Center for French and Francophone Studies

Spring 2024 Events

April 18-20, the CFFS co-hosted the conference French and Francophone Philosophy Today with keynotes Souleymane Bachir Diagne (Columbia), Penelope Deutscher (Northwestern), François Raffoul (LSU, emeritus). The conference will include a panel featuring Claire Colebrook (Penn State),  Jeff Bell (Southeastern Louisiana University), and Dan Smith (Purdue)  discussing the work of John Protevi (French/Philosophy, LSU). This conference gathered a diverse set of international researchers, scholars and students to consider the past, present and future directions of French philosophy. Recognizing the precious and precarious francophone connections of the state of Louisiana, and its investments in humanistic traditions tied to French thought and cultures, the conference affirmed the important contributions of our LSU colleagues and our continued commitment to forging new connections between institutions, individuals and scholarly research networks. See the program here. 


Julia Malye, author of Pelican Girls (forthcoming from HarperCollins in 2024)

On Monday, March 25 from 4:30PM-6:30PM in 324 Hodges, the CFFS hosted author Julia Malye for a creative writing workshop in French.

 In this creative writing workshop, students explored the art, ethics, and politics of translation to welcome multilinguism and multiculturalism in our writing. We looked at translation both at the micro and macro levels: thinking about the difficulty of translating one given story, one given word, or one’s culture, one’s world. We learned how (self)translation can be used as a tool toward revision, and what the languages we speak/are in the process of learning can teach us about the words we choose and the stories we write. The workshop was intended to allow students to explore creative expression in French, and is open to students from beginning to advanced levels.

Julia Malye is the author of four novels published in France and works as a translator for Les Belles Lettres. She wrote her fourth novel and English debut both in French and in English: Pelican Girls, which is currently being translated in more than 20 languages. At the age of twenty-one, she moved to the United States to study fiction writing and graduated from Oregon State University's MFA program in 2017. Since 2015, she has been teaching creative writing to students both in the U.S. at Oregon State University and in France at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University and Sciences Po Paris. 


Headshot photo of Alyssa Sepinwall

On March 8 from 12-1PM CST, the CFFS hosted a virtual lecture with Dr. Alyssa Sepinwall (California State University) on her book Slave Revolt on Screen: The Haitian Revolution in Film and Video Games (University Press of Mississippi 2021). Long silenced in academia, the Haitian Revolution has made some surprising appearances in popular culture, ranging from a Chris Rock comedy to video games. This talk considered how these media have portrayed the Haitian Revolution, and the challenges Haitian artists have in creating their own depictions of the Revolution.

Professor Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall earned a B.A. in intellectual history and political philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from Stanford University. Her research specialties include the French and Haitian Revolutions, modern Haitian history, Slavery and Film, French colonialism, French-Jewish history, history and video games, and the history of gender. She is the author of Slave Revolt on Screen: The Haitian Revolution in Film and Video Games (University Press of Mississippi) which received the Honorable Mention for the 2021 HSA biennial Book Prize, Haitian Studies Association and was named a CHOICE Top 10 Editors' Pick). Her previous works include The Abbé Grégoire and the French Revolution: The Making of Modern Universalism (UC Press, 2005; released in paperback, 2021) and Haitian History: New Perspectives (Routledge, 2012).

Friday, March 1, in 424 Hodges Hall: Lecture by Michael Monahan, Professor of Philosophy, University of Memphis: “From Series Being to Black Liberation: Dessalines, Biko, and Sartre's Critique of Dialectical Reason.”

Michael Monahan, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Memphis, is the author of Creolizing Practices of Freedom (2022) and The Creolizing Subject: Race, Reason, and the Politics of Purity (2011) and editor of Creolizing Hegel (2017). His primary philosophical interests are in questions of oppression and liberation, with a particular emphasis on race and racism. He draws primarily on Africana and phenomenological texts and traditions in his work. He has taught courses in Africana Philosophy, Philosophy of Race, Political Philosophy, Ethics, Feminist Philosophy, Hegel, and Nietzsche. His current work investigates the uses and abuses of theories of "recognition" in the context of racial oppression and liberation. 

Co-sponsored by the Department of French Studies and the Center for French and Francophone Studies

On Friday, January 26th, the CFFS hosted "The Craft of Oral History: Best Practices and Lessons from the Louisiana French Project."

Oral histories are a powerful way to collect and preserve stories and personal memories from the past and present. They can teach us about our more immediate communities or families, and also help us to understand the everyday impact of larger historical or social events. In this workshop, Jennifer Cramer (Director of the LSU T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History) and Erin Segura (LSU Louisiana French Instructor) will give an overview of best practices for oral history research, including how to form interview questions, interviewing techniques, using technology, and ethics. They will also discuss the lessons learn from the Louisiana French Oral Histories project.

