Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
Todd Reeser is a Professor of French, with a secondary appointment in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. His research is located at the intersection of French studies and gender/sexuality studies. His first book Moderating Masculinity in Early Modern Culture (University of North Carolina Press, 2006), proposes a model of masculinity and alterity based on an Aristotelian notion of moderation. His 2016 monograph, Setting Plato Straight: Translating Ancient Sexuality in the Renaissance (University of Chicago Press) studies how “Platonic love” in Plato’s erotic sense became purified “platonic love” in today’s sense. The book won the Gordan Prize for best book in Renaissance Studies from the Renaissance Society of America in 2017. Having edited or co-edited a number of volumes and published many articles in Renaissances studies, he is now working on a project “Essaying Affect” on ways in which Michel de Montaigne’s Essais relate to affect.
In tandem with his early modern research, Reeser works in contemporary gender/sexuality studies. In 2010, he published Masculinities in Theory (Blackwell), a widely-cited monograph in its second edition providing a series of theoretical models for considering masculinity from a literary/cultural perspective, especially as inflected by post-structuralist thought. He also publishes on the twenty-first century queer/trans* film and his book Queer Cinema in Contemporary France was released with Manchester UP ("French Film Directors" series) in 2022. He is currently working on a monograph, “Transgender France: Universalism and Sexual Subjectivity,” studying how the inception and development of the category of transgender/transsexual in France starting in the 1950s relates to political ideas on the “universalist” citizen. The corpus includes film, documentary, television, medicine, law, journalism, tabloids, autobiography, theatre, graphic novels, photography, and novels. The project was supported by a senior EURIAS Fellowship at the Collegium de Lyon in 2018-19 and a USIAS Fellowship at the University of Strasbourg in 2022.
Reeser brings to the Dean’s Office administrative experience in several units. He served as the inaugural Associate Director of the Pitt Humanities Center and then as Acting Director in AY2012. From 2013-18, he served as Director of the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program, and from 2019-23, he was Chair of the Department of French and Italian and in AY23 Chair of the Humanities Council.