Christopher Callahan
Associate Professor of French/Spanish



I received my Ph.D. in French Linguistics, with a minor in Medieval Studies, from Indiana University in 1985.  From 1985-1989, I taught at the University of Nebraska, and arrived at IWU in the fall of 1989, retooling along the way as a medievalist.  Though hired to teach both French and Spanish, I teach only French language, from the beginning through our 300-level stylistics course.  I am responsible for the Medieval and Renaissance portion of both our civilization and literature curriculum, and the department’s Literature and Culture in Translation courses.  I also share my love of the Middle Ages outside of my department, in the Humanities program, which houses my May Term travel course to France and England, and in Gateway.  


My research focuses on lyric poetry as a performed genre.  As it combines narratology and music, my work has extended to include narrative as well as lyrico-narrative verse, the motet, and most recently, rhetoric and drama.  I am also an avid reader in art history, particularly Romanesque and Gothic iconography, and have developed a Web site for instruction in that field.

I resided in France both as an undergraduate and an M.A. candidate, and prior to completing the Ph.D., spent two years in Quebec teaching English at Laval University.  More recent experience in Europe includes travel courses for IWU students, teaching Old Occitan language and literature in a summer program in Narbonne, and several summer research trips, spent in manuscript reading rooms in Paris, Lille, Brussels, and Bern, as well as filming the French pilgrim roads to Santiago de Compostela.  In addition, I spent the 1995-96 school year at the Université de Poitiers, studying medieval musicology. 

I have twenty years of experience as a translator. In addition to handling written documents of all type, I have worked as a simultaneous interpreter for the Steering Committee of the International Special Olympics, the International Special Olympics games, the Executive Committee of L’Arche Internationale, two academic conferences at the University of Notre Dame, and most recently, for the McLean County court system. 

Outside of the academy, I am a member of a local Irish band, Bloomsday (, to which I contribute fiddle, harp and harmony vocals. Recent credits include two Chicago Celtic festivals and a program for WILL Television, in addition to our regular venue of regional festivals. The St. Patrick Society of Peoria has written about us: “A guaranteed good time. If you enjoy music by groups like Gaelic Storm and the Chieftains, you will see why this band is one of Central Illinois’ most popular groups.”

Courses Taught

FR 101 and 102 – Elementary French I and II

FR 201 and 203 – Intermediate French I and II

FR 302 – Advanced Expression: The Written Medium

FR 303 – Introduction to Literature I

FR 315 – French Civilization from Roman Gaul to the Renaissance

FR 405 – Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature

HUM 102 – The World of Ideas 500-1500

HUM 270 – The Plantagenet World – France and England 1100-1400 (Travel course)

LC 275 – Heroic Poetry in Performance 

GW 100- The Once and Future Myth: King Arthur in Modern Continuation


Course Pages

Français 315. La civilisation I
Humanities 270. The Plantagenet World: France and England 1150-1400


Other Web Sites

Romanesque and Gothic France


Recent Scholarship


With S.N. Rosenberg. Les Chansons de Colin Muset. Textes et mélodies. Paris: Honoré Champion (Classiques Français du Moyen Age), 2005.


With S.N. Rosenberg. Les Chansons de Colin Muset en français moderne. Paris: Honoré Champion (Traductions des Classiques Français du Moyen Age), 2005.



“Subjective Identity and Collective Conscience in the Songs of Colin Muset.” In J. Blevins, ed. Dialogism and Lyric Self-Fashioning: Voices of a Genre. Susquehanna University Press, forthcoming.


“Tracking Robin, Marion and the Virgin Mary: Musical/Textual Interlace in the Pastourelle Motet.” In Fresco and Pfeffer, eds. Studies in Old French Language, Literature and Music in Honor of Samuel N. Rosenberg. Summa Publications, forthcoming.


“Christine de Pizan’s Dit de la pastoure, Pastoral Poetry, and the Poetics of Loss.” Le Moyen Français 59 (2006), forthcoming.


“Hybrid Discourse and Performance in the Old French Pastourelle.” French Forum 27.1 (2002), 1-22.


“Lyric Discourse and Female Vocality: On the Unsilencing of Silence.” Arthuriana, 12.1 (2002): 123-131.


“Canon Law, Primogeniture and the Marriage of Ebain and Silence.” Romance Quarterly, 49.1 (2002): 12-20.


“Music in Medieval Medical Practice: Speculations and Certainties.” College Music Symposium 40 (2000), pp. 151-164.



Pastourelle Motets from the French Ars Antiqua. BYU: The Chaucer Studio, forthcoming.

Performed by The Evelyn Consort, J. Scott Ferguson, director

Old French Diction Component, Liner Notes and Translations: C. Callahan


Or dient et content et fabloient: Four Centuries of Old French Verse. BYU: The Chaucer Studio, 2005.

Readers: C. Callahan, J. Trasker-Grimbert, D. O’Sullivan, S.N. Rosenberg, H. Washburn.



Gabellieri, Emmanuel. “Reformulating Platonism. The Trinitarian Metaxology of Simone Weil,” in Doering and Springsted, eds., The Christian Platonism of Simone Weil. Proceedings of the International Colloquy. University of Notre Dame Press, 2004, 133-158.


Narcy, Michel. “Limits and Significance of Simone Weil’s Platonism,” in Doering and Springsted, ibid, 23-41.



Haines, John. Eight Centuries of Troubadours and Trouvères. Cambridge University Press, 2004. Encomia, forthcoming.


Minnis, Alastair. Magister Amoris. The Roman de la Rose and Vernacular Hermeneutics. Oxford University Press, 2001. Romance Quarterly, forthcoming.


Jewers, Caroline. Chivalric Fiction and the History of the Novel. Gainesville: The University Press of Florida, 2000. The Medieval Review [online] 01.09.04. ISSN: 1096-746X


Rosalind Field, ed. Tradition and Transformation in Medieval Romance. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1999. The Medieval Review [online]. 00.05.08. ISSN: 1096-746X