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Sarah Nelson

Sarah Nelson

Associate Professor of French and French Section Coordinator


Administration Bldg. 308A



Mailing Address

Modern Languages & Cultures Department
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3174
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3174

Sarah Nelson is an associate professor and section coordinator of French.

  • Ph.D., French, University of Wisconsin, 1997
  • M.A., French, University of Wisconsin, 1987
  • B.A., French, Saint Olaf College, 1983

Sarah Nelson discovered her love of languages and cultural exchange when, at the ages of six and eleven, she lived with her family in Norway and Austria. In addition to French, she has studied German, Norwegian, Mandarin, Latin, Italian, Spanish and a little Wolof. She has spent a total of five years living, studying and working in France, Belgium and Switzerland; she looks forward to visiting and studying the Francophone world outside of Europe, and she began by traveling to Senegal in summer 2011.

Before joining the University of Idaho faculty, Sarah held visiting positions at Bates College and Bowdoin College. Her research focus has broadened from the French Renaissance to the early modern period, but her interest in questions of gender has remained constant. At the University of Idaho, she has served as president of Phi Beta Kappa and has taken an active part in University initiatives on the core curriculum, institutional diversity and undergraduate advising.

  • French Renaissance and Reformation literature
  • Early modern women writers
  • Gender in early modern literature
  • Literary translation


  • The Memoirs of Hortense and Marie Mancini (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008).


  • "Making a Case: Mmes de Courcelles, Mazarin, and Villedieu in their own defense," Women in French Studies, forthcoming in 2011.
  • "The Poet's War on Mothers: Iconoclasm in Agrippa d'Aubigné's Les Tragiques," Cincinnati Romance Review 20 (2001).


  • Biography in Early Modern France, 1540-1630: Forms and Functions, by Katherine MacDonald, Biography 32.4 (2009).
  • Agrippa d'Aubigné, ou les misères du prophète, by Samuel Junod, Renaissance Quarterly 62.1 (2009).
  • La Justice de Dieu: Les Tragiques d'Agrippa d'Aubigné et la Réforme protestante en France au XVIe siècle, by Elliott Forsyth, Renaissance Quarterly 59.4 (2006).

  • Idaho State Foreign Language Teacher of the Year (IATLC), 2011-2012
  • Ping Fellowship for participation in CIEE International Faculty Development Seminar, Senegal, 2011
  • Mellon Summer Institute in French Paleography Fellowship, 2010
  • UI Award for Excellence in Interdisciplinary or Collaborative Efforts, 2010
  • UI CLASS Key Fund Grant, 2009
  • University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) Faculty Development Grant, 2008
  • UI Seed Grant, 2004
  • Friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries Grant, 2004
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute Fellowship, 2003

Modern Language and Cultures

Physical Address:
302 Administration Building

Mailing Address:
Modern Languages & Cultures Department
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3174
Moscow, ID 83844-3174

Phone: 208-885-6179

Fax: 208-885-5221


Web: Modern Language and Cultures Department