banner image
Department of French & Italian at Emory

Admissions | Current Students | Course Atlas | Handbooks & Guidelines | Resources
Ph.D. in French | Graduate Requirements | Placement | Recent Events
Dissertations Topics | Presentations & Publications | French Certificate | Graduate Study Abroad

Resources for Graduate Students

Merit Awards

George W. Woodruff Fellowships
The Woodruff Fellowship is awarded to exceptional students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and who plan to pursue doctoral programs of study. Students who previously applied to any doctoral program at Emory are ineligible. The fellowship covers all tuition and fees for five years and provides a supplement to the base stipend to a level of $25,000 or higher depending on the amount of the base stipend offered in the student’s department ($20,000 in French in 2013-2014). Fifteen fellowships are available each year. Awards are renewed annually contingent upon satisfactory academic performance. Woodruff Fellowships are awarded solely on the basis of merit.

Emory Graduate Diversity Fellowship (EGDF)
This fellowship was instituted to promote the diversity of the graduate student body. Eligible students may belong to a specific ethnic group, race, culture, socioeconomic group, or gender traditionally underrepresented in their proposed field of study, or possess other qualities that will enhance the diverse community of scholars in the Graduate School. The Graduate School considers each applicant’s promise of making a notable contribution to their incoming class by exhibiting particular strengths or characteristics, including a unique intellectual achievement, employment experience, nonacademic performance, or personal background. The EGDF covers all tuition and fees for five years and provides a minimum annual stipend of $25,000 (2013-2014). Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for the Emory Graduate Diversity Fellowship.

Laney Graduate School Fellowship

The Laney Graduate School Fellowship is awarded to entering doctoral students in all fields. The fellowship covers tuition up to five years and provides a $2500 supplement to the base stipend.

Departmental Fellowships
The French department awards four or five fellowships to first year students. These departmental fellowships cover full tuition and provide an annual stipend ($20,000 in 20014-2015). Renewal of these awards is guaranteed for five years for students making good progress toward the Ph.D. In addition, every candidate in the program is encouraged to have the experience of an exposure to French intellectual and cultural life. To this effect, students will continue to receive their annual full fellowship if they choose to study in Paris during the fourth or fifth year. Every effort is made to provide teaching assistantships for the sixth year.

Anne Amari Perry Award
Two awards of $2,500 each are given each year to outstanding students in French who are writing their dissertations.

The Thomas M. Hines French Studies Scholarship recognizes each year outstanding students in French who are writing their dissertations.

TATTO (Teaching Assistant Traning and Teaching Opportunity)

Every student pursuing the Ph.D. in French must complete TATTO as one component
of his/her academic requirements. TATTO represents a graduated approach to preparing graduate students to teach and requires:

1. Completion of a three and one-half day summer course prior to the student's first teaching experience

2. Completion of "Problems in Foreign Language Teaching," a departmental methods course

3. Teaching assistantship and/or associateship for at least four semesters.

Whenever possible, over the course of TATTO students will have the opportunity to teach a broad range of courses, including elementary and intermediate language, conversation and composition, introduction to civilization, and literature courses. Students who demonstrate exceptional research promise and teaching ability may be eligible to apply for appointment as Dean's Teaching Fellows. To be eligible for consideration, a student must have completed all graduate school and departmental requirements except the dissertation and must have been admitted to Ph.D. candidacy. Teaching fellows have complete responsibility for one course in each semester of the award year.

Professional Activities--Travel Funding

Graduate students who have completed their course work are encouraged to participate fully in their future profession by publishing papers and presenting them at professional meetings. The department in conjunction with the Graduate Student Association offers travel funds for students who present papers at professional meetings.

FERA (French Enrichment and Response Association)

The French graduate student organization, French Enrichment and Response Association or FERA, aims to promote and to share the intellectual work of the faculty and of the graduate students in the Department of French at Emory. FERA is also dedicated to promoting and supporting artistic and academic functions that take place in and around Atlanta. Support for FERA events comes from Emory's Graduate Student Council. For information on events, click here.

Research Facilities

Emory's library resources, located in several facilities, contain more than 2.4 million volumes; 2.5 million microforms, including more than 60,000 reels of microfilm; and a growing inventory of electronic and non-print materials. The libraries maintain more than 24,000 subscriptions to serials and periodicals. Students of French will find most of their research materials in the Robert W. Woodruff Library. State of the art language classrooms are now available for classes in Rooms 875 and 975, Woodruff Stack Tower. Also located in Woodruff are student carrels and dissertation studies. At the beginning of each academic year, a two-hour orientation on the use of specialized reference materials for French is given by a university librarian. Entering students are required to attend.

