John Lyons

Commonwealth Professor of French
353 New Cabell Hall

Fall 2020 Student Hours:

VIA Zoom Only;

         Contact Professor for Zoom ID and password
                 Tues.   3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
                 Thurs. 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
                and by appointment (arranged by email: jdl2f).
                No office hours on grounds.




  • Bachelor of Arts (BA), Brown University
  • Master of Arts (MA), Yale University
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Yale University

Research Interests

17th-century French theatre, poetry, and non-fiction prose; French cinema.

Representative Recent Publications


Tragedy and the Return of the Dead. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2018.

The Phantom of Chance.  From Fortune to Randomness in Seventeenth-Century French Literature. Edinburgh Critical Studies in Renaissance Culture.  Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011.

French Literature. A Very Short Introduction.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.


The Cambridge Companion to French Literature. Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press,



Abraham sacrifiant and the End of Ethics,” in Michael Meere, ed., French Renaissance and Baroque Drama: Text, Performance, Theory (University of Delaware Press, 2015),  21-37.

“Tragedy and fear,” in The Cambridge Companion to French Literature, ed. John D. Lyons (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 70-74.

“Montaigne and History,” in the Oxford Handbook of Montaigne, ed. Philippe Desan (Oxford University Press, 2016), 215-231.

“God as Creator of Illusion in Pascal’s Pensées,” chapter in Die Kunst der Täuschung, ed. Kirstin Dickhaut (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2016), 213-228.

“Experience, Confusion, and History in Bossuet’s Discourse on Universal History,” in Universal History and the Making of the Global, edited by Hall Bjørnstad, Anne-Régent Susini, and Helge Jordheim (New York: Routledge, 2018), 57-72.