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Joseph Derosier

Ph.D. 2016

Dr. Joseph Derosier completed his Ph.D. at Northwestern in August of 2016 and had been Visiting Assistant Professor of French in the Department for the 2016–17 and 2017-18 academic years. Joseph is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of French at Beloit College.

His current project seeks to explore romance’s political fantasies and futurities, with the Queste del Saint Graal rewriting Perlesvaus (Le Haut livre du Graal), correcting its messy, and often violent, political theology and with Jean de Meun’s gargantuan supplement to Roman de la Rose operating as a corrective to the misdirected desire of Guillaume de Lorris’s poem. The Conte del Graal, Perlesvaus and the Queste can thus be read as a series—as palimpsestic layers—interpreting and glossing their predecessors, much like Jean’s Rose. Earlier iterations of the Grail quest linger in later versions, teasing readers with alternate interpretations and versions of well-known adventures, much like Jean’s Rose references Guillaume’s and offers new exempla on love and desire. However, Perlesvaus and Guillaume’s Rose imagine radical futures, whereas the Queste and Jean de Meun foreclose and correct these visions. The trajectories of the Grail quest and the dream vision, as they are renewed and re-written, allow us to trace how copies, adaptations, and continuations are acts of reading and correction as much as they are acts of writing and composing. Translation, adaptation and compilation thus help articulate how romance imagines and reimagines its future and responds to the geopolitics of its present.

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