French and Francophone Studies


Leading scholars specializing in periods from the 16th to the 21st centures, faculty have research interests in philosophy, anthropology, gender and sexuality studies, environmental humanities, film theory, the novel, poststructuralist thought, second language acquisition and translation.


Affiliate and Visiting Faculty

Teaching Associates


In Memoriam

  • Edward J. Ahearn Professor Emeritus of Comparative and French and Francophone Studies

    Edward J. Ahearn

    Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature and French Studies

    It is with sadness that the Department of French and Francophone Studies announces the death of Professor Emeritus Edward J. Ahearn, who passed away on December 11, 2023, at the age of 86.

    Ed was born and raised in a close-knit family in Brooklyn, NY, where he spent his childhood, excelling academically and athletically as well as in the arts. An accomplished painter, captain and star pitcher of his baseball team, Ed was granted a full scholarship to Regis High School and then to Manhattan College in New York, distinguishing himself as the first person in his family to go to college. Ed went on to pursue graduate studies at Yale University, receiving his PhD in 1963 before accepting a position at Brown University, where he was beloved by students, admired for his influential and ambitious work on nineteenth-century French literature, and distinguished by his administrative service, which included terms as chair of both the French and Comparative Literature departments. A strong advocate for the Humanities, for students, and for his four younger brothers, Ed was also a loving husband and father, a fiercely competitive athlete on the tennis courts, and a respected intellectual voice at Brown for 49 years.

    A celebration of his life was held at Manning Chapel on December 20, 2023.

  • Dr. Ridgely, center, with his three children, Bob, Pete (standing), and Ginny

    Beverly S. Ridgely

    Professor Emeritus of French Studies

    It is with deep sadness that the Department of French Studies announces the death of Professor Emeritus Beverly S. Ridgely, who passed away on October 25, 2017 at the age of 95.

    Beverly Ridgely, a native of Baltimore, was a naval officer during World War II before going on to receive his PhD from Princeton. A specialist of seventeenth-century French literature, Professor Ridgely joined the Brown faculty in 1950 and taught for four decades until his retirement. He edited an edition of La Fontaine’s fables and published articles on such topics as the “new astronomy" in seventeenth-century French poetry and the cosmic voyage in Charles Sorel’s work.

    A dedicated conservationist and avid ornithologist, Professor Ridgely also published books on the birds of New Hampshire and birds in philately. His colleagues will remember him as a kind and generous man who was devoted to teaching at Brown and had a passion for nature. Beverly Ridgely is survived by a daughter and two sons.

    A memorial service was held at Swan Point cemetery chapel on November 18, 2017.

  • Shoggy Thierry Waryn

    Shoggy Thierry Waryn

    Senior Lecturer of French Studies

    With great sadness, we announce the passing of our colleague, Shoggy Waryn. After an extended illness, he died at home, surrounded by a group of close friends, on February 18, 2014.

    Words are wholly inadequate to express the depth of our loss. Shoggy was a generous and energetic colleague and a dynamic and innovative pedagogue, who made enormous and lasting contributions to our Department, Brown-in-France, the Providence French Film Festival, our library's French film collection, and language learning at Brown and beyond. We will remember his sharp wit and boisterous laughter, without which Rochambeau House will not be the same.