Michèle A. Schaal

Associate Professor of French


Dept:World Languages And Cultures
Office:2230 Pearson
505 Morrill Rd.
Ames IA

Area of expertise: 20th and 21st French and Francophone women writers, Contemporary French feminisms, Feminist Manifestos and Essays, Hypermodernity (theory and fiction) Intermediality, Women’s and Gender studies

Topics of interest: Feminist Manifestos & Essays, Feminist Theory, French Conversation, French Grammar, French Literature, French Third- & Fourth-Wave Feminisms


A native of France, Dr. Michèle A. Schaal pursued her graduate studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, where she received her PhD in 2012. Always looking for original and cutting-edge experiences, while ABD, she spent four years in Berlin, Germany, where she was part of the Free University’s Frankreich-Zentrum, a center devoted to French studies. Dr. Schaal joined Iowa State University in 2012 and is currently Associate Professor of French and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her research areas are 21st century French and Francophone women writers, contemporary French and American feminisms, as well as current feminist essays and manifestos. She is also the leading specialist of Virginie Despentes and Claire Legendre’s work. Dr. Schaal is the author of Une Troisième vague féministe et littéraire (Brill, 2017) and the co-editor of the first scholarly volume dedicated to Despentes (Rocky Mountain Review, 2018). She has also published articles on contemporary French feminisms, and women writers such as Isabelle Flükiger, Marie Hélène Poitras, and Marie Darrieussecq. In 2018, Dr. Schaal was the recipient of a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Early Achievement in Research Award. She is currently working on her second book on contemporary French feminist manifestos and essays. For the Department of World Languages and Cultures, Dr. Schaal teaches a variety of French courses including grammar, reading, conversation, and literature.

Check out her LinkedIn, too!

Grants and Awards

  • 2018: Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association - Michael Delahoyde Award for Distinguished Contributions in Editing

  • 2018: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Early Achievement in Research Award

  • 2017: Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gener Equity: Gender Equity Award

  • 2015: Women’s and Gender Studies: Outstanding Award in Teaching

Recent / Major Publications


  • Une troisième vague féministe et littéraire. Les femmes de lettres de la nouvelle génération. Brill/Rodopi: Leiden; Boston, 2017.

Refereed Articles:

  • “A Palimpsestuous Novel: Claire Legendre’s La Méthode Stanislavski.” Women in French Studies 26 (2018): 143-57. L’Univers affectif féminin dans Vernon Subutex de Virginie Despentes.” Contemporary French & Francophone Studies (SITES) 22.4

  • “Le Sens et les sens/Sense and the Senses” (2018): 475-83. “Les Chiennes Savantes de Virginie Despentes ou l’hétéropatriarcat triomphant” Rocky Mountain Review 72.1 (2018): 77-104. This article appears in the Special Edition on Virginie Despentes that I co-edited. Blind copies were evaluated by two external reviewers.

  • “‘Whatever became of ‘Génération Mitterrand’? Virginie Despentes’s Vernon Subutex” French Review 91.3 (2017): 87-99.

  • “Bridging Feminist Waves: Wendy Delorme’s Insurrections! En territoire sexuel” Rocky Mountain Review 70.2 (2016): 175-96.

Journal Special Edition:

  • “Special Edition on Virginie Despentes.” Rocky Mountain Review 72.1 (Spring 2018), in collaboration with Dr. Arline Cravens (Saint Louis University)