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Congratulations to Katharine Hargrave!


We are so pleased to give our warmest congratulations to Katharine Hargrave who successfully defended her dissertation entitled Lyric Tragedy and Libretto Print Culture in Early Modern France on May 8th. Katharine leaves us for a job at the College of Charleston, and we couldn't be any prouder! 


FFS students selected for the 2020-2021 TAPIF program

We are so pleased to announce that three of our 2020 FFS grads will be headed to France next year to teach with the TAPIF program. Congratulations to Loren Baseler (Académie de Nantes), Cody Harpster (Académie de Besançon) and Nick Mikolinis (Académie de Poitiers). Best of luck and keep in touch!


Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

On this last day of classes, we are taking a moment to honor the class of 2020. We are all amazed at your resilience, optimism and sense of purpose. On this page you will find a special send-off: we hope it will make you smile, reminisce, and perhaps even shed a tear!  While we are deeply disappointed that we can't do this in person, know that our well wishes are heartfelt and that for us, you will remain a very special group of students indeed.  We wish you all health, good fortune and success. Please keep in touch!  Toutes nos félicitations!


We are so pleased to be represented by Loren Baseler as our departmental marshal. Her academic achievements, outstanding record of excellence as a Schreyer Scholar, and devotion to the Humanities make her a natural choice. You can read about her study abroad experiences in Montpellier here. Loren will be participating in the TAPIF exchange as a teaching exchange in the Académie de Nantes during the 2020-2021 school year. Loren, we know you will go far!


Here is a list of our graduates who will be receiving Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor or Science degrees. We are so proud of you!


Click here for a special message from our Dept. Head, Professor Willa Silverman. We have been bowled over by the great breadth of your interests, experiences and plans for the future. Here is a slide show highlighting all of the accomplishments of the Class of 2020.

We congratulate the following recipients of the Undergraduate Certificate of Academic Excellence. You have maintained an impressive record of academic achievement and your GPAs are a testament to that!

academic excellence

And finally, quarantine and social distancing could not keep us from coming together and making this special send-off, just for you!

Please keep up with all our department happenings by joining our FB group and following us on Instagram!


Graduate Students Pilcher and Disbro Win College Teaching Awards

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Congratulations to Ph.D. student Ryan Pilcher for winning the 2020 Denise Haunani Solomon Liberal Arts Outstanding Teaching Award for Graduate Students. Congratulations are in order as well for Ph.D. student Eric Disbro who is one of several recipients of the  2020 Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award.  We are thrilled to see the accomplishments of these two talented graduate teaching instructors recognized by the university--bravo!

Bad Blackadémqiue: Blog by First Year M.A. Student Joann Michel


MichelWe invite you to read the blog of first year M.A. student Joann Michel entitled Bad Blackadémqiue. In it she explores the desire to fuse her creativity into her new scholarly sphere, as she de-mystifies the notion of being Black in academia. 

Prof. Silverman's France and the Holocaust Class journal

Once every two years, Prof. Willa Silverman offers the France and the Holocaust course that allows students who participate in the embedded component to travel to Paris where they meet with survivors, visit sites important to the Deportation, and gain an in-depth understanding of what these events meant for France both then and now. Read more about the 2019 course trip and their journey here. 

With the support of alumni and friends, grad students excel on the job market

Recently minted doctorate Johann Le Guelte launches his career at Xavier. Read more about how opportunities in the College of Liberal Arts were instrumental in his success here

Members of the department participate in the 2019 Marathon Read

Members of the department participated in the 2019 Marathon Read. This year's event was entitled "Myths, Legends, and Songs from around the World", and feature many of the languages spoken across the Penn State campuses. More information and photos here.

Congratulations to Liz Tuttle!


Tuttle committeeCongratulations to Liz Tuttle for successfully defending her dissertation entitled "Distributing Dissidence: The Material Culture of Feminism and Anti-Imperialism in Interwar France" on Sept. 20th, 2019! 

French Club Uses Embassy Prize to Promote French at PSU!

French Club

new Doleno

The French Club or Cercle français, was awarded a $500 prize by the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. for the 2018 France on Campus Award. This award is given to assist student groups in promoting French on U.S. campuses. The group used the money to sponsor an essay contest in which students could talk about what studying French means to them. The following students were selected as winners and were awarded French textbooks for their Fall, 2019 French courses:

  • Samantha J Doleno
  • Cameron Frye
  • Pablo Gutierrez
  • Vaibhav Malla 
  • Vanessa Peduzzi
  • Julia Wharton 

Members of the club made class visits and distributed the prizes. Félicitations to everyone involved!

Congratulations to Johann Le Guelte!

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Johann Le Guelte, pictured here with his advisor Jennifer Boittin, graduated with a Ph.D. on August 10th. Johann was the recipient of the very prestigious Alumni Association Dissertation Award. Johann has just begun a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of French at Xavier University.  Johann we will miss you, best of luck!

Undergraduate student Guay named UNESCO Fellow


French and Francophone Studies major Laura Guay has been selected to serve as a 2020 UNESCO fellow. Read more about her selection and the UNESCO program objectives here.