Program Data

For detailed data on the French Ph.D Program see:

Graduate Faculty


Geoffrey Bennington, Asa G. Candler Professor of Modern French Thought (D.Phil. in French, Oxford University, 1984). Modern French Literature and Thought, Eighteenth-Century Novel, Literary Theory, Deconstruction.

Author of Sententiousness and the Novel (1985); Lyotard: Writing the Event, (1988); Dudding: des noms de Rousseau (1991); Jacques Derrida [with Jacques Derrida] (1991); Legislations: the Politics of Deconstruction, (1995); Interrupting Derrida (2000); Frontières kantiennes, (2000), Frontiers: Kant, Hegel, Frege, Wittgenstein (2004); Other Analyses: Reading Philosophy (2005); Open Book/Livre ouvert (2005), Deconstruction is Not What You Think (2005), Late Lyotard (2005); Not Half No End (2010); Géographie et autres lectures (2010).

Vincent Bruyère, Assistant Professor (Ph.D. in French Studies, University of Warwick, UK.)

Professor Bruyère's first book, La différence francophone – Jean Léry à Patrick Chamoiseau, was published in 2012 with Rennes University Press in France. His primary research focus is on the French Americas, and on questions of research ethics in historiography and health sciences. His articles have been published in journals such as L'Esprit Createur and Intermedialites. In 2012, he was a visiting fellow of the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University.

Shoshanna Felman, Woodruff Professor of Comparative Literature and French. ( Ph.D., University of Grenoble, France, 1970.) 19th and 20th century French, English and American literature; literature and psychoanalysis, philosophy, trauma and testimony, law and literature; feminism, theater and performance.

Author of The Claims of Literature: A Shoshana Felman Reader (2007); The Juridical Unconscious: Trials and Traumas in the Twentieth Century (2002), What Does a Woman Want? Reading and Sexual Difference (1993); Testimony: Crises of Witnessing in Literature Psychoanalysis and History (co-authored with Dori Laub, M.D.) (1992); Jacques Lacan and the Adventure of Insight: Psychoanalysis in Contemporary Culture (1987); Editor, Literature and Psychoanalysis: The Question of Reading-Otherwise (1982); The Scandal of the Speaking Body: Don Juan with J.L. Austin, or Seduction in Two Languages (2003); Le Scandale du corps parlant. Don Juan avec Austin, ou la Seduction en deux langues (1980); Writing and Madness: Literature/ Philosophy /Psychoanalysis (2003); La Folie et la chose litteraire (1978); La "Folie" dans l'oeuvre romanesque de Stendhal (1971)

Dalia Judovitz, National Endowment for the Humanities Professor of French (Ph.D. in French, The Johns Hopkins University, 1979). Seventeenth-century French literature and philosophy, and modern and postmodern aesthetics.

Author of Subjectivity and Representation in Descartes: The Origins of Modernity (1988); Unpacking Duchamp: Art in Transit (1995); Déplier Duchamp: Passages de l’art (Fr. Trans., 2000); The Culture of the Body: Genealogies of Modernity, 2001; Drawing on Art: Duchamp & Company. (2010). Co-editor of Dialectic and Narrative (1993); Co-editor of the book series The Body, in Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism, University of Michigan Press (1999-2006). Currently working on a book on the interplay of visual and verbal regimes in Georges de la Tour: The Enigma of the Visible.

Valérie Loichot, Professor; (Ph.D. in French, Louisiana State University, 1996). Francophone Studies; Caribbean literature and culture; literature of the Americas; postcolonial theory.

Author of Orphan Narratives: The Postplantation Literatures of Faulkner, Glissant, Morrison, and Saint-John Perse (University of Virginia Press, New World Studies, 2007) and The Tropics Bite Back: Culinary Coups in Caribbean Literature (University of Minnesota Press, 2013). She has also published essays on Caribbean literature and culture, Southern literature, creolization theory, transatlantic studies, feminism and exile, and food studies in Callaloo, Études francophones, French Cultural Studies, The French Review, The International Journal of Francophone Studies, The Journal of Caribbean Literatures, Mississippi Quarterly, Meridians, and Small Axe. She is now at work on a third book entitled" Lafcadio Hearn’s Creole: from New Orleans to Martinique." Her directed volume, Entours d’Édouard Glissant, appeared as a special issue of "La Revue des sciences humaines (2013)."

