Daniel Worden

Daniel J. Worden

Assistant Professor of French

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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 !


  • 2020, South Carolina Humanities Grant
  • 2013, Excellence Scholarship, Geneva Summer School of Literature, “New Trends in Eighteenth-Century Criticism,” Université de Genève
  • 2012, Research Grant, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, Princeton University
  • 2011, Alfred Foulet Teaching Award, Department of French and Italian, Princeton University
  • 2003, Françoise Calin Scholarship, Department of Romance Languages, University of Oregon


  • Ph.D, French, Department of French and Italian, Princeton University, 2015
  • M.A., French, Department of French and Italian, Princeton University, 2010
  • M.A., French, Department of Romance Languages, University of Oregon, 2006
  • B.A., French, Department of Romance Languages, University of Oregon, 2004, Magna cum laude with Departmental Honors


  • The long seventeenth century
  • Early modern European literatures and cultures
  • Fairy tales, myth and fables
  • Theories of the (neo-)baroque
  • Early modern culture, the cosmos and the environment
  • Science fiction studies
  • Film studies


  • “Revealing the Unknown in La Terre australe connue (1676) by Gabriel Foigny.”  Cahiers du dix-septième. Volume XIX.  Forthcoming.
  • Aphra Behn’s ‘Emperor of the Moon’ and Its French Source, ‘Arlequin, Empereur dans la lune’. Co-authored with Judy A. Hayden. Cambridge, England: Modern Humanities Research Association, 2019.
  • “Imposteurs et mécaniques d'illusion dans Les Amours et les avantures d'Arcan et de Bélize (1714) de Tyssot de Patot." Imposture et fiction dqns les récits d'Ancien Régime. Ed. Nathalie Kremer, Jean-Paul Sermain et Yen-Maï Tran-Gervat.  Paris: Hermann, 2016.
  • “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 Flamsteed. Ed. Judy Hayden. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 183-200.
  • “A Neo-Baroque Tale of Jesuits in Space: Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow (1996)”. Image [&] Narrative 13.2 (2012). 95-116.

Conference Papers

  • “The Ambiguous Tree of Knowledge in Cyrano de Bergerac’s L’Autre Monde.” British Society for Literature and Science. London, England, April 4-6, 2019.
  • “Hunting in the Murk: Seeing Vulnerable and Powerful Women in Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy’s ‘La Biche au bois’.” Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association. Bellingham, Washington. November 9-11, 2018.
  • “Impostures and Representations: Reflections on Truth and Falsehood in a Letter by Cyrano de Bergerac.” Society for French Studies. Cork, Ireland. July 2-4, 2018.
  • “A Boat with Two Figureheads: Symmetry and Recursion in Gabriel de Foigny’s La Terre australe connue (1676).” Pacific Northwest Renaissance Society. Kelowna, British Columbia. October 17-18, 2014.
  • “Demons, Sylphs, or Delusions? The Interpretive Labyrinth of Le Comte de Gabalis (1670).” Society for French Studies. Nottingham, England. July 1-3, 2013.
  • “Imposteurs et mécaniques d’illusion dans Les Amours et les avantures d’Arcan et de Bélize (1714) de Tyssot de Patot.” Société d’analyse de la topique romanesque. Paris, France. June 12-14, 2013.
  • “The Fallen and the Estranged: Foigny’s La Terre australe connue (1676) as Science Fiction.” Mapping the World, Mapping the Self Colloquium. Princeton, New Jersey. April 19-20, 2012.
  • “Astronomy, Prophecy and Imposture in Tyssot de Patot’s Voyages et avantures de Jaques Massé.” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, San Antonio, Texas. March 22-25, 2012.
  • “Arctic Archives and the Fiction of History in Tyssot de Patot’s Voyage de Groenland” Society for Utopian Studies, State College, Pennsylvania. October 20-23, 2011.