Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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  9. Maryann Tebben

Maryann Tebben





Languages and Literature




  • BA, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, University of Notre Dame;
  • PhD, University of Southern California. Intensive summer program at
  • Università per Stranieri, Perugia, Italy;
  • Yearlong study abroad program at Université Catholique de l'Ouest, Angers, France.


Liebowitz 205


I know from experience that the students here are more engaged than at other places.

-Maryann Tebben
Bard College at Simon's Rock

Professional History

Previously taught at Syracuse University and SUNY-Oswego.

Areas of Interest

French language and literature (general) • Food studies • Renaissance and 17th-century French literature • Renaissance Italian literature • Women writers • Conversation as a literary genre

Research Interests/Professional Service

  • Dr. Tebben's dissertation, "Wordy Women: Conversation and Power in the Age of Louis XIV" traces the rise and fall of the 17th century French salonnière and female author.
  • She is also fluent in Italian, and has presented numerous conference papers on French and Italian literature of the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • Dr. Tebben has recently focused on food history in her research, presenting papers on French and Italian food in its literary context. In 2006 she attended a symposium on food studies at the Université François-Rabelais in Tours, France sponsored by the European Institute for the History and Culture of Food. She regularly teaches a course in French on French food culture.

Publications/Book Chapters/Exhibitions/

  • “French fries et identité française: la frite et les fries en tant qu’objets littéraires et culturels” in La Pomme de Terre de la Renaissance au XXIe siècle, Presses Universitaires de Rennes/Presses Universitaires François Rabelais de Tours, 2011.
  • “French Food Texts and National Identity: Consommé, Cheese Soufflé, Francité” in You Are What You Eat: Literary Probes into the Palate, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008.
  • “‘French’ Fries: France’s Culinary Identity from Brillat-Savarin to Barthes,” Convivium Artium, February 2006.
  • “Writing the Ineffable: Du Bellay’s Olive,” French Review 78:3 (February 2005).
  • “A Transgressive ‘Female’ Space: Moderata Fonte’s Il merito delle donne,” NEMLA Italian Studies, Volume XXV (2001), published September 2004.
  • “Speaking of Women: Molière and Conversation at the Court of Louis XIV,” Modern Language Studies Volume 29.2 (Fall 1999), published Fall 2000.

Grants and Awards

  • Named Emily Fisher Faculty Fellow, 2011.

Other Activities

  • Project: to oversee the inaugural year of programming for the Liebowitz Center for International Studies.
  • Faculty organizer of the annual summer study program in Tours, France

Why I came to Simon's Rock

“Before coming to Simon's Rock, I had only taught at large universities. The small classes and close community here appealed to me right from the start. I know from experience that the students here are more engaged than at other places, and my classes are more lively and more rigorous as a result. Another happy result of our small size is that I am able to teach a variety of courses, something that wasn't true when I taught in larger departments. As a result, I've taught seminars on 17th-century French literature, created an entire course devoted to French food, and run countless tutorials, including an ill-conceived course on the works of the Marquis de Sade. The students are serious about learning here; it's a great place to teach..”

A favorite Simon's Rock teaching moment.

“I often use classic French chansons in my beginning French course--Jacques Brel, Charles Trenet--hoping to introduce students to what I consider bastions of French high culture. My illusions were shattered when, during an exercise based on Edith Piaf's "Non, je ne regrette rien," I overheard someone say "Isn't this the song from Inception?"

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