and book reviews published in journals both in Europe and the United States. She regularly reviews books for Choice, the publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries (American Library Association.)

  • BA, Vassar College; MA, PhD, Stanford University
  • At Vassar since 1976


Departments and Programs


  • FFS 212. Reading Literature and Film
  • FFS 332. Literature and Society in Pre-Revolutionary France
  • FFS 398. Acting French: From the Page to the Stage