The French program at Johns Hopkins University has a long and distinguished history, having played a leading role in embracing and disseminating critical approaches and methodological innovations. We keep close ties with scholars and writers in France and from around the world, so that in addition to working with our permanent faculty, students are able to take classes and pursue independent study with the distinguished visitors that we host on a regular basis. Among our recent visitors are:
Juliette Cherbuliez (University of Minnesota)
Danièle Cohn (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Béatrice Didier (École Normale Supérieure, Paris rue d’Ulm)
Marian Hobson (University of London)
Michel Jeanneret (Université de Genève)
Lydie Moudileno (University of Pennsylvania)
François Noudelman (Université Paris 8, Collège International de Philosophie)
Derek Schilling (Rutgers University)
The Ph.D. Program
The French program focuses from the outset on research, argumentation, and writing, and is therefore especially attractive to independent-minded students. After a two-year period of intensive seminar work (including at least 12 seminars), admission to the Ph.D. is based on the preparation and defense of the dissertation prospectus, rather than on the comprehensive exams generally required by doctoral programs in the field.
This method allows students to acquire a broad grasp of the historical periods of French studies and to develop a critical reflection on the tools of criticism. These range from literary history and poetics to philosophy, history of science, cultural theory, historiography, genetic criticism, and film esthetics. The method’s success is reflected in the high number of fellowships and awards won by our graduate students, such as the Bourse Chateaubriand and the ACLS-Mellon Fellowship.
Students engage in classroom teaching at all levels, under the guidance of our Language Pedagogy staff, and receive training in innovative teaching techniques through various pedagogy workshops. Advanced students in the program are eligible to offer upper-level undergraduate courses on a research topic of their own choosing, taught under the JHU Dean's Teaching Fellows program.
The French section has ongoing graduate exchange programs with the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and the Université de Genève, as well as a post-doctoral exchange with the Université Paris 7.
Lecture Series and Conferences
In addition to our regular lecture series, the Centre Louis Marin for Interdisciplinary French Studies sponsors several conferences and colloquia each year. Designated a "Centre d'excellence d'études françaises" by the French government in 1992, the Centre is funded in part through an annual grant from the French Embassy. It hosts seminars, conferences, and workshops on topics related to France and the French-speaking world, enables collaborative research among scholars working in France, Europe and North America, and supports programs and events connected to the training of teachers of French. The Centre also promotes exchanges of faculty and students with French institutions of higher education.
Among recent conferences and colloquia sponsored or co-sponsored by the Centre are:
“Po&sie, 35 years” (2011)
“Jean Starobinski, le regard critique” (2011)
“Shadows, mirrors, ‘white spaces’: Thinking Algeria with and beyond the Limits of Francophone Scholarship in North America” (2010)
“Autour de Jacques Roubaud et Florence Delay” (2009)
“Edouard Glissant” (2007)
“Madame Bovary, The Novel as a Modern Art” (2006)
Graduate students have spearheaded their international graduate colloquium, sponsored by GRLL and the Centre Louis Marin:
“Normes et formes” (2011)
“Littérature et animalité” (2010)
Since 2000, tenure-track and tenured positions have been awarded to graduates of the Ph.D. program in French from the following institutions:
University of Basel
University of California - Davis
University of California - Irvine
University of Colorado - Boulder
University of Indiana - Bloomington
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