Carol Herron Lustig, Professor; Director, French Language Program. (Ph.D. in French and Foreign Language Education, University of Wisconsin- Madison, 1978). Second Language Acquisition, assessing strategies for classroom learning, using technology to enhance foreign language instruction.

Recipient of the Arthur M. Blank/NEH Distinguished Teaching Chair of French and the Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award for the Humanities. Co-author of online French software program, Oh là là… quelle aventure! Discovering Basic French Emory University, 2008) []; Co- author, Identité, Modernité, Texte (Yale University Press, 2004). Numerous publications in the Modern Language Journal, The French Review, Foreign Language Annals, CALICO Journal. (On leave 2012-2013)

Elissa Marder, Professor and Chair (Ph.D. in French, Yale University, 1989). Director, Emory Psychoanalytic Studies Program, 2001-2006. Nineteenth- and twentieth-century French literature, feminist and psychoanalytic theory, photography and film.

Author of Dead Time: Temporal Disorders in the Wake of Modernity (Baudelaire, Flaubert), (Stanford University Press, 2001); The Mother in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction: Psychoanalyisis, Technology, Literature (Forham University Press, 2012). Other projects include a study of Walter Benjamin’s writings in French tentatively entitled "Walter Benjamin’s French Corpus," and a book on early 19th century French Literature (Revolutionary Perversions: Literary Sex Acts 1789-1848.)

Claire Nouvet, Associate Professor; Director, Emory Psychoanalytic Studies Program, 2010-2013 (Ph.D. in French, Princeton University, 1981.) Medieval French literature, psychoanalysis, and critical theory.

Author of Abélard and Héloïse: la passion de la maîtrise (Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2009); Enfances Narcisse (Galilée, 2009); editor of Literature and the Ethical Question (Yale French Studies, 1991); co-editor of Minima Memoria: In the Wake of Jean-François Lyotard (2007).

Subha Xavier, Assistant Professor; (Ph.D. in French Literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison.)

Professor Xavier’s primary research focus is the literature of immigration from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Her articles have been published in journals such as The French Review, Contemporary French and Francophone Studies and the Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies. Her first book, The Migrant Text: Theory and Practice of a Global French Literature is forthcoming with McGill-Queen's University Press.

Visiting Scholars

Distinguished professors from outside the university are invited on a regular basis to give lectures and/or seminars. Visitors in recent years have included:

Georges Benkrassa, Universite de Paris VII
Reda Bensmaia, Brown University
Christophe Bident, Universite de Paris VII
Frank Lestrigant, Universite de Paris IV
Serge Margel, Universite de Genève
Kevin Newmark, Boston College
David Wills, Brown University

Recent Lectures
Maïssa Bey, Algerian writer
Antoine Compagnon, Collège de France and Columbia University
Tom Conley, Harvard University
Cynthia Chase, Cornell University
Michel Chion, Film scholar and composer
James Creech, Miami University of Ohio
Michael Dash, NYU
Monique David-Ménard, Paris VII
Françoise Davoine, Psychoanalyst, EHESS, Paris and Jean-Max Gaudillière, Psychoanalyst, EHESS, Paris
Claire Denis, Filmmaker
Souleymane Diagne, Northwestern Univesity
Deborah Jenson, Duke University
Peggy Kamuf, University of Southern California
Elisabeth Ladenson, Columbia University
Dany Laferrière, Canadian writer, Montréal
D. A. Miller, UC Berkeley
Pascal Quignard, French author
Jean-Michel Rabate, University of Pennsylvania
Jacques Rancière, Paris VIII
Mireille Rosello, Northwestern University
Elizabeth Rottenberg, DePaul University
Patrick Wald-Lasowski
David Wills, Brown University

Recent Courses

Although courses are not generally repeated on a regular basis by the faculty, the following course list should give an idea of the kinds of courses the department offers. For the current course offering, visit the course atlas page. For a complete list of the graduate courses offered in the past six years, visit the previous graduate seminars page.