FFS Major Michaela Combs recounts her internship experiences at Syngenta


FFS and Economics major Michaels Combs recounts her experiences at her internship in France at Syngenta France SAS. She notes that FR 409 "prepared me both culturally and vocabulary-wise for this experience and my responsibilities. This experience has been a lot more enjoyable because I was prepared through that course to succeed in a French workplace." Read more here.

Prof. Monicat wins prestigious faculty mentoring award

Prof. Bénédicte Monicat has won the Pavoucec Shields award for her outstanding contributions in mentoring women in the university and the profession. Congratulations to you, Bénédicte!


Congratulations to Marie Paillard and Johann Le Guelte!

The Depart of French and Francophone Studies is pleased to congratulate two recent graduate student award winners: Johann Le Guelte, for the Alumni Association Dissertation Award and Marie Paillard for the Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award. Both awards are evidence of their hard work and dedication as scholars and teachers. Congratulations to you both!


The awards were announced at several college and university-wide events. Pictured below are the department attendees at the College of Liberal Arts ceremony that took place on April 1st. We are all so proud!


Le Mémorial de la Déportation Homosexuelle a participé à une session d'un séminaire autour de la Shoah organisé par la Pennsylvania State University

L'intitulé de la semaine est "FR199 – France and the Holocaust in Film and Literature (Paris 1-9 March 2019)", et le programme a inclus des visites au Musée d’art et d’histoire du judaïsme, au Mont Valérien, au cimetière du Père-Lachaise, des rencontres avec des survivants du camp de Auschwitz-Birkenau... et un passage au Centre LGBT Paris IdF pour discuter avec Matthieu du MDH !

La discussion a porté sur une présentation du Centre LGBT et de ses actions, puis sur le contexte historique des homosexuel·le·s avant, durant et après la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, en particulier avec les survivances législatives en Allemagne et en France des discriminations juridiques dans l'après-guerre. La question de la reconnaissance par les Etats de cette mémoire et sa concrétisation dans un mémorial ont également pu être abordés.

Read more here. 

Congratulations to Andrew Jones!

Jones and Yaari

Congratulations to Andrew Jones (French and Francophone Studies) who, on February 8, 2019, has successfully defended his dissertation, titled "Narrating for-the-other: French and Francophone Cinema as Testimony of the Extreme." 

Congratulations to the French Club!

The Cercle français has won third place in the 2018 France on Campus competition. The competition is sponsored by the French Embassy in Washington and is designed to boost student-run initiatives that promote French on American college campuses. The group has been awarded $500 to put towards their "French Week at Penn State" initiative. Bravo!

French club

Congratulations to residential fellowship recipients Gélinas-Lemaire and Kanor!

VGL    Kanor


Warmest congratulations to Professors Vincent Gélinas-Lemaire and Fabienne Kanor, who have received semester-long residential fellowships during the 2019-2020 academic year at Penn State's Humanities Institute (Gélinas-Lemaire) and Center for Humanities and Information (Kanor).

Department to offer Diplôme de français professionnel


The Department of French and Francophone Studies is pleased to announce that it has been made an official testing center for the Diplôme de français professionnel or Business French Diploma. Sponsored by the CCI PARIS IDF(Paris Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry), this credential is recognized by HEC-Paris and the Global Alliance in Management and allows students to earn a credential that certifies their level of proficiency in French for use in a professional context. Penn State students will have an opportunity to take the B2 level exam beginning this April. For more information, please contact Heather McCoy hjm10@psu.edu.

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Humanities Institute lecture: Prof. Bruno Jean-François “De-insularization,” Oceanic Creolization and Transcolonial Poetics

Tuesday, October 23rd, 11:45-1:00. Sparks 124

While colonial imagination has persistently represented islands and archipelagoes of the Global South as vulnerable and fragmented isolates, one needs only consider Creole islands of the Mascarene region and the Antilles to appreciate how ‘insular’ histories and experiences relate more to stories of exchanges and encounters than one would initially imagine. Using the ‘New Thalassology’ and the idea of Oceanic Creolization as a relational framework for exploring multipolar connections, minor solidarities, and long-ignored forms of cosmopolitanism, this presentation discusses how the transcolonial and transoceanic imaginaries of two Mauritian poets—Edouard Maunick and Khal Torabully—disrupt the colonial taxonomies that have construed islands as spaces of colonial difference, isolation, and vulnerability. While their “de-insularization” of islands and their rewriting of geographies, temporalities, and epistemologies bridge the gap between landmasses and seas, oceans and archipelagoes, it also configures fluctuating horizons and symbolic spaces of relation from which minority, racialized, and subaltern subjects across multiple sites can interact in fruitful and lateral ways.

Congratulations to Liz Tuttle!


Ph.D. student Liz Tuttle has been awarded the 2018 Millstone Research Fellowship by the Western Society for French History for her project entitled “Activism for Others: French Feminist and Anti-Imperialist Pamphletary Culture, 1914-1939”. She was one of only two recipients of the award this year. Bravo Liz!

FFS welcomes delegation from French Embassy in Washington, DC.


The Department of French and Francophone Studies was pleased to welcome Karl Cogard, Attaché de coopération éducative, and Romain Devaux, Higher Education Officer, to Penn State on Monday, Sept. 17th. We were pleased to hear about the many programs and initiatives offered by the Embassy and look forward to future collaborations. We made sure to send our guests home with special Penn State garb!