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headshot of Dora E. Polachek

Dora E. Polachek

Visiting Associate Professor

Romance Languages and Literatures


Dora Polachek’s area of specialization is Early Modern French literature and culture. She has published extensively on Marguerite de Navarre, Montaigne and Brantôme, as well as on the role of women during the French Wars of Religion. She has served as the department’s director of undergraduate studies; the faculty advisor for Binghamton University’s chapter of Phi Sigma Iota, the world languages honor society; and the weekly Table Française.

She aims to foster an inclusive environment that enables all students to develop their proficiency in reading, writing and speaking French, and take their critical thinking skills to the next level.


  • “Going to Extremes: The Woman Question, Castration and Beyond in the Essais,” Montaigne Studies, Volume 36 (forthcoming 2024), 101-112.
  • “Performing Rape for Laughs: Male Desire and Female Ties Gone Awry,” French Forum, Volume 47/ Nos 2-3/2022 (published December 2023), 155-169.m DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/frf.2022.a914327
  • “From Trickery to Triumph: Female Alliances and Paths to Power in Heptaméron 4 and 58,” in Subject, Object and Beyond: Women in Early Modern France, ed. Edith Benkov and Nancy Frelick (Toronto: Iter Press, 2023), 121-142
  • “Recasting the Heptaméron Novellas in Brantôme’s Vies des dames galantes,” in Storytelling in Sixteenth Century France: The Negotiation of Shifting Forms, ed. Emily Thompson (U. of Delaware/Rutgers University Press: 2022), 170-192.
  • “From Affinity Groups to Partisan Narratives: Brantôme, Pierre de L’Estoile and the Guises, Yale French Studies, 134 (published Spring 2019), 147-162.


  • PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (French)
  • MA, New York University (French)
  • BA, Barnard College (French)

Research Interests

  • The French comic tradition
  • Female alliances in French fiction and film
  • Gender, power and sexuality in the early modern period
  • Identity politics in the Early Modern period
  • Confronting otherness in French fiction and film

Teaching Interests

  • French and Francophone culture
  • French and Francophone Film
  • Confronting the Other
  • Laughing at Love
  • Sex and Marriage
  • Love and War in French Fiction and Film
  • Women Who Say No


  • SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • University Award for Excellence in International Education
  • Lois B. DeFleur International Innovation Award
  • UUP Individual Development Award