Dr. Bruce Hayes

Professor of French
Chair, Department of French & Italian
Primary office:
Wescoe Hall
Room 2118
University of Kansas
1445 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594
Second office:
Wescoe Hall
Room 2067


Contact information





Ph.D., M.Phil., M.A. in French Studies, Yale University

M.A., B.A. in French Studies, Brigham Young University


Bruce Hayes is a professor of French literature and culture at the University of Kansas, where he has taught since 2001. He is the author of two monographs, Rabelais’s Radical Farce. Late Medieval Comic Theater and Its Function in Rabelais (Ashgate, 2010) and Hostile Humor in Renaissance France (University of Delaware Press, 2020). He has co-edited two special journal issues, and has published articles and book chapters on Rabelais, Marguerite de Navarre, and various religious polemicists.

In recent years, he has become involved with issues related to graduate student training, mentoring, and job placement. He teaches classes on Renaissance literature, contemporary French culture, gender in the Renaissance, obscenity in French literature, the French Wars of Religion, and other topics.

Recent Publications


  • Hostile Humor in Renaissance France. University of Delaware Press, 2020.​
  • Rabelais’s Radical Farce: Late Medieval Comic Theater and Its Function in Rabelais. Ashgate, 2010.

Co-edited volumes

  • Yale French Studies no. 134 (2018): “The Construction of a National Vernacular Literature in the Renaissance.” Co-edited with Jessica DeVos.
  • Œuvres et Critiques 38.2 (2013): “Jean Boucher, 1548–1646 (?) : prêtre, prédicateur, polémiste.” Co-edited with Paul Scott.


  • “La farce hybride dans l’œuvre rabelaisienne : les exemples de Thaumaste et de Dindenault.”  Rabelais et l’hybridité des récits rabelaisiens. Diane Desrosiers, Claude La Charité, Christian Veilleux, and Tristan Vigliano, eds. Études Rabelaisiennes 56 (2017): 77–85.
  • “The Affaire des placards, Polemical Humour, and the Sardonic Laugh.” French Studies 70.3 (2016): 332–47.
  • Frances Devlin and Bruce Hayes. “A Faculty/Librarian Collaboration to Restructure a Graduate Research Methods Class for French Literature Students.” The French Review 89.2 (2015): 146‑61.
  • “Le risus sardonicus de Jean Boucher.” Œuvres et Critiques 38.2 (2013): 25-38.
  • “The Transgressive Ethics of the Trickster in Late Medieval and Post-Reformation French Farce.” At Whom Are We Laughing? Humor in Romance Language Literatures. Zenia Sacks DaSilva and Gregory M. Pell, eds. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2013: 41-54.
  • “Les perplexités de la masculinité : cynisme, scepticisme et caritas chrétienne dans le Tiers livre de Rabelais.” Les Interférences des écoles de pensée antiques dans la littérature de la Renaissance. Edward Tilson, ed. Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2013: 205-20.

Recent Graduate Courses Taught

French Women Writers of the Renaissance

Masculinity in the Renaissance

Rabelais and Montaigne

Poésie lyrique à la Renaissance

Events, Ideologies, and Literature Surrounding the French Wars of Religion

Introduction to Graduate Studies

Recent Undergraduate Courses Taught

The Obscene and the Grotesque in French Literature

French Literature of the Renaissance

The French Wars of Religion

La France d’aujourd’hui

Survey of French Culture, Middle Ages and Renaissance

Introduction to French Literature

Humor from the Margins of French Literature

Areas of Interest

French Renaissance Literature and Culture, Renaissance Studies, Late Medieval and Renaissance Drama, Humor Studies


Give to French, Francophone & Italian Studies


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