Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Graduate Studies

Graduate Studies

As a community, our department embraces and supports its students and faculty.  Our graduate students play a crucial role by bringing their diverse backgrounds and experiences to the table.  We aspire to include everyone in our individual and collective engagement by shaping the production and sharing of knowledge about and throughout the francophone world.

Our graduate program generates and analyzes ground-breaking research at the intersection of such disciplines as cultural anthropology, philosophy, socio-cultural and literary history, stylistics, urbanism, visual studies, and women’s and gender studies. Our research program in the digital humanities, which encompasses projects in literary cartography and digital text editing, is also highly robust. Through varied sites of analysis (city, library, archive, classroom, stage, and environment, among others), the program explores current issues and theoretical debates.

Our interdisciplinary approach to French and Francophone Studies gravitates around three major poles: race and gender; cultures and literatures in contact; and aesthetics/poetics. Women’s history and creativity, constructions of gender, and racial identities constitute important areas of emphasis in our teaching and research. Another major focus pertains to cultural and literary points of contact, whether related to immigration and migration, colonial encounters, history and politics, regional and national identities, or oral and written sources. Finally, aesthetics and poetics are the critical focus of research projects and seminars. These seminars deal with wide-ranging primary sources and objects in a variety of historical and political contexts. From popular culture to the avant-garde, through genealogies of literary genres, from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century, and in inter-arts relations, the seminars cover it all.

Our course offeringsfaculty research, and graduate students’ doctoral projects speak to the vibrant intellectual environment that we aim to foster inside and outside the classroom.