Prof. Valérie M. Dionne

Colby College

Valérie M. Dionne is professor of French and was director of the Oak Institute for Human Rights (2018-2023) at Colby College. After studying in Montreal, London, Paris, and Fribourg, she earned her PhD from Princeton University. Her research examines the correlation of politics, rights, and ethics in Early Modern French Literature. Recently she has turned her focus to decolonizing the western philosophical tradition.

Her multidisciplinary approach to the early modern period allows her to explore topics that range from gender theory to political philosophy. Her major publications include: Montaigne, écrivain de la conciliation (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2014); Staging Justice in Early Modern France, a volume she co-edited with Michael Meere for the journal Early Modern French Studies, 2020; and another volume Revelations of Character: Ethos, Rhetoric and Moral Philosophy in Montaigne (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007). She has also authored numerous articles, including “Justice and Law” in the Oxford Handbook to Montaigne (2016), and on the rights of intersex people in France from antiquity to the present. Her current book project, Justice and Sacrifice in the Early Modern French Imaginary, focuses on the myths of Iphigenia, Antigone, and Medea, and figures of revolt as reinterpreted in French tragedies. She is also co-editing a volume, Montaigne Décolonial, with Ali Benmakhlouf (Professor and Director of the Center for African Studies at Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Morocco).