Thomas C. Connolly

Thomas C. Connolly's picture
Associate Professor and DUS
82-90 Wall St., Room 424

Thomas C. Connolly obtained his BA in Modern Languages from the University of Oxford. He spent three years at the École normale supérieure (Ulm) as ‘élève de la Sélection internationale,’ and completed a ‘Maîtrise’ and a ‘DEA’ at the Université de Paris IV–La Sorbonne. He received a PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University in 2012.

Thomas’s research interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century French and Francophone poetry, with emphasis on the prose poem, ekphrasis, and, more broadly, poetry’s relation to the visual arts. He is guest editor of a special double issue of Yale French Studies entitled ‘North African Poetry in French,’ due out later this year. His current book project, Reading After Images, examines the interrelations of poetry and the visual arts in the Francophone Maghreb. He is the author of Paul Celan’s Unfinished Poetics: Readings in the Sous-Oeuvre (Cambridge: MHRA/Legenda, 2018 [hardback] / 2019 [paperback]

Selected Articles:

“Primitive Passions, Blinding Visions: Arthur Rimbaud’s ‘Mystique’ and a Tradition of Mystical Ekphrasis.” PMLA 132.1 (2017): 101-118. [Awarded the Fifty-Fourth Annual William Riley Parker Prize for an Outstanding Article in PMLA, Modern Language Association, 2017].

“Translating the Night: On Paul Celan and Fragment 178 of René Char’s Feuillets d’Hypnos.” Forthcoming in Celan at 100 – A Companion, ed. Michael Eskin, Karen Leeder, and Marko Pajevic (De Gruyter, 2020).

“Fleurs arctiques: ‘Barbare’ à la lumière d’Ovide.” Parade sauvage: revue internationale d’études rimbaldiennes 30 (2019): 169-189.

“Rimbaud islamique? Le vertige artificiel de ‘Fleurs’.” Parade sauvage: revue internationale d’études rimbaldiennes 29 (2018): 199-218.

“Orpheus, pied-noir: Sartre, Sénac, and the Poetics of Algerian Becoming” in Manuela Consonni and Vivian Liska (ed.), Sartre, Jews and the Other: Rethinking Antisemitism, Race, and Gender (De Gruyter, 2020): 227-242.

“Berber Spider: Tahar Djaout, Arachne, and the Afterlife of Oral Poetics.” MLN 133.4 (2018): 1099-1122.

“Walking in Colour: Another Look at Musical Ekphrasis through Marc Chagall’s Jerusalem Windows.” Mosaic 51.1 (2018): 161-178.

‘Baroque et belle’: Dirty Prose, Photos, and Other Subtle Secrets in Mallarmé’s ‘Le Nénuphar blanc’.” Romanic Review 108.1-2 (2018): 233-252.

“‘Splendides et salomoniques’: On Temples in Mallarmé.” French Studies Bulletin 37.1 (2016): 1-3.

“Baudelaire the Frequent Flyer: Prostitution, the Press, and How the Prose Poem Almost Sold its Soul.” Romance Notes 55.3 (2015): 463-474. 

“Oils, Psalms, and Scum: Anadyomene Paint and the Limits of Ekphrasis in Paul Celan’s ‘Einkanter: Rembrandt’.” Modern Philology 111.4 (2014): 841-861.

““Keine Schönschrift für Schulkinder”: Towards a Poetics of the Pre-Text in Paul Celan’s Eingedunkelt.” Compar(a)ison (2013 [2017]): 107-130.

“Rembrandt, Mandelstam et les limites de l’ekphrasis.” Forthcoming in Paul Celan, ed. Bertrand Badiou (Éditions de l’Herne, 2020).

Selected Reviews:

“Robert St. Clair, Poetry, Politics & the Body in Rimbaud: Lyrical Material. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018” and “Seth Whidden, Arthur Rimbaud. London: Reaktion Books, 2018” in French Forum 44.3 (2019): 456-465.

“Ludmila Charles-Wurtz and Judith Wulf (ed.), Lectures des Contemplations. Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2016” in Nineteenth-Century French Studies 46.3-4 (2018).

“Daniel Albright, Putting Modernism Together: Literature, Music, and Painting 1872-1927. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015” in Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature 41.2 (2017).

“Dominique Billy, Les Formes poétiques selon Baudelaire. Paris: Honoré Champion, 2015” in Nineteenth-Century French Studies 45.3-4 (2017).

Courses include:

French Poetry and the Invention of Modern Life (Fren 092)

Modern French Poetry (Fren 236)

Mad Poets (Fren 270 / Litr 284)

The Prose Poem (Fren 345)

Ekphrasis (Fren 347 / Hsar 280)

North African French Poetry (Fren 425)

The Prose Poem (Fren 880) (graduate)

Modern French Poetry in the Maghreb (Fren 885) (graduate)

Stéphane Mallarmé (Fren 911) (graduate)