Thomas Connolly

Thomas Connolly's picture
Assistant Professor of French
82-90 Wall St, New Haven, CT 06511-6605


Thomas Connolly obtained his BA in Modern Languages from the University of Oxford in 2002. He spent three years at the École normale supérieure (Ulm) as ‘élève de la Sélection internationale,’ and completed a ‘Maîtrise’ and a ‘DEA’ at the Université de Paris IV–La Sorbonne. He received a PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University in May 2012.

Thomas’s research interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century French and Francophone poetry, with emphasis on the prose poem, ekphrasis, and, more broadly, poetry’s relation to the visual arts. He is working on a book project that examines the interrelations of poetry and the visual arts in the Francophone Maghreb. He is the author of Paul Celan’s Unfinished Poetics: Readings in the Sous-Oeuvre (Legenda, 2018) (

Thomas is currently serving as Director of Undergraduate Studies in French.

Selected Articles

“Rimbaud islamique? Le vertige artificiel de Fleurs.” Forthcoming in Parade sauvage – Revue d’études rimbaldiennes 28 (2017).

“Berber Spider: Tahar Djaout, Arachne, and the Afterlife of Oral Poetics.” Forthcoming in MLN.

“Primitive Passions, Blinding Visions: Arthur Rimbaud’s ‘Mystique’ and a Tradition of Mystical Ekphrasis.” PMLA 132.1 (2017): 101–18.

“Walking in Colour: Another Look at Musical Ekphrasis through Marc Chagall’s Jerusalem Windows.” Forthcoming in Mosaic.

“Baudelaire the Frequent Flyer: Prostitution, the Press, and How the Prose Poem Almost Sold its Soul.” Romance Notes 55.3 (2015): 463–74. 

“‘Baroque et belle’: Dirty Prose, Photos, and Other Subtle Secrets in Mallarmé’s ‘Le Nénuphar blanc’.” Forthcoming in Romanic Review.

“‘Splendides et salomoniques’: On Temples in Mallarmé.” French Studies Bulletin 37.1 (2016): 1–3.

“Oils, Psalms, and Scum: Anadyomene Paint and the Limits of Ekphrasis in Paul Celan’s ‘Einkanter: Rembrandt’.” Modern Philology 111.4 (2014): 841–61.

““Keine Schönschrift für Schulkinder”: Towards a Poetics of the Pre-Text in Paul Celan’s Eingedunkelt.” Compar(a)ison (2013 [2017]): 107–30.

Courses taught include

French Poetry and the Invention of Modern Life (Fren 092)
Modern French Poetry (Fren 236)
Mad Poets (Fren 270 / Litr 284)
The Prose Poem (Fren 345)
Ekphrasis (Fren 347 / Hsar 280)
The Prose Poem (Fren 880) (graduate)
Stéphane Mallarmé (Fren 911) (graduate)