PSU Logo

People > Graduate Students

banner - L'arc de Triumphbanner - L'arc de Triumph


Cedric is an ABD student who hails from Dijon, France, where he obtained a M.A. in English Literature at the University of Burgundy. Spending also much time in Brittany, he was influenced by the many medievalisms these environments provided and by Celtic culture, gaining an appreciation for medieval literature, gothic art, and Arthurian lore, among others. His master’s thesis examined concepts of the masculine hero and its evolution from old epic to contemporary fantasy literature. Participating in exchanges with Brown University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign led him to decide to pursue graduate studies in the US. Here at Penn State he obtained a second M.A. in French Literature. His current thesis focuses on Lancelot’s masculinities in 12th-13th C. France. His interests are related to medieval studies, masculinities, folklore and Arthuriania. Cedric is also interested in psychoanalysis, French theory, and in the bande-dessinée, all relevant to the contemporary reinterpretations of the Arthurian legend in France.

Cedric Briand


Theresa is a doctoral candidate in her third year of graduate studies. She earned a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in French Education and English Language Literature from the University of Delaware before joining the graduate program at Penn State in 2011. In 2013, she earned the Master’s degree, and she completed her candidacy requirements in February 2014. Her principal research interests include early modern literature by women writers, as well as representations of women and the intersection of gender and genre in 16th and 17th century works. In order to better apprehend the “early modern,” Theresa also grapples with questions of the modern in 19th century texts, particularly those dealing with poetics, esthetics, subjectivity, and feminine creativity.


Personal Web Page |

Brandy is a Ph.D. candidate in French literature. She completed her B.A. in French with a minor in Medieval Studies at Middle Tennessee State University in 2006 before going to Tours, France as an English language assistant. She earned her M.A. in French literature at Penn State in 2009. Her research interests include Old French epic and Arthurian romance, and her dissertation focuses on Arthurian interludes in Old French chansons de geste. She has presented papers at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan and at Nineteenth-Century French Studies. 

Brandy Hancock


Laura came to Penn State in 2006 after earning a B.A. in Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and a B.A. in French at Clemson University. She completed her M.A. in French and Applied Linguistics in 2008, after which she participated in the department's teaching exchange in Lyon. Laura is currently transitioning to literature and civilisation where her interests include French environmental history, philosophy and justice in 20th-Century literature, art and film.

Laura Call


A native of Connecticut, Carl came to Penn State in 2012 and is now a second-year Master's student. He earned a B.A. in French and Francophone Studies at St. Lawrence University. Through St. Lawrence's study abroad program, he also spent an academic year living in Rouen, France and taking classes at the Université de Rouen. His primary areas of inquiry are the material French city and its literary representations. Complementary research interests include the museum and its relationship to the city, French immigration, and questions of French and Francophone identity.



Michael Deml

Michael (Mikey) is a first-year Master’s student enrolled in the dual-degree MA/PhD of French and Women’s Studies. He comes from central Wisconsin and has completed a Bachelor of Arts in French and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. During the sophomore year of his undergraduate degree, Mikey took intensive French courses at the École de français langue étrangère in Lausanne, Switzerland. Mikey’s research interests are in the fields of LGBTQ, Women’s, and Gender studies. In his free time, Mikey likes to cook, read, and travel.



Hélène is an ABD student currently completing her dissertation entitled: “Le livre décadent : éditer, illustrer, lire” (“The Decadent Book: Publishing, Illustrating, and Reading”). This project seeks to better understand the Decadent Movement, a late nineteenth-century French literary and aesthetic movement that found its artistic inspiration in notions of social and political decay. It does so by examining the movement through the lens of publishing, questioning for instance if Decadence in fact existed as a Movement, as opposed to a publishing phenomenon. Her research interests are decadent literature, the history of the book and publishing, digital humanities, data curation, bibliophiles and "livres de collection". She has taught a wide-range of courses. They include Elementary French (FR001 to FR003), Gen Ed classes, and 300 level courses such as Introduction to Linguistics or French Culture and Civilization (1789 to 1939). She also had the opportunity to be an intern in a few classes and has been a FR001, FR002 and summer coordinator. She has presented at national conferences such as Nineteenth-Century French Studies (NCFS) or the Western Society for French history (WSFH). As part of her research, she is currently working on a digital mapping project. This project analyzes the social networks and professional relationships among several Decadent writers and their publishers and uses the digital tool cartoDB. For the school year 2013-2014, she is working as a graduate assistant in the Publishing and Curation Services at the Penn State Library (

Helene Huet

Andrew Jones

Andrew came to Penn State after completing an M.A. in humanities at the University of Louisville, writing his thesis on film as philosophy with a particular focus on the correlation between the philosophy of Nietzsche and the films of Godard. He also earned an M.Div. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a B.A. in philosophy from Mercer University. His interests are primarily in French philosophy and cinema, especially Godard and Melville. Andrew also enjoys rock climbing and hiking.

