Guy Spielmann


Associate Professor


Department of French
General profile


+1 202-687-5852




427 ICC


Born and raised in Marseille (France), Guy Spielmann holds various degrees from the Université de Provence, and a PhD from Vanderbilt University (TN).
After leaving France, he worked for two years in Liberia (West Africa), then settled permanently in the U.S.A. in 1986. Since 1994, he has taught linguistics and performing arts in the Department of French of Georgetown University, and currently directs its summer program in Tours.
He served as Director of the Middlebury College French School (Vermont) in 2003-2004, after six years as Associate Director and supervisor of Beginners' Courses.
In 2001-2003, he was a visiting professor in the department of Drama Studies at the Université Marc Bloch/Strasbourg II, as well as a special guest lecturer in the Department of Performing Arts at the Université Parix X-Nanterre in France. He was also invited to hold a professorship in Performing Arts and French Literature at the Université Stendhal Grenoble 3 (France) in 2011-12.
His eclectic background reflects a distinctive leaning towards inter- and multidisciplinarity, which is further accentuated by his practice of semiotics. His major area of scholarship covers performing arts in the Early Modern Era, with a particular focus on stagecraft, fairground theater and commedia dell'arte.
His writings on this topic have appeared in a variety of scholarly journals well as numerous anthologies (in France, Canada, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S.), in addition to journal issues he edited,and two books (Le Jeu de l'Ordre et du Chaos, 2002, and Parades, 2006).
These research and teaching activities have also led to the creation of the OPSIS project, whose main outcome is a virtual resource center on Early Modern performing arts, Spectacles du Grand Siècle (
Simultaneously, he has been active as stage director, heading the Compagnie SapassoussakasS (founded in 2002), which has performed in the U.S.A., Québec, France, Tunisia and the U.K. In the aftermath of the publication of his book Parades, he has been directing workshops that lead to stage productions in France and in North America.
His interest towards matters cultural from a semiotic perspective extends to contemporary issues, and plays an important part in his teaching, as well as in his scholarly study of comics: he founded in 1995 the International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF), which he chaired until 1999, and remained on its Executive Committee until 2008.
Education and pedagogy are also among his areas of interest. Having long been involved in teacher education, he has endeavored to develop an original epistemological system that would globally define and explore the relationships between language and teaching. This theoretical framework known as MILE (Multidisciplinary Integrated Language Education) was reflected in practice in an intensive immersion course for beginners he designed and supervised at the Middlebury French School, in conjunction with a graduate course for experienced teachers. MILE has also influenced his collaboration to a beginning college textbook (Deux Mondes) which pioneered the communicative approach to language teaching.
His involvement in this field frequently involves giving lectures, directing workshops and consulting.


  • PhD (1993) Vanderbilt University, French Studies / Performing Arts
  • M.A. (1989) Vanderbilt University, French Studies
  • Licence-ès-lettres (1986) Université de Provence (France), French Literature
  • Maîtrise (1982) Université de Provence (France), Linguistics/Phonetics


  • French (speak, read, write)
  • German (read)
  • Italian (read)
  • Latin (read)
  • Spanish (read)