Deborah Nelson-Campbell

WEBSITE(S)| French Studies | European Studies


  • PhD, Ohio State University


Research and Teaching

  • Medieval French and Occitan Language and Literature
  • French Troubadours
  • Women in Medieval and Renaissance French literature


Recent Courses

  • FREN 416 Literature and Culture of the Middle Ages
  • FREN 409 Novels and Films
  • FREN 351 The Provinces of France
  • FREN 311 Major Literary Works and Artifacts of Pre-Revolutionary France


Deborah Nelson-Campbell is a scholar of medieval and Renaissance French literature, from the 1100s to the 1400s. An accomplished translator and editor, she published two critical editions of thirteenth-century French poets, Adam de la Halle and Andrieu Contredit d’Arras, and a translation into English of historian Franck Collard’s highly acclaimed study Le Crime de Poison au Moyen Age (2003). She is also the author of an analytical bibliography of Charles d’Orléans. In addition, she has published numerous articles on authors and works in Old French and Occitan literature including Marie de France, Chrétien de Troyes, Christine de Pizan, and Marcabru, one of the first troubadours. Her current research interests include the role of women in Old French literature from the twelfth to the fifteenth century and the place that “courtly love” (amour Courtois, or fin’amors in Occitan) played in that literature.

Over the course of a long and distinguished career at Rice, she received the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching and the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award, and she also acted as a consultant for National Geographic magazine. In 1987, she was named Chevalier in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques, one of the oldest civil honors bestowed by the French Republic, originally estabished in 1808.


Selected Publications


1. Books and Edited Volumes

  • Ed. with Rouben Cholakian, The Legacy of Courtly Literature: From Medieval to Contemporary Culture (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).
  • Ed. and trans., The Songs of Andrieu Contredit d’Arras, with music arranged by Hendrik van der Werf (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1992).
  • Charles d’Orléans: An Analytical Bibliography (London: Grant & Cutler, 1990).
  • Ed. and trans., The Lyrics and Melodies of Adam de La Halle, with music arranged by Hendrik van der Werf (New York: Garland, 1985).


2. Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Coping with Isolation: Strategies of Some Medieval French Noblewomen,” Publications of the Medieval Association of the Midwest 8 (2001), 71-84.
  • “From Twelfth-Century Cortezia to Fifteenth-Century Courtoisie: Evolution of a Concept or Continuation of a Tradition?” Fifteenth-Century Studies 25 (2000), 86-96.
  • “A Woman is Like…,” Romance Quarterly 46/2 (1999), 67-73.
  • “Silent Women,” Romance Notes 40/1 (1999), 13-24.


             Nelson Book1