Timothy Scheie

Associate Professor of French

Fulbright Advisor




Photo Credit: Gerry Szymanski

Timothy Scheie has been a faculty member in the Humanities Department at the Eastman School of Music since 1994, serving as department chair from 2005-2011. He has published articles on performance and identity in French and American production, and a book-length study on the place of theater and performance in the writings of Roland Barthes. More recently his research bears on national narratives in film genre.

 He offers courses on American and French film, performance art and avant-garde theater, and French theater of the opera repertoire, as well as a graduate seminar in the Program for Visual and Cultural Studies in the University of Rochester’s College of Arts and Science, where he is an affiliate faculty. He also teaches French language courses at all levels.

 He is engaged on a national level in advocacy for the study of foreign languages, running workshops for new department chairs, organizing panels on current challenges to the profession, and participating in steering a consulting group for language departments. In 2013 he was elected president of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages (ADFL), an organization of approximately 1000 member departments at colleges and universities nationwide.

 He earned a BA in French from Saint Olaf College, where he also studied voice and performed with the college choir under the direction of Sir Neville Marriner and Robert Shaw, among other conductors, and in venues including in Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. He received and MA and PhD in French from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was also an award-winning French instructor. He also pursued additional studies in Paris, Avignon, and Perugia. He has had residencies as a scholar and fellow, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, at Northwestern University (1995) and Princeton University (2002). Prior to his appointment at the Eastman School he taught at the University of Oregon and in France. At the Eastman School, in addition to his role as a French Professor he also serves as Director of Foreign Language Instruction and Fulbright Program Advisor.

Works / Publications


Performance Degree Zero: Roland Barthes and Theatre. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006.


“Genre in Transitional Cinema: ‘Arizona Bill’ and the Silent French Western 1912-1914.” French Forum 36:2-3 (spring & fall 2011): 201-219.

“Roland Barthes and the Myth of a National Theater.” French Forum 30.2 (spring 2005): 79-96.

Reprinted in Roland Barthes: Critical Evaluations in Cultural Theory. Ed. Neil Badmington. London & New York: Routledge. 2010.

“Staging Decolonization: The Theater of Aimé Césaire.” Scholarly chapter in the reader The Francophone World: Cultural Issues and Perspectives. Ed. Michelle Beauclair. New York: Peter Lang, 2003: 103-119.

“Trouble Child: Barthes’s Imagined Youth.” In Growing Up Postmodern: Neoliberalism and the War on the Young. Ed. Ron Strickland. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002: 123-139.

“Performing Degree Zero: Barthes, Body, Theater.” Theatre Journal 52.2 (May 2000): 161-181.

Reprinted in Roland Barthes, 3 vols. Ed. Mike Gane and Nicholas Gane. Sage Masters in Modern Social Thought series. London: Sage Publications, 2003.

“Acting Gay in the Age of Queer: Pondering the Revival of The Boys in the Band.” Modern Drama 41.2 (Spring 1999): 1-15.

“Addicted to Race: Performativity, Agency, and Césaire’s A Tempest.” College Literature 25.2 (June 1998): 17-29.

Reprinted in French Cultural Studies: Criticism at the Crossroads. Eds. Marie-Pierre LeHir and Dana Strand. Albany: SUNY Press, 2000: 205-219.

“‘Questionable Terms’: Shylock, Céline’s L’Eglise, and the Performative.” Text and Performance Quarterly 17.2 (April 1997): 153-169.

“Body Trouble: Corporeal ‘Presence’ and Performative Identity in Cixous’s and Mnouchkine’s L’Indiade ou l’Inde de leurs rêves.” Theatre Journal 46 (March 1994): 31-44.

“Georges Lavaudant.” Theatrical Directors: A Biographical Dictionary. Eds. John Frick and Stephen Vallillo. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1994: 230-31.

“Barthes’s Lover as Spectator: Towards a Theater of Jouissance.”  Essays in Theatre/Etudes théâtrales 10.2 (May 1992): 180-188.