Research

The research faculty of the department of French and Italian are productive, professionally active scholars, nationally and internationally known in their field. Many members of the faculty are affiliated with other programs, such as African Studies, Comparative Literary Studies, Gender Studies, Middle Eastern and North African Studies, and Screen Culture, testifying to the department’s commitment to interdisciplinarity. A high proportion of the faculty has been, over the years, affiliated with the Northwestern Kaplan Center for the Humanities, either as Fellows or as Humanities Professors. Faculty members have won book awards from the Modern Language Association and Mellon New Directions fellowships, and held prestigious residential fellowships at such places as the National Humanities Center, the Huntington Library, and the Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton.

Our faculty’s research interests cover literature and culture from the Middle Ages to the 21st century and extend to visual culture and film. Our theoretical approaches are varied and include psychoanalysis, postcolonial theory, narrative theory, feminist theory, and the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault, Agamben and others. Though faculty members are rooted in the fields of French and Italian, their research interests extend to the Francophone literatures of the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, the Maghreb and Southeast Asia; the comparatists among us are interested in other parts of Europe (England, Germany) as well as in China and Japan.