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Professor of French

Graduate French Language Advisor | Dey 224

At UNC since 2004


PhD, Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota, 1993
MA, French, University of Minnesota, 1990
MA, Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota, 1987
BA, Philosophy, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1983

Other Appointments

Adjunct Professor, English and Comparative Literature; Affiliated Faculty, American Studies


Hassan Melehy is a scholar of the French Renaissance with a wide range of other interests: in 2016 he published Kerouac: Language, Poetics, and Territory (Bloomsbury), which explores the role of the Jack Kerouac’s native French in his writing. And in 2017, Prof. Melehy published a book of poems, A Modest Apocalypse (Eyewear). He has also written numerous articles on early modern literature and philosophy, recent and contemporary critical theory, and film studies. He teaches courses on all these subjects to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Prof. Melehy’s current research is on the relationship of political thought to literature in Renaissance France and England, a follow-up to his 2010 book, The Poetics of Literary Transfer in Early Modern France and England (Ashgate; reissued by Routledge, 2016).

He has been an invited speaker at Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Barnard College, the Smithsonian Institution, and the University of Giessen (Germany). In 2017, he gave a lecture on Kerouac at the University of Massachusetts campus in the Beat Generation author’s hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts.


Recent essays:

  • “Godard Gets the Blues: Movies, Music, and Baraka.” L’Esprit Créateur 58.4 (Winter 2018): 64–82.
  • “Cyborg.” The Bloomsbury Handbook of Literary and Cultural Theory. Ed. Jeffrey R. Di Leo. New York: Bloomsbury, 2018. 433–35.
  • Jack Kerouac and Translingual Literature.” The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature. March 2017.
  • “Du Bellay and La Deffence et illustration de la langue françoyse.” A History of Modern French Literature: From the Sixteenth Century to the Twentieth Century. Ed. Christopher Prendergast. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017. 137–54.
  • “Deleuze, Kerouac, Fascism, and Death.” Dead Theory: Derrida, Death, and the Afterlife of Theory. Ed. Jeffrey R. Di Leo. New York: Bloomsbury, 2016. 191–204.
  • Student Safety at Carolina, Present and Future.” The Daily Tar Heel, November 30, 2016.
  • “La carte cinématographique du xvie siècle: sur la route transdisciplinaire.” Illustrations inconscientes. Ecritures de la Renaissance. Mélanges offerts à Tom Conley. Ed. Bernd Renner and Phillip John Usher. Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2014. 31–44.
  • Curriculum for Sale?Academe: Magazine of the American Association of University Professors 98.3 (May-June 2012): 22-27.
  • “The Mobility of Constancy: Montaigne, Shakespeare, and Lipsius.” REAL: Yearbook of Research in English and American Literature 28 (2012): 73–91.

Typical Courses

  • FREN562. Poetry and Poetics of the French Renaissance.
  • FREN563/CMPL563. Studies in the Anglo-French Renaissance.
  • FREN388-FREN389. The History of French Cinema I & II.

Recently Directed Dissertations

  • Louai, El Habib. “Chronicling a Cultural Encounter in the Interzone: Social Unconventionality, Hobo Reclusions and Countercultural Agency in the Writings of Mohamed Choukri, Mohammed Mrabet, Larbi Layachi, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.” Co-directed with Prof. Nourdin Bejjit. Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco. March 2019.
  • Cranford, Emily. “I am myself the matter of my book”: Gender, Friendship, and Writing in Hélisenne de Crenne and Marie de Gournay. Spring 2015.
  • Hughes, Ellis Eugene. The Confession(s) of an Early Modern Virago: Situating Confession, Evangelizing, and Defense of Women in the Writings of Hélisenne de Crenne. Spring 2014.
  • Johnson, Brian. The Rhetorical Use of Animals in Early Modern French Literature. Fall 2013.

Graduate Students Advised by Professor Melehy

Professor Melehy is currently accepting new advisees.