Hiram College
Ella W. Kirk, Ph.D. Photo

Ella W. Kirk, Ph.D.

Professor of French, Chair

B.A., M.A., Ball State University
M.A., Ph.D., The Ohio State University

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My primary field of specialization is 17th and 18th century France; more specifically, it is the literary productions by women written during the reign of Louis XIV and just before the French revolution. I am especially intrigued by epistolary fiction, a popular genre for such writers as Montesquieu and Diderot, but also for female writers of the era who use this form of writing as a way to communicate subversively with their audience. 

I regularly lead study abroad programs to France, both as a twelve week intensive study abroad for French majors and minors and as a three week interdisciplinary course (taught in English) that focuses on the intersections of food, French culture and ethics. In addition to teaching French language, civilization and literature at all levels at Hiram, I also contribute regularly to the general education program with courses on the history of bread, the art of the letter, and French literature in translation.


  • Ph.D., Department of French and Italian, The Ohio State University, Columbus, March, 1992.
  • M.A., French, The Ohio State University, 1985.
  • M.A. program, Teaching English as a Second Language, Ball State University, 1982-83.
  • B.A., French, Spanish, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, 1981.
  • L’Université Laval, Quebec, Canada, summer, 1981.
  • Goethe Institut, Nancy, France, 1982. German courses.
  • Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio, 1994. Japanese courses; 2006, Arabic courses

Teaching Interests

  • World literature, literature by women, contemporary
  • Francophone culture
  • French Language
  • Interdisciplinary endeavors
  • Study abroad
  • Great Books program

Research Interests

  • 17th and 18th-century epistolary fiction
  • Food and culture; history of French gastronomy
  • Francophone African literature
  • French cinema
  • French Caribbean literature


  • 2008-present, PROFESSOR, French, Foreign Language Department, Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio.
  • 2007-2009, FACULTY CHAIR, Hiram College.
  • 1998-2008, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, French, Foreign Language Department, Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio.
  • 2003-present, CHAIR, Foreign Language Department, Hiram College
  • 1997-2000, CHAIR, Foreign Language Department, Hiram College
  • 1993-1998, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, French, Foreign Language Department, Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio.
  • 1995-2001, DIRECTOR, English as a Second Language Program, Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio.
  • 1989-93, VISITING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, French, Department of Modern Languages, Union College, Schenectady, New York.
  • 1986-87, COORDINATOR for 1987 Humanities Symposium, “The Educated Citizen and the University of the Future.” College of Humanities, The Ohio State University.
  • 1982-83, TEACHER, Delaware County Association of Gifted Children, Muncie, Indiana. Beginning French.
  • 1981-82, LECTURER, Department of English, Université de Nancy II, Nancy, France.
  • COORDINATOR, Cucès-Université Nancy, France. Intensive English Weekend Workshops for French students.


  • “Survey of Faculty Opinion About the University of the Future,” co-authored with Richard Bjornson, The University of the Future: Problems and Prospects. Columbus: Center for Comparative Studies in the Humanities, The Ohio State University, 1990, p. 129-140.
  • Reviews: Williams, Jessica. Teaching Writing in Second and Foreign Language Classrooms. New York: McGraw Hill, 2005. Modern Language Journal, Vol. 91 (Spring 2007) 136-137.
  • Offord, Malcolm, Nicki Hatchcott, Sam Haigh, Laila Ibnlfassi, & Rosemary Chapman.(Eds.). Francophone Literatures: A Literary and Linguistic Companion. Modern Language Journal, Vol. 87, No. 1, 2003.

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