Chair, Department of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics
Associate Professor of French
at Bucknell since 1999
Ph.D. New York University
206 Marts Hall
My intermediate-level teaching focuses on interdisciplinary explorations of contemporary French society and culture (FREN 270 La France Actuelle, FREN 275 French Economy and Business Culture). I also teach advanced seminars and direct research on Surrealism, education and identity in France, the notion of terroir, and film, literature, and politics in the 1960s. I really enjoy discussing with students current issues in French society or exploring how advertisements express cultural attitudes.
My research focuses first of all on the history and sociology of the avant-garde in interwar France. I am particularly fascinated by the role played by emergent academic disciplines and theories (sociology, ethnography, psychology, phenomenology, or even particle physics and non-Euclidean geometry) in surrealism and para-surrealist movments such as Roger Caillois and Tristan Tzara’s Groupe d’Études pour la Phénoménologie Humaine or Georges Bataille’s Collège de Sociologie. My other main area of research interest is the cultural history of education in France. I have given talks on education and nostalgia in contemporary France, education and culinary identity, and social conservatism in Colette’s Claudine à l’école. I also have a weakness for Godard’s films, particularly the cannibal hippie guerrillas in Week-end.
Off campus, I enjoy time with my family, the culinary arts, travelling, and the book arts (bookbinding). I indulge in the first two almost daily; the second two, far too rarely.
“Introduction” (with co-editor Philippe Dubois). Terroirs. Issue of Contemporary French and Francophone Studies 14.2 (2010).
“From Cultural Machines to Dematerialized Cultures: Promoting the Primitive at the Trocadéro and the Quai Branly.” Contemporary French Civilization 33-1 (2009): 47-71.
"Seductive Theories: Roger Caillois, Inquisitions, and the Performative Intellectual" in Modernist Group Dynamics: The Politics and Poetics of Friendship, edited by Fabio Akcelrud Durao and Dominic Williams. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008, 145-171.
“Reorienting Surrealism,” The French Review 81-4 (2008): 707-718.
“Michel Leiris et les ‘sciences de l’erreur’: le passage occulte du surréalisme à l’ethnographie,”for Mélusine 27 (2007): 77-86.
“Digesting Godard Filming Bataille: Expenditure in Week-end,” Sites: The Journal of 20th-Century / Contemporary French Studies. 9-4 (2005): 345-352.
"Academic Avant-Garde Networks in Interwar Paris." Modernist Studies Association, Victoria, B.C. (November 2010)
“Burning Through Breton and Bataille: Jules Monnerot‟s Vesicant Sociology of the Sacred.” Modernist Studies Association, Montreal (November 2009).
“Inventing Shadows: Surrealist Epistemology in 1925.” American Comparative Literature Association, Harvard University (March 2009).
“Dense Order: Roger Caillois’s Militant Orthodoxy and the Performative Intellectual.” Invited Lecture, The Pennsylvania State University, September 29, 2008.
“Les Papilles de la Nation: Primary Education and French Culinary Identity in the Third Republic” 20- / 21st-Century French Studies Colloquium, Georgetown University (March 2008).
“Cultivating Nature and Naturalizing Culture: Class Conservatism in Colette’s Claudine à l’école” 20- / 21st-Century French Studies Colloquium, College Station, Texas (March 2007)