Eliza Zingesser

Assistant Professor

Columbia University

Heyman Center Fellow, 2018 - 2019

Project Title: "Borderlands: Intercultural Encounters in the Medieval Pastourelle"

Eliza Zingesser is a specialist of medieval French and Occitan literature. She was formerly a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge (2012-2013) and an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa (2013-2014). She is particularly interested in issues of cultural and linguistic contact, gender and sexuality, and animal studies. She is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Stolen Song: How the Troubadours Became French. Stolen Song documents for the first time the act of cultural appropriation that created a founding moment for French literary history: the rescripting and domestication of troubadour song, a prestige corpus in the European sphere, as French, and the simultaneous creation of an alternative point of origin for French literary history—a body of faux-archaic Occitanizing song. Her Heyman Center project, Borderlands: Intercultural Encounters in the Medieval Pastourelle, shows how pastoral literature became a privileged site for medieval French explorations of cultural and linguistic difference. Her articles have appeared in journals such as Modern Philology, MLN, and New Medieval Literatures. She recently won the Society for French Studies’ Malcolm Bowie Prize for the best article by an early career researcher for her article, “Pidgin Poetics: Bird Talk in Medieval France and Occitania.”