John Naughton

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John Naughton

Harrington and Shirley Drake Professor of the Humanities in the Department of Romance Languages

Department/Office Information

Romance Languages
215 Lawrence Hall


John Naughton is Harrington and Shirley Drake Professor of the Humanities in the Department of Romance Languages. He served as chair of Core 151 ("Legacies of the Ancient World") from 1994-2000, then as chair of the Department of Romance Languages from 1998-2000. From 2000-2003, he was director of the Division of University Studies. He has authored or edited eight books and written more than 50 articles, translations, and reviews in the area of modern French poetry and poetics. His translations have been honored by the British Poetry Book Society and by the Modern Language Association. He has received the medal of the Collège de France in Paris for "distinguished contributions to the study of French literature." He has been nominated on five separate occasions as Colgate's "Professor of the Year." Naughton has directed 15 study groups, taking students to Dijon, France, for a semester of study since 1987. In 2019, the French Minister of Culture made Professor Naughton a Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters. 

BA, MA, Stanford University; MA, PhD, University of California at Santa Cruz

Contemporary French novel, modern poetry and religious tradition, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Claudel, Bonnefoy, Des Forets

Modern French poetry, contemporary French novel, Dante, quest literature, comparative poetics


  • The Poetics of Yves Bonnefoy (University of Chicago Press, 1984)
  • The Act and the Place of Poetry, ed. (University of Chicago Press, 1989)
  • In the Shadow's Light (translations from French, University of Chicago Press, 1991)
  • Louis-Rene des Forets (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1993)
  • Yves Bonnefoy: New and Selected Poems, ed. (University of Chicago Press; Carcanet Press/London, 1995)
  • Shakespeare and the French Poet, ed. (University of Chicago Press, 2004)
  • Une Intention de salut, essais sur la poésie française moderne (Amsterdam, Rodopi, 2012)
  • ​Yves Bonnefoy:  Poems​, A bi-lingual anthology.  Co-edited, with Introduction and Translations by John Naughton (Carcanet Press, 2017)

Articles in:

  • L'Esprit créateur
  • Sud
  • Temenos
  • Studies in 20th-Century Literature
  • Dalhousie French Studies
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography
  • Contemporary French Poetics
  • Europe
  • Rimbaud vivant
  • L'Herne

Translations In:

  • Critical Inquiry
  • New Literary History
  • Poetry Review
  • Franco-British Studies
  • Modern Poetry in Translation
  • The Tel-Aviv Review
  • Graham House Review
  • Yale French Studies
  • The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry
  • Poetry International
  • 20th-Century French Poems
  • The Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry
  • PN Review
  • Agni

Medal of the College de France, Paris, for "distinguished contributions to French Letters" 1991; Special Commendation for Translation, British Poetry Book Society, for Yves Bonnefoy: New and Selected Poems;  ​Colgate Presidential Scholar 2008; Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres 2019

University of California at Santa Cruz; University of Tours, France; Colgate University (since 1983)