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Tom Bishop

Tom Bishop

Florence Lacaze Gould Professor of French Literature; Professor of French , Comparative Literature ; Director, Center for French Civilization and Culture

Ph.D., California (Berkeley); M.A., Maryland; B.A., New York

Office Address: 

13 University Place, 616 New York, New York (US) 10003


(212) 998-8710


My research, writing, and teaching have been principally centered on contemporary French literature and the history of ideas, especially with respect to theater and the novel. I have written extensively on Beckett, Genet, Ionesco, Robbe-Grillet, Claude Simon and the New French Novel, as well as Sartre, Camus, Duras, Cocteau, Giraudoux, and Anouilh. My current work continues my longstanding passion for Beckett, as I focus on his use of conventions, his (self)-translations, and his increasing concern with the theme of death. I also continue my interest in the relationship between realism and anti-realism, have taught a number of courses relating to this subject and view it as a major aspect of 20th century writing in French--with anti-realism increasingly the expression of modernity. I have also written on--and taught--the relationship of culture and politics in France as well as Franco-American relations. My books include Le Passeur d'océan--Carnets d'un ami américain; From the Left Bank: Reflections on the Modern French Theater and Novel; Pirandello and the French Theater; a critical edition of Sartre's Huis clos; the Cahier de l'Herne, Samuel Beckett. For 33 years I chaired the French Department during which time I helped it become one of the great departments in the U.S. Currently as director of our Center for French Civilization and Culture, I organize conferences and numerous French cultural events, represent NYU at the meetings of some 15 leading American universities recognized by the Cultural Services if the French Embassy as Centers of Excellence, and am responsible for raising funds for these activities. I hold the Florence Gould Chair of French Literature since its creation in the 1970s.


Grand Prix de l´Académie Française; Prix Beaumarchais, SACD (Société des Auteurs et des Compositeurs Dramatiques), Fulbright Senior Research Scholar; grants from National Endowment for the Humanities, French Government, French-American Foundation, and Florence Gould Foundation; OBIE Award for achievement in Off-Broadway Theatre; Director of NEH Summer Seminars, 1977,1979,1982, 1985; Officier, Légion d'Honneur; Commandeur, Ordre National du Mérite; Commandeur, Ordre des Arts et des Lettres; Officier, Palmes Académiques


From the Left Bank: Reflections on the Modern French Theater and Novel
(New York University Press, 1997)

Le Passeur d´océan: carnets d´un ami américain
(Payot, 1989)

Huis Clos de Sartre (Hachette, 1975)

Pirandello and the French Theater (New York University, 1960, 1970)


Samuel Beckett
, ed. with R. Federman (L´Herne, 1976; Livre de Poche, 1985)

L´Avant-Garde Théâtrale: French Theater Since 1950, ed. (NYU Press, 1975)

L'Amérique des Français
, ed. with C. Fauré, (François Bourin, 1992)

Classiques d'aujourd'hui
, general editor (Gallimard, 1986 -1989)

Littérature et culture françaises, general editor, Films for the Humanities

In the series The Florence Gould Lectures at New York University :

Camus Now
, 2011

Land of Refuge, Land of Exile: French Writers and Artists in the U.S. During the Occupation Years, 2010

Simone de Beauvoir, Centennial Conference, 2009

Beckett 100
, 2007

Situating / Situation de Sartre
2005, 2007

Remembering Roland Barthes...20 Years Later
, 2003

Les antiaméricanismes, 2001


“Beckett de l’anglais au français”  Présence de Samuel Beckett / Presence of Samuel Beckett, 2006.  99-108

“Theater and Theory” The Columbia History of Twentieth Century French Thought, 2006. 340-344

"Staging Beckett in France at the End of the Twentieth Century," Samuel Beckett: Endlessness in the Year 2000 (Fin sans fin en l'an 2000), A. Moorjani & C. Veit,
eds.(Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2002), 42-47

"La Vie errante: les tournées de la compagnie Renaud-Barrault," Renaud-Barrault (Bibliothèque nationale de France, 1999)

"François Mitterrand et les États-Unis," François Mitterrand – Paix et développement (UNESCO, 1998)

"Theater and the Everyday in France: Le Théâtre du Quotidien," The Art of the Everyday. The Quotidian in Postwar French Culture, Lynn Gumpert, ed. (NYU Press, 1997)

“Jean Genet's Play Les Nègres is Performed in Paris. The Theater of the Absurd,” A New History of French Literature, D. Hollier, ed. (Harvard U. Press, 1989; Bordas, 1993)

"Transpositions pour la télévision: transmutations des œuvres de Beckett," Samuel Beckett (Privat, Revue d'Esthétique, 1986)

"Blin on Beckett," On Beckett: Essays and Criticism, (Grove Press, 1986)

"The Temptation of Silence," As No Other Dare Fail (Riverrun, 1986)

“Vingt ans de théâtre à Paris,” Paris-Paris 1937-1957, Centre Pompidou, 1981

“ ‘Heavenly Father, the Creature Was Bilingual.’ How Beckett Switched to French” Beckett 100, 2006. 30-42

"Situating Sartre's Theater of Situations," Situating/Situation de Sartre 2005, 2007, 170-180

"Barthes and Un/Popular Theater," Remembering Roland Barthes....20 Years Later, 28-45


“Into the Labyrinth” Artforum, Summer 2008. 383-395, 466-468

“Whatever Happened to the Avant-Garde?”, Yale French Studies, 112; 7-13, 2007

"Topologie d'une reprise ou le retour de Robbe-Grillet," Critique, 651-52, 2001, 595-604

"I Love You, Moi Non Plus," SubStance, 76/77,1995

"Le Théâtre sorti de l'ombre," French Cultural Studies, 1994


Updated on 05/26/2015