Helene Huet


Johann, a native of Brittany, earned a Licence in English and Spanish Literatures from the Université Catholique de l’Ouest. After participating in an exchange with The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, he decided to pursue graduate studies in the United States. Johann came to Penn State after completing a M.A. in French and Francophone Literature at Ohio University. His research interests include late nineteenth century French and Belgian symbolist poetry, Breton Studies, and Francophone literature (especially the nexus between Haitian and Québécois literature).

Johann also presented a paper at the 2012 Ohio Foreign Languages Association conference and was awarded the Ohio University College of Arts and Sciences’ Outstanding Teaching Associate award in 2013. In the same year, he co-edited a new annotated edition of Haitian poet Gérard Etienne’s “Lettre à Montréal” (Forthcoming, Éditions du Marais).



Anna is a Ph.D. Candidate writing her dissertation on performance and mythopoesis. Her research interests include performance studies, film, theater, myth, critical theory and philosophy of time. She is particularly interested in the artistic production in exile. She published an article on the development of the figure of Alexander Nevsky in Russian historiography and popular culture (Cahiers du Monde Russe, 2005) and has presented at MLA Convention, NE MLA Convention, Kentucky Foreign Language Conference and graduate student conferences on topics related to mythopoesis, film, city and historiography. Anna did her undergraduate studies at Kent State University, Ohio (in French and Archaeology). She earned her M.Phil in European Literature from the University of Cambridge, UK and continued to ABD at Duke University, NC before coming to PSU in 2010.

Anna Navrotskaya


Denise is a PhD student in French Civilization. She is currently working on her dissertation on the recidivists sent to the French colonial prisons (bagnes) during the end of the nineteenth century. The project is a study of the law on relegation of 1885, focusing on the personal experience of the French citizens who were deported to colonial territories and penitentiaries as a consequence of this measure.

As a student at Penn State, she was able to work in Strasbourg for a year, and has spent this last year teaching at Lyon and traveling to Aix-en-Provence, where she has done a great part of her research. Before arriving at Penn State, Denise earned her BA in Foreign Languages from the UPR and a MA in French Studies from NYU.

Sandra Rousseau


Sandra is a third-year PhD student. She arrived at Penn State in 2007 as the exchange student from Lyon II where she completed her master's degree in American civilization. She decided to stay at Penn State and completed a Master's in French Civilization on Guy Moquet: le devoir de mémoire?.

She is completing her dissertation entitled Memory’s Laughter : Franco-Algerian relations and popular memory (1954-2012). Her research centers on the forms and functions of humor in the context of Franco-Algerian memories.

In her free time, she enjoys music, photography and cooking.

Sandra Rousseau


Andrew is a PhD candidate in 19th Century French literature here at Penn State.  His research interests include identity theory, gender theory, literary theory, Flaubert studies and 19th century literary movements. He is currently working on his dissertation on the subject of creative gender identity in the works of Gustave Flaubert..

Andrew Stafford


Grace is a second-year Master’s student. Before coming to Penn State in 2012, she completed her B.A. in French and English Literature at Franklin and Marshall College, where she also spent a semester studying abroad with the American University Center of Provence. Her research interests focus on 19th and 20th century French and Francophone literature, and exploring how these areas intersect in travel literature studies. She is particularly interested in the relationship between the Other and the Self in travel writing, as well as women travel writers, and the notion of disguise.

Grace Thompson

Lauren Tilger

Lauren Tilger is a first year PhD student from Seattle, Washington. She earned her BA in Honors Foreign Languages and Gender and Women's Studies from Scripps College in California. Lauren completed her Masters in French and Francophone Studies from Penn State in 2012 and spent the 2012-13 school year abroad in Strasbourg, France teaching English at the university. Focusing on 19th century feminist author and activist Andre Leo, Lauren is embarking on the initial stages of her dissertation journey.

Andrew Stafford


The French and Francophone Studies Linked In group The French and Francophone Studies Linked In group Liberal Arts

The Department of French and Francophone Studies
The Pennsylvania State University
231 Burrowes Building | University Park, PA 16802
ph: 814.865.1492 | fax: 814.863.1103

Privacy and Legal Statements | Photo Credits | Sitemap

The College of the Liberal Arts is committed to making its
websites accessible to all users, and welcomes comments or suggestions: