Jean Blacker came to Kenyon College in 1985, having taught as a lecturer in French and comparative studies at the Ohio State University. She has taught language courses at all levels, as well as literature courses ranging from "Arthurian Legends in Medieval French Literature and Film," "Studies in the Early Lyric" (all texts in early period courses taught in the original Old French or Old Occitan) to "Individual and Cultural Identity in the Francophone Novel and Francophone Poetry."

Blacker's research areas include twelfth-century Anglo-Norman literary and historical texts and twelfth-century Latin histories focusing principally on Arthurian material and the Norman Conquest, and early Old French Marian literature. She has served on the Committee on Advising and Standards, the Reaccreditation Committee (2000), the Tenure and Promotion Committee and is currently serving the college as Kenyon's campus facilitator for the GLCA New Directions Initiative.

Areas of Expertise

12th-century Anglo-Norman literature and chronicles, 12th-century Latin historical narrative, Arthurian legends and the Norman Conquest.


1984 — Doctor of Philosophy from Univ. of California Berkeley

1976 — Master of Arts from Univ. of California Berkeley

1973 — Bachelor of Arts from Univ of California Los Angeles

Courses Recently Taught

This is a yearlong course offering the equivalent of three semesters of conventional language study. This course includes required practice sessions with an apprentice teacher (AT), which will be scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Class meetings and AT practice sessions are supplemented with online activities and written homework. Work in class focuses primarily on developing listening comprehension and speaking skills while reinforcing vocabulary acquisition and the use of grammatical structures. Written exercises, short compositions and elementary reading materials serve to develop writing and reading skills and promote in-class discussion. This course is intended for students who have had no prior experience with French or who are placed in FREN 111Y–112Y on the basis of a placement exam administered during Orientation. Students enrolled in this course will automatically be added to FREN 112Y for the spring semester. Offered every fall.

This course is a continuation of the first semester of intensive introductory French. During the second semester, students further the study of the fundamentals of French including literary and cultural materials, introduced with a view toward increasing reading comprehension and writing ability, expanding vocabulary, and enhancing cultural awareness. This course includes required practice sessions with an apprentice teacher (AT), which will be scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Prerequisite: FREN 111Y or permission of instructor. Offered every spring.