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Catherine Danielou. Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs; Associate Professor of French
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Heritage Hall 560
(205) 934-5643

Research and Teaching Interests: History of Ideas; 17th-century French Literature; Moralistes Writers; Ancien Régime France; Aging in 17th-century French Women Writings; Rural France; Littérature du Terroir; French Culture; Franco-Americans

Office Hours: Every day, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

  • Licence/BA, Université de Paris III-Nouvelle-Sorbonne
  • Maîtrise / MA, Université de Paris III-Nouvelle Sorbonne
  • MA, Michigan State University
  • PhD, Michigan State University

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Paris, France. After studying American History I went on to teach and study in the United States as part of the “French government assistant program” and from there designed a new course for my life. My specialization is 17th-century French literature but my scholarly interests have expanded to other areas. I started with an emphasis on the French moralist writers, history of ideas, and an interest in the early modern perception of self-awareness and human interaction in society. To understand the perception of human nature in those times, I studied François de La Rochefoucauld, Pierre Nicole, Jean de La Bruyère, Jean de La Fontaine, Molière, Blaise Pascal, and the Port-Royal movement. From there I became interested in the topic of aging in Ancien Régime French women writers as well as the influence of Michel de Montaigne's Essays on writings by women. More recently I have explored topics related to rurality, French littérature du terroir, and the Ecole de Brive writers.

My academic field has always been particularly enjoyable to me in the way that it has allowed me to range from fundamental intellectual questions to very practical concerns about language, world cultures, and how to communicate these dimensions to students and help fellow teachers to communicate the same to their students. The French teachers I admire have always been effective, compassionate teachers who were responsibly and culturally engaged in their community, solid contributors to their fields, and dedicated to serving their profession.

My work at UAB mainly focuses on administration now. While my appointment is exclusively administrative at the moment, I find that I teach in many different ways and contexts, only outside the classroom. I believe in the value of interdisciplinary approaches to teaching, and always liked to teach 17th- and 18th-century French literature and civilization, pre-revolutionary French history, advanced French grammar and translation, and world cultures. Today I find meaning in serving the College of Arts and Sciences and the many disciplines it encompasses. My work focuses on academic affairs, allowing me to work with students in general as well as with departments and department chairs as they develop new programs, revise their curriculum, face challenges, and contemplate new opportunities. Last, my academic journey has been defined by my continued commitment to serving my profession. I am interested in innovative ideas and defining a vision for French Studies in North America.

Aside from my work at UAB, I enjoy offering immersion workshops for teachers of French, and I present regularly at conferences. I have served teaching associations in many different capacities over the years. Today I advocate for French Studies and serve the interests of French teachers as elected President of the American Association of Teachers of French (2016-2018). AATF is the largest French teachers association in the world, representing over 10,000 French teachers in North America. My mission as its president is to help enhance our present and shape our future as professionals and foreign language teachers. Some of my goals as President are to (1) understand and communicate the new challenges foreign language education is now facing; (2) foster meaningful and significant relationships between K-12 and university-level teachers; (3) encourage K-12 teachers to take on new projects, including immersion experiences; (4) convey the importance of innovative digital learning; (5) encourage curriculum redesign and global leadership; and (6) maintain a high visibility for the study and teaching of French in our communities.

I have been at UAB for well over 25 years now, and always find meaning in serving our university and working with our students. I am a great supporter of UAB athletics and student life. Go Blazers!

  • Select Publications
    • Catherine F. Daniélou, “La Corrèze, la littérature du terroir de l’Ecole de Brive, et la France rurale durant la Grande Guerre,” The French Review 87 (No. 4, May 2014):25-40.
    • Catherine F. Daniélou, “Tester autrement au niveau avancé: la khôlle,” The French Review 86 (No. 4, 2013):686-98.
    • Catherine F. Daniélou, “’Un concert des coeurs et d’esprits’: l’amitié chez Dauphine de Sartre, marquise de Robiac (1634-1685),” Papers on Seventeenth Century French Literature 37.72 (2010):71-83.
    • Catherine F. Daniélou, “Nancy Huston ou ‘le théâtre de l’exil,’” in Problématiques identitaires de l’exil, Anissa Talahite-Moodley, ed., (Ottawa, Canada: University of Ottawa Press, 2007), 319-41.
    • Catherine F. Daniélou, “La reine secrète: Madame de Maintenon à l’écran,” Women in French Studies, special issue: French/Francophone Culture and Literature Through Film (2005):255-73.
  • Academic Distinctions and Professional Societies
    • Outstanding Administrator Award, Alabama Association of Foreign Language Teachers, 2015.
    • Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, French Academic Palms, 2013.
    • Faculty Member of the Year 2011-2012, UAB Undergraduate Student Government Association, 2012.
    • Faculty Advisor of the Year, Student Excellence Awards (for advising the International Studies Club), 2012.
    • 2010 Conner Prize for the History of Ideas, UAB, 2010.
    • Alabama Association of Foreign Language Teachers Outstanding Foreign Language Teacher Award: Postsecondary, 2006.
    • President’s Excellence in Teaching Award, UAB, 2004.
    • Prix d’Excellence pour services rendus à la culture française, AATF-Alabama (American Association of Teachers of French), 2004.