Research Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literature, African and African American Studies in Residence, and Women, Gender and Sexuality
A past-President of the American Comparative Literature Association, Françoise Lionnet is Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literature, African and African American Studies, and Women, Gender and Sexuality at Harvard. In Fall 2015, she held the Mary Cornille Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the Newhouse Humanities Center, Wellesley College. She remains a Distinguished Research Professor at UCLA, where she taught from 1998-2015, serving first as Chair of French and Francophone Studies, then as Director of the James Coleman African Studies Center. Her current research focuses primarily on Indian Ocean literary, cultural, and historical studies, in relation to Atlantic and Caribbean Studies. She is interested in the longue durée of colonialism in those regions. Her 2018 volume on the 18th century Creole abolitionist poet Evariste Parny has just appeared in the MLA Texts and Translations series. Her previous books include Autobiographical Voices: Race, Gender, Self-Portraiture and Postcolonial Representations: Women, Literature, Identity (both from Cornell UP), Minor Transnationalism (Duke UP), Writing Women and Critical Dialogues: Subjectivity, Gender and Irony and The Known and the Uncertain: Creole Cosmopolitics of the Indian Ocean (both published in Mauritius by l’Atelier d’écriture).
Founded as a graduate program in 1904 and joining with the undergraduate Literature Concentration in 2007, Harvard’s Department of Comparative Literature operates at the crossroads of multilingualism, literary study, and media history.