Virtual Bodies: Anatomy, Technology, Metaphysics. This course examines the progressive virtualization and technologization of the body from the seventeenth into the twentieth century. It documents the shift from a humoral, scriptorial, and experientially defined body to the emergence of the body as anatomical and technological prototype, defined by its metaphysical virtualization. The rise of the mind-body dualism, the analogy of the body to a machine, the question of embodiment, the relation of ontological difference and sexual difference, the body in the age of mechanical reproduction, the inhuman, constitute major points of reference. Readings from Montaigne, Descartes, De la Mettrie, Sade, Villiers de l'Isle Adam, as well as critical readings by Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Heidegger, Lyotard, etc. (Judovitz)

Language in Modern French Thought. The course will examine some central modern French reflections on the question of language, from Saussure's seminal Cours de linguistique générale, through selected texts by late thinkers. Our guiding thread will be the concept of the sign as the apparent basis for thinking about language, and the possibility of more or less radical critiques of that concept after Saussure. (Bennington)

The Plantation Americas. This course will explore how the Plantation machine produced repeating patterns in different parts of the Americas. We look particularly at textual and cultural productions of the Caribbean and the plantation South of the United States. Among the topics we will consider: family structures, including perversions of genealogy, inversions of the naming process; challenged authorship of texts; boundless proliferating narratives; creolized language; predominance of the oral collective voice; exploded notions of space; hybrid forms of temporality. Fictional and theoretical readings from Antonio Benítez-Rojo, Maryse Condé, Edwidge Danticat, Michael Dash, William Faulkner, Edouard Glissant, Toni Morrison, Saint-John Perse, among others. (Loichot)

Baudelaire and His Readers. In this course, we shall examine both how the figure of the reader is inscribed in Baudelaire's writings (in his verse and prose poems) and how Baudelaire reads others (in his translations, aesthetic and literary criticism as well as his poems). We shall also ask why and how the history of literary criticism in the last century (and even today) is so preoccupied with Baudelaire's work. We shall read selections from some of the important readings of Baudelaire by Valéry, Sartre, Bataille, Blan-chot, Poulet, Jakobson, Benjamin, de Man, Jauss, and Derrida. Finally, we shall look at how Baudelaire has been read by a few French and American poets from Mallarmé to Ponge and Wallace Stevens. (Marder)

The Art of Love. Taking as our starting point Ovid's account of the myth of Narcissus
and its problematic articulation of vision and speech in the birth of the subject, we will trace the medieval speculation on love as being both a specular/fantasmatic process and an act of address, be it the lyric "envoi," the narrative "démarche," the testamentary legacy or the prayer to God. In all these cases, it will be a question of "finding" love ("finding" referring also to a tropological turn) in the very act of "addressing". We will also explore medieval writing as the "art" of addressing, translating, reiterating, breaking and conjoining. This art of writing will be shown to constitute an act of love in its own right. (Nouvet)

Problems in Foreign Language Teaching.
This course is designed to provide foreign language teachers with an understanding of theories of second language acquisition and with practice in implementing these ideas in the classroom. Emphasis is placed on teaching foreign languages in the communicative classroom setting, and topics include the major skill areas of listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar, and culture. Discussions will also focus on issues in testing, error correction and the use of technology in the classroom. (Herron)

The Invention of Passions in the 17th Century.
This course examines the invention of the passions in 17th century French literature and philosophy. The word invention is not intended to suggest that passions have not always been central to the literary project, but rather, that the rise of a rational conception of subjectivity, consciousness, and the body, leads to a radical redefinition of the terms and horizon of affectivity, anticipating later elaborations of the unconscious. Starting with an examination of the representation of the passions both physical and spiritual in baroque literary texts, we then consider the re-embodiments of the passions and affective expression in the context of classical aesthetics. Primary works include selections from d'Urfe, Guilleragues, Descartes, Racine, Pascal, and La Rochefoucauld, accompanied by theoretical readings from Foucault, Benjamin, Shefer, Marin, De Certeau, Bryson, etc. (Judovitz)

Imagined Others, Reconstructed Self. This course examines how the colonizer reifies the oppressed by imposing a constructed image upon them, and how the decolonized reconstruct their identity in the aftermath of colonization, using strategies such as food, naming, geography, etc. Readings from bell hooks, Bhabha, Césaire, Djebar, Fanon, Glissant, Hegel, Kincaid, Saïd, and Spivak. (Loichot)

