Daniel J. Worden comes from the Pacific Northwest, where place names like Coquille and Gervais inspired him to explore the extraordinary multi-lingual heritage of that land of basalt, Douglas fir, and rain. As an undergraduate at the University of Oregon, he studied abroad in Poitiers, discovered some of the marvels of pre-modern France, and hoped to revisit them one day with future students. Later, after time spent teaching and doing research in Metz, Geneva and Paris, he earned a PhD in French at Princeton University in 2015 and was pleased to begin teaching at Furman in 2016.
His current research focuses on figures of impostors, usurpers and tricksters in French literature of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Other areas of interest include science fiction as a trans-historical and trans-national genre, theories of baroque esthetics, and the environmental humanities.
Dr. Worden argues that French and Francophone literatures of all eras offer wondrous intellectual prisms, capable of refracting and reframing the most crucial issues of our own time so that we can contemplate them in starker clarity. He invites students to explore what French studies can teach us about the roles we play in nature, society and the cosmos. He especially welcomes beginning and intermediate students in French to explore the remarkable perspectives that the study of this widely-spoken international language and literatures opens to curious and adventurous minds. Bienvenue !