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 !

Name Title Description


Elementary French I

Introduction to the sound system and grammatical structure necessary to develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in French. An appreciation of French-speaking culture underlies the orientation of the course.


Elementary French II

Continuation of the skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing) developed in French 111, with increased emphasis on vocabulary expansion, idiomatic expression, and cultural differences. 4 credits.


Intermediate French I

Continuation of the development of proficiency in listening and speaking, while expanding the reading and writing skills using materials of a literary or cultural nature.


French Conversation

Intense oral practice focusing on practical daily use as well as discourse on Francophone cultures and events with an emphasis on current, everyday speech. A variety of sources are used to develop listening and communication skills; improve fluency in speaking French; build vocabulary; and familiarize students with appropriate linguistic register. An introduction to French phonetics is included.


French Composition

Development of advanced writing skills in French with emphasis on advanced grammar structures, organization, idiomatic expressions, vocabulary building, and rhetorical strategies. A variety of sources are used to refine the ability to write in different genres for different occasions.


French Lit & Civilization I

An interdisciplinary introduction to French civilization, literature and fine arts from their beginnings to 1600.


French Lit & Civilization II

An interdisciplinary introduction to French civilization, literature and fine arts from 1600 to 1800.


French Lit of Louis XIV

Study of selected works of the principal literary figures of the seventeenth century in France. Emphasis on classical drama; also includes short prose works and poetry.

In the baroque age, when you walked into a cabinet of curiosities, new worlds opened up before your eyes and your imagination. In these forerunners of today’s museums, seashells, porcelain, and even desiccated alligators evoked worlds far beyond the confines of the castle you were visiting. Each object invited the viewer to build a story around it, thereby investing it with meaning and relevance. My goal is for my courses to give students opportunities for analogous experiences in our globalized society. When I teach language and literature, I enable students to transform their classroom into a magnificent chamber of marvels. Instead of merely gazing at material objects, however, they learn to perceive and articulate outlooks offered through such literary forms as fairy tales, satires, comedies and travelogues. I ask my students to practice perceiving both the common experiences linking human expression across cultures and eras, and the differing values that can divide us.

  • ​​“Astronomy, Prophecy and Imposture in Tyssot de Patot’s Voyages et avantures de Jaques Massé.” Literature in the Age of Celestial Discovery: From Copernicus to Herschel. Ed. Judy Hayden. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 183-200.

  • “Imposteurs et mécaniques d’illusion dans Les Amours et les avantures d’Arcan et de Bélize (1714) de Tyssot de Patot.” Imposture et fiction dans les récits d’Ancien Régime. Ed. Nathalie Kremer, Jean-Paul Sermain et Yen-Maï Tran-Gervat. Paris

  • Hermann, 2016. 237-252.; “A Neo-Baroque Tale of Jesuits in Space: Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow (1996)”. Image [&] Narrative 13.2 (2012).

Princeton University
Princeton University
University of Oregon​

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