John Tabb Duval

John Tabb Duval


J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences


Phone: 479-575-4301

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DuVal has published translations from French, Old French, Spanish, Italian and Romanesco (the dialect of modern Rome). His books from Romanesco are Tales of Trilussa and Cesare Pascarella's The Discovery of America (1992 Harold Morton Landon Translation Prize, Academy of American Poets). Working with Raymond Eichmann, he has translated five books from Old French, including Cuckolds, Clerics and Countrymen, which Choice magazine selected for their list of “Best Academic Books” of the year. Their Fabliaux Fair and Foul is scheduled for a third and expanded printing with Pegasus Press. In 2005 Pegasus Press published their From Adam to Adam: Seven Old French Plays, including DuVal’s translation of Adam le Bossu's Jeu de la feuillée, for which he received a 1999-2000 NEA Fellowship. His latest book, The Song of Roland, appeared in 2012 and was a finalist for the PEN-USA Award for the Translation of Poetry. He is now at work on a volume of essays about The Song of Roland from a translator's point of view.

Translation Theory and Practice; Creative Writing; Comparative Literature; World Sonnet; Dante; Medieval Literature; Epic Poetry

Undergraduate Courses

  • World Literature I
  • World Literature I Honors
  • Creative Writing I and II
  • Poetry Workshop
  • Translation Workshop
  • Introduction to Poetry
  • Shakespeare

     Graduate Courses

  • Modern World Poetry in Translation
  • Modern British Poetry
  • Shakespeare
  • Form and Theory of Translation
  • Dante in translation
  • French poetry in Translation
  • World Sonnet in Translation
  • Epic Poetry in Translation
  • Old French Language and Literature
  • Colonial American Encounter Narratives
  • Medieval Comic Identities (Funny Medieval People)

Ph.D., Comparative Literature

Ph.D., Master of Fine Arts in Translation

MA French, University of Arkansas

MA English, University of Pennsylvania

Recent Journal and Anthology Publications

  • “Humour in the Song of Roland,” a chapter in the Palgrave Handbook of Humour, complete and accepted for Palgrave Publishers, scheduled for publication, 2020.
  • "Medieval Comic Identities,” a chapter in The Bloomsbury Cultural History of Comedy: The Middle Ages,” under contract with Bloomsbury Publications, scheduled publication date, fall, 2019.
  • “Three Laisses from the Franco-Italian Song of Roland,” translations plus commentary, Transference, Fall, 2018, pp. 23-53.
  • Review of “To Hell and Back:  An Anthology of Dante's Inferno in English Translation (1782-2017), Translation Review, issue 101,  fall, 2018. pp. 67-73.
  • “Writing Translations, Writing: Colonial American Voices and the Problem of Verticality,” with Kathleen DuVal, Early American Literature, vol. 53, no. 1, 2018, pp 153-168.
  • “The Song of Roland” (poem), in Jiggery-Pokery Semicentennial, Chipping Norton, England: The Waywaser Press, 2017, p. 14.
  • “Happiness” (translation), in Joy, ed. Christian Wyman.  Yale U.P., 2017, p. xxx.
  • “Monosyllabic Meditation,” (poem) Measure, X, 2 (fall, 2016), p. 18.


