French PhD Program Alumni/ae

Graduates of the French PhD program at Pitt are researching, teaching, publishing, and working at the highest levels of university administration in academic institutions throughout the US and abroad. Of the PhDs who have graduated in the last ten years, close to 90% (14 out of 16) found full-time academic jobs; nearly two-thirds of these jobs were tenure-track positions.

Pitt's PhDs in French teach or have taught full time at such institutions as Georgetown University, Ball State U, Barnard College, California State U at Long Beach, Florida Institute of Technology, Gettysburg College, Hood College, Iowa State U, U of Glasgow, U of Missouri-Kansas City, U of New Mexico, U of Vermont, Purdue University, and Washington College. Find out more about some of our French success stories.


Emmanuelle Ben Hadj

Lecturer in French, Purdue University

“Making Room for Horror: The Adversity of Genre in the French Film Industry”

Director: David Pettersen

R. Cole Cridlin 

Writing Studio Coordinator at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Richmond, VA

"Redrawing the Lines: Queer Metronormativity in French Contexts" 

Director: Todd Reeser

Emily Bryan

"Imagining Justice Since 1944: Origins, Order and Orientation in the Literatures of the Francophone and Hispanic 20th-Century"

Director: Giuseppina Mecchia

Jonathan Devine 

"From Paintings to Pornography: (Re)Animating Archives in French Documentary"

Director: David Pettersen 


Pat Nikiema

Assistant Professor, Univ. of Miami (Florida)
Dissertation Title: “Rethinking Exile: The Imaginary of the Return in 20th and 21st Century Francophone Literature of the African Diaspora”
Director: John Walsh

Maxime Bey-Rozet

Visiting Lecturer, Univ. of Pittsburgh
Dissertation Title: "Irredeemable: Céline, Extreme Cinemas, and the Opacity of Trauma"
Director: David Pettersen

Paul Wallace

Network Developer, Google Pittsburgh
Dissertation Title: "Enlightenment Assemblages: Mapping Material Relationships in 18th-Century France"
Director: Chloe Hogg


Jennifer Boum Make

Assistant Professor, Georgetown University
Dissertation Title: "Copresences: 20th-21st Century Encounters in the Mediterranean and Caribbean"
Directors: John Walsh and Neil Doshi


Sylvia Grove

Visiting Assistant Professor, Ursinus College
Dissertation Title: "Writing in the Kitchen, Reading at the Table: Gender, Nation, and Culinary Texts in Twenty-First Century France"
Director: Todd Reeser

Paulina Tomkowicz

French Teacher, Copper Canyon High School, Glendale, AZ
Dissertation Title: "Pataphysical Networking: Virtuality, Potentiality and the Experimental Works of the Collège de 'Pataphysique, the Oulipo, and the Mouvement Panique"
Director: David Pettersen

Kathleen E. Moriarty-de Biasi

French instructor, Waldorf School, Stuttgart, Germany

"DISORIENTATION: National Identity in French Cultural Productions of the Late Twentieth and Early Twenty-first Centuries"

Director: Todd Reeser


Eléonore Bertrand

Lecturer, Lauder Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Dissertation Title: "Dérives du sujet sexué français: les instances fraternelles entre romantisme et modernité"
Director: Giuseppina Mecchia

Anna Dimitrova

Lecturer, Columbus State University
Dissertation Title:  "Impasse in Multilingual Spaces: Politics of Language and Identity in Contemporary Francophone Contact Zones"
Director: David Pettersen

Delphine Monserrat

Free-lance Translator, Paris
Dissertation Title: “Que reste-t-il de l’anarchie ? Idées et idéaux anarchistes dans la littérature d’après-guerres”
Director: David Pettersen


Karen Adams

Lecturer of French, University of Vermont
Dissertation title: “Reimagining Gender, Reimagining Kinship: Cross-Dressing, Sex Change, and Family Structure in Four Medieval French Narratives"
Director: Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski

Mert Ertunga

Instructor, University of Pittsburgh, Point Park University
Dissertation title: "Negotiating Literary Identity During the Divide Between the Philosophes and the Anti-Philosophes (1745-1765)"
Dissertation director: Giuseppina Mecchia


David Spieser

Assistant Professor of French, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Dissertation Title: "Nation, Region and Immigration in Contemporary 'French' Culture"
Director: Giuseppina Mecchia and Neil Doshi


Andrea Jonnson

Assistant Professor of French, Georgia Tech University
Dissertation Title: " Performing Home: Affective Intervals in 20th- and 21st- Century French Theatre and Slam Poetry"
Director: Todd Reeser


Jennifer Lawrence

Dissertation Title: "Sade-Omizing Sexuality: Deconstructing the Gender Binary Through the Sadian Sexual Predator"
Director: Todd Reeser

Normand Raymond

Instructor of Philosophy, Sudbury University
Dissertation Title: "Religious Differences: Subjectivity and Alterity in the Chanson de Roland"
Director: Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski

Charles-Louis Morand-Métivier

Associate Professor of French, University of Vermont
Dissertation Title: "Apprendre des Massacres: Emotions et Nation dans la littérature du Moyen-âge et de la Renaissance"
Co-Directors: Todd Reeser and Renate Blumenfield-Kosinski

Amy Romanowski

French Teacher, Westminster High School, Denver, CO

Dissertation Title:  "Subject/Abject/Object: Reconfiguring Desire in Contemporary French Cultural Production"
Director:  Todd Reeser


