Rudy Le Menthéour

Professor and Chair of French and Francophone Studies and Co-Director of Health Studies
Undergraduate Advisor
Rudy Le Menthéour headshot


Phone 610-526-5674
Location Old Library 147


Ph.D. Université de Grenoble

Areas of Focus

French Enlightenment (literature and philosophy), medical humanities


Rudy Le Menthéour has studied the polemical battles between Rousseau and the main philosophers of the French Enlightenment. His work also focuses on the rise of hygiene and medical anthropology in the Eighteenth Century. He published La Manufacture de maladies: la dissidence hygiénique de Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Classiques Garnier, 2012), edited the first modern eugenic treatise, Charles-Augustin Vandermonde’s Essai sur la manière de perfectionner l’espèce humaine (Classiques Garnier, 2015), as well as an anthology on Seventeenth Century French Literature, Baroque et classicisme (Flammarion, 2003). With Prof. Ourida Mostefai, he co-edited the Lettre à D’Alembert, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Œuvres complètes, vol. IX B, Classiques Garnier, 2024).

Select Publications

Courses Taught

  • FREN 204 Le Siècle des Lumières
    An introduction to French Enlightenment, with texts by Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, among others

  • FREN 306 Libertinage et Subversion
    A study of Eighteenth-Century Libertinage through novels by Prévost, Crébillon, Laclos, Sade, etc.

  • HLTH 275 Improving Mankind
    A comparative and historical approach to eugenics in different national contexts (UK, US, France, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, etc.).

  • COML 217 Lovesick
    This course explores the different ways love has been compared to a sickness, but also how love relationships are impacted by the experience of disease. Works by Ovid, Burns, Lafayette, Bechdel, Campillo, etc.