Sex in the 19th Century. In this course, we shall examine representations of "non-normative" sexuality in several major nineteenth-century works. Many of these works are organized around explicit or implicit depictions of impotence, lesbianism, hysteria, and prostitution. By focusing on the importance of these figures, we shall explore how nineteenth-century discussions of sexuality function as a means to articulate changing conceptions of the relationship between language, history, gender and power. Possible texts include: Armance (Stendhal), La Fille aux yeux d'or (Balzac), Mlle de Maupin (Gautier), Madame Bovary (Flaubert) and selections from Baudelaire. We shall also discuss paintings by Delacroix, Manet, and Courbet. Critical readings will include works by Foucault, Benjamin, Alain Corbin, Thomas Laqueur, and others. (Marder)

The Aesthetics of the Visible. This course examines the construction of the "visible" from a philosophical, artistic and social perspective. Starting with Merleau-Ponty's reflections on painting and vision, we will discuss how painting references the body and the senses. Rather than treating the "visible" as a "given", we will examine how artworks construct visual reference, according to pictorial conventions and specific ideologies of spectatorship. The representation of the body as topic and material pigment, the nude as pictorial genre, questions of pictorial production and reproduction, and the development of conceptual art will be at issue. Readings will include Merleau-Ponty, Blumemberg, Lyotard, Derrida, Deleuze, Bryson, Mulvey, Berger, Bourdieu, Krauss, Didi-Huberman, etc. along with artworks by La Tour, Géricault, Courbet, Manet, Soutine, Bacon, Duchamp, and Wilson. (Judovitz)

Medieval Alterity - The Romance of the Rose. This course is designed to be an introduction to medieval literature and medieval criticism. After examining the critical debate that the notion of medieval alterity has elicited (What specific features of the medieval text are used to define it as "other"? What kind of critical approach is this otherness made to justify? What is the relation between the medieval "other" and "modernity"?), we will read major medieval texts in conjunction with some of the most influential interpretations that they have provoked. Each text will therefore be accompanied with a critical apparatus where diverse and often conflictual critical viewpoints will be represented. Whenever possible, close-readings of the text will be confronted with one another. Readings from La vie de Saint Alexis; Chrétien de Troyes, Yvain ou le chevalier au lion; Marie de France, Lais; Christine de Pisan, The Book of the City of Ladies; Villon, Le Testament. (Nouvet)

Abélard et Héloïse: le mal des lettres. Focusing on the notion of "letter", this course will explore the following issues: the translation of the theological articulation of the concepts of law, letter, and sacrifice into a literary context; the redefinition of
castration as an encounter with the law of the letter; the notion of magister and the institution of the university; the link between the feminine and the letter as well as the inscription of a feminine desire in the perversion of a theological conversion. Readings from Abélard and Héloïse, Correspon-dance; Augustine, De Magistro; Derrida, La Carte postale; Paul, Epistles. (Nouvet)

Literature and Psychoanalysis. How can literary and psychoanalytic models of interpretation be read with, through, and against each other? In this course we will examine both how some key psychoanalytic concepts are based on literary and rhetorical structures as well as how literary texts articulate and challenge the psychoanalytic notions of truth and knowledge. Questions raised throughout the course will relate to problems of temporality, repetition, the "subject" of knowledge, the construction of identity, psychoanalytic articulations of sexual difference, fetishism, the status of the historical event, language and intersubjectivity, and writing and mourning. Texts may include works by Freud, Lacan, Kristeva, André Green, Adam Phillips, Poe, Sophocles, Proust, Balzac, Woolf and Duras. (Marder)

French Hegel. This course will aim to identify and analyse the formation of a 'French Hegel' in the work of some major twentieth-century French thinkers. We shall begin from Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit as influentially read by Alexandre Kojève in the lectures that are published as Introduction à la lecture de Hegel, and follow the traces and effects of this reading in Georges Bataille, Jacques Lacan and Maurice Blanchot. In the second part of the course we shall consider the more general re-readings of Hegel proposed by Jacques Derrida, Jean-François Lyotard and Jean-Luc Nancy. (Bennington)




About | People | Graduate Program | Undergraduate Program | Resources | Overseas Studies | Lectures & Events | News | Alumni & Friends | Make a Gift

French | Italian Studies | Emory College | Emory University

Department of French and Italian, Emory University, 537 Kilgo Circle, Callaway N405, Atlanta, GA 30322


Emory University shield french homepage Italian Studies