Faculty: Dr. Heather Kirk

Assistant Professor, French, School of Humanities
Office: Ursuline Hall 346
Email: hkirk4@uwo.ca
Telephone: 519-432-8353 ext. 28260

Academic Background

B.A. (Hons), French Language and Literature, Brescia University College/Université de Savoie
M.A, French Studies, Western University
PhD, French Studies, Western University
– Visiting Doctoral Researcher, CELLF16-18, Université Paris-Sorbonne

Research and Scholarly Interests

  • Seventeenth century French literature, specifically:
    – Renaissance and pre-academic theatre (1570-1640)
    – Tragedy and tragicomedy
    – Authorship and copyright
    – Polemics, quarrels, rumour, and gossip


Although I am primarily responsible for our French Literature course offerings, I also occasionally teach Language, Civilization, and Translation courses.

  • FR1910 and 3900 – French language
  • FR2404B – French and Francophone Cultures: Enlightenment to Postmodernity
  • FR2600E – Introduction to French Literature
  • FR3305B – Practical French Translation
  • FR3560F – The French Renaissance
  • FR3602F – Culture and Literature in Society: Twentieth-Century France
  • FR3692G – Culture and Literature in Society: Nineteenth-Century France
  • FR3720G – Culture and Literature in Society: Québec and French-Canada
  • FR4113G and 4114F – Senior Seminar in French Literature


  • Kirk, Heather. “Le suicide comme revendication d’indépendance dans La Vraye Didon de Boisrobert”. Papers on French Seventeenth Century Literature XLII.81. June 2015.
  • Kirk, Heather. “Brutalité, vengeance et repentance : le viol dans l’œuvre d’Alexandre Hardy”. Le viol et le ravissement à la Renaissance. Le Verger 4. June 2013.
Book Review
  • Kirk, Heather. “The Unbridled Tongue: Babble and Gossip in Renaissance France by Emily Butterworth (review)”. French Forum, vol. 43 no. 2, 2018, pp. 347-349. 
As Editor
  • Kirk, Heather and Jesssy Neau, eds. “Introduction.” L’Émotion et la danse/Emotion and Dance. Le monde français du XVIIIe siècle 2.1 (Dec. 2017): 1-5.


I am currently studying the tragic representation of women in early seventeenth-century France. Through my study of eponymous tragic heroines, I am exploring the language women use to speak about each other and to each other on stage. I seek to define a rhetoric of gossip, slander, and backbiting particular to French pre-academic tragedy.