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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Marc Schachter, MA, University of California, Los Angeles; PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz

Associate Professor / Chair of UG Board of Examiners in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 44344
Room number: ER282, Elvet Riverside II

Contact Dr Marc Schachter (email at

My research and teaching have primarily focused on sixteenth-century French literature and culture with the classical tradition and medieval and Renaissance Italian literature as secondary specializations. Diverse concerns and approaches including gender and sexuality studies, queer theory, the cultural politics of translation, reception studies, textual criticism, manuscript circulation and book history shape my scholarship. 

My first book, Voluntary Servitude and the Erotics of Friendship: From Classical Antiquity to Early Modern France, focused on the writings, translations, and editorial practices of Étienne de La Boétie, Michel de Montaigne and Marie de Gournay, frequently in dialogue with Foucault on governmentality and the care of the self and Derrida on the gendered politics of friendship. Other publications have considered the textual tradition and early circulation of La Boétie's Servitude volontaire, Renaissance translations of classical works on love and friendship, gender in Italian epic, Marguerite de Navarre on friendship, the reception of Apuleius' The Golden Ass, and medieval and humanist commentaries glossing passages about sex between women in Martial and Juvenal. A current book project reflects further on the role played by the classical tradition in the development of discourses around sex in the early modern period and beyond. 

Since arriving at Durham in 2014, I have pursued a series of collaborations. With Dr Laura Campbell, I co-organized a conference on medieval and Renaissance “Franco-Italian Interfaces.” An ongoing project with Professor John O'Brien considering the adaptability of politically volatile texts in the early modern period has resulted in two major publications, La première circulation de la Servitude volontaire en France et au-delà and a forthcoming volume on the spread of seditious literature in France and Scotland during the French wars of religion. Another project, with Professor Jennifer Ingleheart of Classics, considers translations of texts from Greek and Roman antiquity and the history of sexuality. Finally, with Dr Danielle Westerhof, the University's Rare Books Librarian, I have been organizing a series of events around special collections pedagogy.

I have been involved in the supervision of MA and PhD dissertations focusing on a range of topics including queer Genet, disability in medieval French and Italian literature, women writers in the French Renaissance, eco-criticism in Shakespearian England, and, currently, queer and non-standard bodies in 17th century French cabaret poetry. 

Office hours

Thursdays, 10am-noon and by appointment.

Research Interests

  • Early Modern French Literature and Culture
  • Early modern seditious literature
  • History of the Book
  • Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature
  • Sexuality and Gender Studies
  • Textual Editing and Commentaries
  • The Classical Tradition
  • Translation Studies

Selected Publications

Authored book

Edited book

Chapter in book

Journal Article

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Selected Grants

  • 2010: Mellon Fellowship, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC
  • 2009: Faculty Fellow, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Institute for the Arts and Humanities
  • 2009: Francesco De Dombrowski Fellow, Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies
  • 2007: Franklin Grant, American Philosophical Society