French and Francophone Studies

The faculty in Romance Studies has long proven a pioneering, international force in research and teaching French and Francophone Studies. For several generations, we’ve been inventing theoretical models for the humanities in cultural history, aesthetics, literature and the sciences, and gender studies.  A survey of criticism today includes landmark contributions by Duke critics -- from key interventions in the debates over Orientalism to questions of cultural memory, from philosophical meditation on "blackness" to neurology and metaphor, from experimental fiction and non-fiction to histories of the French Atlantic world.   Our program is distinguished by thinking in the longue durée.  All our work involves adventuresome, vigorous exchange with scholars and writers from every region in French-speaking Europe, America, and Africa.

The Center for French and Francophone Studies provides a forum for collaborative research.  The FDH initiative [Francophone Digital Humanities] is creating an intellectual space linking faculty and students with newly available archives and other research partners to foster thinking in a digital environment. The Franklin Humanities Institute where colleagues working in French and Francophone Studies play a leading role, is another major resource.  Its innovative labs, and working groups offer many chances for participating in projects and initiatives.

Students benefit from several international frameworks in developing their critical interests.
There are opportunities to participate in an exchange with the ENS – the Ecole normale supérieure [Ulm, Lyon] --  a leading research center, among other institutions in French speaking countries. Together, with doctoral students from ENS, and the Université Diderot-Paris 7, they form a rich international community on campus and abroad.

We are one of the rare programs in the country where French and Francophone Studies continue to innovate through comparative Romance Studies.  It was our doctoral students who helped to design this track, promoting research in pre-modern French and Italian, for example, or contemporary Francophone and Latin American literature.  This comparative approach is enriched by work in History, Art, Art History and Visual Studies, Cultural Anthropology, as well as other disciplines.   We welcome applications from students interested in the full inventive range of fields that we represent.  Contact with individual faculty members is strongly recommended.


Clare J. Tufts, Professor of the Practice of French

Office: 106 Language Bldg, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 660-3126

Second language acquisition, Foreign Language Pedagogy, la bande dessinée Full Profile »

David F. Bell, Professor with Tenure

Office: 209 Language Center, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 660-3100

Nineteenth-century French literature and culture; critical theory; literature and science; literature and technology. Full Profile »

Laurent Dubois, Professor of Romance Studies

Office: 213 Language Center, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 660-3112

I am a specialist on the history and culture of the Atlantic world, with a focus on the Caribbean and particularly Haiti. I am the faculty director of the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University, and write for magazines including the New Republic, Sports Illustrated, and the New Yorker. I... Full Profile »

Fredric Jameson, Knut Schmidt Nielsen Professor of Comparative Literature

Office: 101 Friedl Bldg, 1316 Campus Drive Box 90670, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 684-4155

Knut Schmidt-Nielsen Professor of Comparative Literature, Professor of Romance Studies (French), and Director of the Center for Critical Theory. Professor Jameson received his Ph.D. from Yale in 1959 and taught at Harvard, Yale, and the University of California before coming to Duke in 1985. He...

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Deborah Jenson, Professor of Romance Studies

Office: 112 Language Center, Box 90257, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 660-3122

A scholar of "long 19th century" French and Caribbean literature and culture, I also work in the fields of cognitive literary studies and health humanities. Monographs, edited volumes, editions, and translations include: Beyond the Slave Narrative: Politics, Sex, and Manuscripts in the Haitian... Full Profile »

Michele Longino, Professor of Romance Studies

Office: 111 Language Center, Durham, NC 27708-0257

Phone: (919) 660-3121

Professor of French & Italian Studies, received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and taught at Rice University before coming to Duke in 1989.  She is an early modern specialist on the French Classical age, 1650-1700. Her interests in the epistolary genre and in women's writing...

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Toril Moi, James B. Duke Professor of Literature

Office: 114 S. Buchanan Boulevard, B184 Smith Warehouse, Durham, NC 27708-0403

Phone: (919) 668-6407

Toril Moi has three broad areas of interest: feminist theory and women's writing; the intersection of literature, philosophy and aesthetics; and ordinary language philosophy in the tradition of Wittgenstein, Cavell and Austin.

Toril Moi also works on theater. In her work on literature... Full Profile »

Anne-Gaelle Saliot, Assistant Professor of Romance Studies

Office: 219A Language Center, Durham, NC 27708

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Helen Solterer, Professor in the Department of Romance Studies

Office: 217B Language Center, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 660-3118

My research focuses on pre-modern literatures and cultures.  I study these French vernacular fictions in historical action, shaped not only by events of their first era, but by many others, including the critic’s contemporary one.  ... Full Profile »

Jacques Pierre, Lecturing Fellow* of Romance

Office: 08 Language Center, Box 90257, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 660-3132

Jacques Pierre was born in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. He studied Haitian Creole and French Applied Linguistics at the State University of Haiti. He is currently a Lecturing Fellow in French, Haitian Creole and Culture in the Department of Romance Studies at Duke University and Core Affiliated Faculty in... Full Profile »

Anne Garreta, Research Professor of Literature

Office: 101D Friedl Bldg, Literature Program, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 668-5389

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Deborah Reisinger, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Romance Studies

Office: 06 Language Center, Durham, NC 27708-0257

Phone: (919) 660-2420

Deb Reisinger, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of the Practice in Romance Studies, affiliate faculty in the Duke Global Health Institute and Associate Director of the Markets and Management Studies program.

Reisinger teaches courses in French for Specific Purposes, including global...

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