Yahya Laayouni

Associate Professor of Arabic and French, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Dissertation Title: "Redefining Beur Cinema: Constituting Subjectivity through Film"
Directors: Giuseppina Mecchia and Randall Halle (German)

Zach Moir

French Teacher, Dwight High School, New York City

Dissertation Title: "Sex With Wittgenstein: Language, Narrative, and Repetition in Duras, Sartre and Genet"
Director:  Giuseppina Mecchia

Marina Starik

Study Abroad Administrator, Smith College, Geneva, Switzerland

Dissertation Title: "Morphologies of Becoming: Post human Dandies in Fin-de-Siècle France"
Director:  Giuseppina Mecchia


Cary Campbell

Instructor of French, Antioch College
Dissertation Title: "The Discursive Construction of the Ivorian Nation in the Period of Ivoirité"
Director: Roberta Hatcher


Melissa Deininger

Associate Professor, Iowa State University
Dissertation Title: "After the Revolution: Terror, Literature, and the Nation in Modern France"
Director: Giuseppina Mecchia

Robert Fagley

French Faculty, Slippery Rock University
Dissertation Title: "Bachelors, Bastards and Nomadic Masculinity: a study of illegitimacy in Maupassant and Gide"
Director: Giuseppina Mecchia

Teresa Johnson-Evans

Dissertation Title: "History, Genre, Politics: The Cinema of Yamina Benguigui"
Director: Giuseppina Mecchia


Amy Lynelle

Visiting Lecturer in French, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Dissertation Title: "Poetry of Revolution: Romanticism and National Projects in the 19th Century Haiti"
Director: Giuseppina Mecchia


Gabriella Baika

Associate Professor, Florida Institute of Technology
Dissertation Title: "Lingua indisciplinata: A Study of the Sins of the Tongue in the Romance of the Rose and the Divine Comedy.”
Directors: Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski and Dennis Looney (Italian)

Alison Halasz

Instructor, University of Pittsburgh and Chatham University
Dissertation Title: "Henri Michaux, poet-painter"
Directors: Roberta Hatcher and Daniel Russell

Nacer Khelouz

Associate Professor of French
University of Missouri-Kansas City, Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures
Dissertation Title:"Le roman algérien de langue française de l’entre-deux guerres à l’épreuve du politique: en lisant Robert Randau et Abdelkader Hadj Hamou"  
Director: Philip Watts


Aparna Nayak-Guercio

Associate Professor of French, California State University, Long Beach
Dissertation Title: “The project of Liberation and the projection of national identity. Calvo, Aragon, Jouhandeau, 1944-1945”
Director: Philip Watts


Djehane Hassouna

Dissertation Title: “The Echo of Solitude in the Romantic Representations of the Sea: Multivalence of a Motif in Romance Literatures”
Directors: Giuseppina Mecchia and Yves Citton


Noemie Parrat

Dissertation Title: "Zola’s Woman as Unnatural Animal"
Director: Giuseppina Mecchia

James Tarpley

Dissertation Title: "The Algerian Island in the Novels of Albert Camus: The End of the Pied-Noir Adventure Tale"
Director: Philip Watts


Susan Dudash

Assistant Director of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Assistant Director of ACMRS Publications
Managing Editor of Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Dissertation Title: "Giving Voice to the People: Rhetoric, History, and Literary Representations of Social Conflict in the Late Middle Ages"
Director: Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski


Pamela Pears

Professor of French, Washington College
Dissertation Title: "Women’s Words: Postcolonial Francophone Literature in Viet Nam and Algeria"
Director: Philip Watts

Rajeshwari Vallury

Professor of French, The University of New Mexico
Dissertation Title: "The Blind Spot in a Dream of Dissymmetry"
Director: Yves Citton


Elisabeth Sauvage-Callaghan

Associate Professor of French, Clarion University
Dissertation Title: "Beyond the paradox of the nostalgic modernist: a study of temporality in the works of J.-K. Huysmans"
Director: Philip Watts

Janet Coccaro

Dissertation Title: “Illusions and disillusions: the search for truth in Jan Potocki’s manuscript found in Saragossa”
Director: Yves Citton​


Dolores Buttry

Assistant Professor (German), University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown
Dissertation Title: "Maistre wace : romancier malgre lui"
Director: Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski

Mark Sanford

Associate Dean of Graduate & Continuing Studies
Assistant Professor of Modern Languages, Muskingum College
Dissertation Title: "Raoul Lefevre, 'Le livre du fort Hercules' (ONB cod. 1586): A Critical Edition"
Director: Barbara Nelson Sargent-Baur


Linda Rouillard

Associate Professor, University of Toledo
Dissertation Title: "Incest, marriage and penance in Philippe de Remi's La Manekine"
Director: Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski


Didier Course

Professor of French, Hood College
Dissertation Title: "Le sceptre et le diamant: metamorphoses du pouvoir et genese d’un imaginaire moderne (1560-1685)"
Director: Daniel Russell


Laurence Grove

Professor of French and Text/Image Studies, University of Glasgow
Director, Stirling Maxwell Centre for the Study of Text/Image Cultures
Dissertation Title: "Emblematics and seventeenth-century French literature: Descartes and La Fontaine"
Director: Daniel Russell