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.
Eric Disbro is a dual-title PhD candidate (ABD) in French and Francophone and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Prior to his arrival at Penn State, he earned a B.A., summa cum laude, in French, Spanish, and Art History from Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. Eric earned his M.A. from Penn State in 2018. His research focuses on comparative approaches to francophone literatures, especially literatures of the Indian Ocean and French Polynesia, as well as queer/trans*-inclusive methods and pedagogies. His dissertation project, “Encountering Queer and Trans* Terraqueous Futures: Gendered Embodiment and Creolizing Kinship in Contemporary Francophone Literatures of the Indian Ocean and Oceania” considers how terraqueous metaphors of convergence (tides, sandbars, reefs, tributaries, and waves) provide lenses through which to explore literary representations of queer and trans* indigenous/creole bodies in order to center the role of island literatures and their production of queer and trans* futures. Eric has also taught and designed a wide variety of courses at Penn State including French language courses (beginner to advanced levels) and survey courses in francophone cultures and literatures. Most recently, Eric has taught and designed a themed course in advanced oral expression, “Les femmes francophones: de l’écriture à l’activisme,” inspired by the College of Liberal Arts Initiative, “Moments of Change: A Century of Women’s Activism”.