  • Song of Roland, translation from 12th century French. Boston: Hackett Publishers, 2012.
  • Globalization and Aspects of Translation (co-editor with Marilyn Gaddis Rose, Juliane House, and senior editor Said Shiyab), Cambridge, England:  Cambridge Scholarly Publishing, 2010.
  • Interpreting a Continent: Voices from Colonial America, (with Kathleen DuVal), Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, March, 2009.
  • From Adam to Adam: Seven Old French Plays, (with Raymond Eichmann), Asheville, NC: Pegasus Paperbooks, 2005.
  • Oblivion and Stone: A Selection of Comtemporary Bolivian Poetry and Fiction (ed. Sandra Reyes, co-translated with Reyes, Gastón Fernández-Torriente, and Kay Pritchett). Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1998.
  • Fabliaux, Fair and Foul (with Raymond Eichmann), Binghampton, NY: Pegasus Paperbooks of The Medieval and Early Renaissance Texts Society, 1992; reprinted by Pegasus, Asheville, NC, 1999 and 2008
  • The Discovery of America by Cesare Pacarella, tr. from Romanesco. Fayetteville: U of A Press, 1991; reprinted, 2006.
  • Tales of Trilussa by Carlo Alberto Salustri, tr. From Romanesco. Fayetteville: U of A Press, 1990; reprinted, 2006.
  • Long Blues in A Minor by Gerard Herzhaft, tr. from French. U of A Press, 1988; reprinted, 2006.
  • The Fabliaux: The B.N. 837 Manuscript (with R. Eichmann). New York: Garland Library of Medieval Literature, Vol. II, 1986.
  • The Fabliaux: The B.N. 837 Manuscript (with R. Eichmann). New York: Garland Library of Medieval Literature, Vol. I, 1984.
  • Cuckolds, Clerics, and Countrymen: Medieval French Fabliaux (with Raymond Eichmann). Fayetteville: Uof A Press, 1982.

Recent Keynote Addresses


  • “Roland the Hero,” Wolfson Luncheon Seminar, University of Cambridge, 13 March 2018.


  • Laisse by Laisse: The Moral Descent of Ganelon into Treason in the Old French Epic, The Song of Roland,” Christ University, Bengeluru, 7 September.
  • “History and Hope and Greatness in the Poems of Miller Williams,”  Richard Atkinson Lecture, Clinton House, Fayetteville, 6 October 2017.


  • “The Treason of Ganelon,” lecture and reading from translation of The Song of Roland at John Brown University, 12 March.

Conference Papers, 2019

  • “Jiggery-Pokery and the Double Dactyl,” International Society for Humor Studies Conference, Austin, 24-29 June 2019.
  • “Octavio Paz, Conjunctions, and a Humorous Incongruity In Dante's Inferno,” International Society for Humor Studies Conference, Austin, 24-29 June 2019.
  • 2015-18  James and Ellen Watley Roper Professor of Creative Writing and Translation University of Arkansas
  • 2018, June 12-18, Visiting Translation Instructor at Banff Translation Colony, Alberta
  • 2017, July   Full grant from the British Arts Council to attend and read a paper, “Humor in the Song of Roland,” at Humors of the Past conference, Durham, England
  • 2014, April   Partial grant from the British Arts Council to attend and read a paper, “The Franco-Italian V4 Alternative Conclusion to   The Song of Roland:  A Translator's Perspective,” at the Conference on Medieval Francophone Literary Culture Outside France, King's College, Cambridge
  • 2013, October The Song of Roland chosen as finalist in the PEN-USA Award for the Translation of Poetry
  • 2010-2011  Visiting Fellow, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge.
  • 2010  Lily Library at Indiana University begins collecting DuVal translation papers.
  • 2008  Special Panel honoring Julian Hause, Marilyn Gaddis-Rose, and John DuVal, World Conference on Translation and Globalism, Abu Dhabi, November 21.
  • 2006 Academy of American Poets Raissiz / de Palchi Award for best book of translations from Italy (Tales of Trilussa)
  • 2005 “Marilyn Gaddis Rose Keynote Speaker” for  the Literary Division of the American Translators Association, November.
  • 2005 Grant from the District of Columbia Commission on Arts and Humanities for Banishèd Theater to present readings of three translations from From Adam to Adam (The Play of Adam, Greenwood Follies and The Miracle of Theophile) at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., 17 October.
  • 1999 National Endowment for the Arts Award for translation of Adam le Bossu's Greenwood Follies (Jeu de la feuillée.)
  • 1992 University of Arkansas Board of Regents Citation for Outstanding Service.
  • 1992 Academy of American Poets Harold Morton Landon Translation Award for The Discovery   of America.
  • 1982  Cuckolds, Clerics, and Countrymen, a Choice magazine Outstanding Academic Book.