Ullrich Langer

Credentials: Ph.D., Princeton University, 1980

Position title: Professor Emeritus

Email: ulanger@wisc.edu

Primary language



16th-century poetry and prose; Renaissance intellectual history (especially moral philosophy and political theory).

Teaching and Research Interests: My teaching ranges from all areas of 16th-century literature in France, to Italian literature (Petrarch, Ariosto, Castiglione), Ancien Régime social and cultural history, and modern and current French fiction. My research concerns the relationship between intellectual history and literature (narrative fiction and lyric poetry) in the early modern period, focussing recently on the notion of pleasure, and on concepts of justice and moderation. My past research includes poetics and rhetoric, scholastic theology, and Aristotelian ethical discourse.

Selected publications

  • Rhétorique et intersubjectivité: ‘Les Tragiques’ d’Agrippa d’Aubigné (Tübingen: Papers on French 17th Century Literature, 1983).
  • Invention, Death, and Self-Definitions in the Poetry of Pierre de Ronsard (Saratoga: Anma Libri, 1986).
  • Divine and Poetic Freedom in the Renaissance: Nominalist Theology and Literature in France and Italy (Princeton Univ. Press, 1990).
  • Perfect Friendship: Studies in Literature and Moral Philosophy from Boccaccio to Corneille (Geneva: Droz, 1994).
  • Vertu du discours, discours de la vertu: littérature et philosophie morale au XVIe siècle en France (Geneva: Droz, “Au seuil de la modernité,” 1999).
  • Penser les formes du plaisir littéraire à la Renaissance (Paris: Garnier, 2009).
  • Lyric in the Renaissance: From Petrarch to Montaigne (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2015)
  • What Is Literature? France 1100-1600, ed. with François Cornilliat, Douglas Kelly (Lexington, KY: French Forum, 1993).
  • Anteros, ed. with Jan Miernowski (Caen, Orléans: Editions Paradigme, 1994).
  • Au-delà de la Poétique: Aristote et la littérature à la Renaissance / Beyond the Poetics: Aristotle and Early Modern Literature, ed. (Geneva: Droz, 2002).
  • The Cambridge Companion to Montaigne, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2005).
  • Les Remontrances (Europe, XVIe-XVIIIe siècles). Textes et commentaires, ed. with Paul-Alexis Mellet (Paris: Garnier, 2020).


  • Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor (2017)
  • Interim Director, Institute for Research in the Humanities (2017-2018)
  • Director, Center for Early Modern Studies (UW-Madison) (2011-2012, 2013-2015)
  • Senior WARF Professorship (UW-Madison): Alfred Glauser Professor of French (2010-2015)
  • Senior Fellow, Institute for Research in the Humanities (UW-Madison) (2000-2005)
  • Short-term Residence Fellowship, Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel (1997)
  • John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (1997)
  • Mid-Career Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) Award (UW-Madison) (1995-2000)
  • NEH Summer Seminar Director (1995)
  • NEH Fellowship for University Teachers (1992)
  • Romnes Fellowship (UW-Madison) (1990-1995)
  • NEH Conference Grant (with Douglas Kelly) (1989)
  • Institute for Research in the Humanities Fellowship (1987-1988)
  • ACLS Fellowship (1987-1988)
  • American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Travel Grant (1985)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend (1985)