Fall 2023 Events

The CFFS hosted visits from leading scholars in French and Francophone Studies.

professor coutiDr. Jacqueline Couti. Dr. Couti discussed the motifs of déraison and rap(e)ture (aesthetic of rape and rapture) in the Martinican Raphaël Tardon’s short story “La Rédemption de Barbaroux” [“The Redemption of Barbaroux,” 1946] and novel Starkenfirst (1947), in order to demonstrate how this author undermines Western humanism and the colonial project. At the heart of this project stand power and pleasure. Considering this author's representations of women not only as colonial tropes but as appellations d’origine contrôlée (AOC) [“protected designations of origin”] of the imaginary allows us to see how these persistent tropes still cause exclusion and dissension and negatively affect the contemporary French Antilles.

Dr. Jacqueline Couti is the Laurence H. Favrot Professor of French Studies at Rice University. Her research and teaching interests delve into the transatlantic and transnational interconnections between cultural productions from continental France and its now former colonies. She is the author of Sex, Sea, and Self: Sexuality and Nationalism in French Caribbean Discourses 1924-1948 (Liverpool, 2021) and Dangerous Creole Liaisons (Liverpool, 2016), among many other publications. 

professor beasleyThe CFFS welcomed back to LSU Faith Beasley, Professor of French at Dartmouth College, a noted specialist of seventeenth-century French studies and feminism. Dr. Beasley's lecture, entitled "Contextualizing the Past:  Encounters with India à la française"?" will discuss François Bernier's texts on India (1670-72), as well as their reception and influence. Through these texts and their history, we can learn about the larger history of cultural exchange between India and France during the early modern period, and the importance of reading and interpreting texts within their historical context. Dr. Beasley's most recent monograph, Versailles Meets the Taj Mahal: François Bernier, Marguerite de la Sablière and Enlightening Conversations in Seventeenth-Century France (Toronto, 2018), engages with important questions of cultural exchange between France and India during the Early Modern period. In addition to this work, Professor Beasley has long been a leading scholar of women’s writing in seventeenth-century France, including (among many others) editing the volume Options for Teaching Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century French Women Writers (MLA, 2011) and co-editing, with LSU Professor Kate Jensen, Approaches to Teaching the Princess of Clèves (MLA, 1998).


Call for LSU CFFS Micro-Grant Proposals

The CFFS Micro-Grant initiative invites members of the LSU community to convene small-scale intellectual or creative exchanges that illuminate the broad applicability of intellectual and artistic contributions from the French and Francophone world, broadly construed. All members of the LSU community – undergraduates, graduate students, staff, and faculty – are invited to apply, although preference will be given to student and non-TT/early career faculty proposals. Successful proposals will be eligible to receive organizational support from the CFFS in the form of publicity and help securing on-campus spaces, as well as material support for honoraria and refreshments (up to $500). Whenever possible, Micro-Grant activities will be recorded and archived on the CFFS website for future reference. These grants will be administered on a rolling basis.

Learn more about micro-grant proposals and apply.


Fall 2024: Save the Date for the 1805 Concert at the LSU Digital Media Center, September 26-27!

Architectural rendering of Jean-Hyacinthe Laclotte’s “Project of a Playhouse for the Town of New-Orleans” (1805), Shea Trahan, AIA

The CFFS is partnering with the LSU School of Music, the Center for Computation and Technology and the School of Art + Architecture on the 1805 Concert, a unique live performance event presented at the LSU Digital Media Center theatre on September 26-27 at 7:30pm. Drawing on research into the theatrical culture of New Orleans around the period of the Louisiana Purchase, this concert features musical selections that would have been played on New Orleans stages, in the virtually restituted acoustical environment of a massive theatre planned for the city’s Mississippi waterfront in 1805. Scholarly presentations by Professor Philippe Girard (McNeese State) and Professor Julia Doe (Columbia University) will explore aspects of the theatrical and musical culture of this period, followed by live performances by LSU faculty, graduate students and undergrads. SAVE THE DATE for this unique exploration of history, performance and digital technology!

Student Engagement

Undergraduate students presenting research at the Conference on the Revolutionary Era in Baton Rouge in February 2024

LSU Undergraduate students have been working in 2023-2024 with CFFS Director J. Leichman to develop a searchable database of French-language theatrical performances in territorial New Orleans, based on advertisements in Le Moniteur de la Louisiane. Participants include Rhys Borders, Blaire Newburger, Bella Frederick, Victor Herbin, Ansley Barlow, Elizabeth Murray and Morgan Carter. Members of this team, along with Professor Leichman, presented their work at the  Consortium on the Revolutionary Era annual conference that was held in Baton Rouge from February 22-24, 2024.

Campus and Community Partners

Caribbean Futures flyers

The Caribbean Futures workshop and colloquium gathers scholars, practitioners, and students at the LSU School of Architecture to investigate and imagine actionable ideas to meet the challenges of escalating inequality and accelerating climate change in greater Caribbean, including the Gulf Coast. Visit the Caribbean Futures website to learn about their virtual colloquium events in Spring 2024. 

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