Graduate Program

About the Program

Our graduate program prepares our students in French literature, linguistics, and culture. We feature courses in linguistics, language pedagogy, critical theory, film, cultural studies, gender studies, Francophone studies (especially Africa, Asia, North America, and the Caribbean), and, of course, the core periods of French literature from the early Middle Ages to the Twenty-first Century.

Recent seminars and topics courses:

  • Medieval Epic, Romance, Allegory
  • French Poetry of the Renaissance: Eight Poets of the Golden Age
  • Eighteenth Century Theater as a Philosophical Weapon
  • Autobiography
  • Libertinage et liberté
  • Women of Old Regime France
  • Belle époque ou fin-de-siècle France?
  • French Romantic Literature/The Romantic Period
  • Littérature africaine et question noire en France
  • France et métissage
  • Jean Renoir
  • Concepts of French Cinema
  • Le roman au féminin en France: 20e et 21e Siècles
  • De l’impressionnisme au surréalisme: écrivains et artistes au vingtième siècle en France
  • Structure of French
  • French in the 21st Century
  • La langue française dans les Amériques/ French in the Americas
  • Variation et changement linguistique en français/ Language Variation and Change in the French Language
  • La linguistique de la chanson française
  • Dialogues in French Cinema

Whatever the title, with rare exceptions, all our graduate courses are conducted in French.


Our faculty contains a number of award-winning, internationally known scholars. We are all committed to research. Among our areas of expertise are: medieval epic, romance, and allegory; Renaissance and baroque poetry; the eighteenth-century novel; nineteenth-century prose, poetry, and poetics; twentieth-century and twenty-first century novel, theater, poetry, and cultural production; the literatures of the Francophone world; French and Francophone film; the literatures in Breton and Occitan; criticism and critical theory; applied linguistics; the history of French; phonology; sociolinguistics; the structure of French; French and Haitian Creole linguistics.

Our faculty has strong interdisciplinary interests. Our research relates to literature and film, literature and the other arts, literature and journalism, literature and landscape architecture, literature and photography, and comparative literature. A number of us have appointments or affiliations with African Studies, European Studies, Film Studies, Jewish Studies, Linguistics, and Women’s Studies and Gender Research. One of the few programs of Haitian Creole Studies in the country is housed in French. Thanks to strong links with other departments and programs across the University, French graduate studies offers students the opportunity to explore interdisciplinary issues with scholars in other fields while constructing a strong yet individualized program in their chosen field in French.

Literature and Linguistics Tracks

We are especially proud of having literature and linguistics tracks for our graduate program. The University of Florida is one of the rare institutions in the country to offer advanced degrees in French linguistics. The French linguists work closely with the Program of Linguistics, from which our students can take additional courses.

France-Florida Research Institute

Our French program has been recognized by the French government as a Center of Excellence through the France-Florida Research Institute. Through innovative research projects, the FFRI builds on the strengths of UF’s program in French and Francophone studies and works to create new linkages in the spirit of interdisciplinarity and internationalization that characterizes the University of Florida. It organizes and promotes numerous partnerships between the University of Florida and French and Francophone research centers and academic institutions (Sciences Po, Paris, Université de Rennes II, Université Paris-Descartes, Paris X-Orsay) and facilitates graduate student’s mobility. The FFRI organizes and sponsors lecture series, visiting professorships, film series, theater workshops, exhibits, and symposia as well as outreach activities for the teachers of French in Alachua County. The FFRI has organized and sponsored several film festivals, workshops and conferences and, in 2005, hosted the international conference on Twentieth- and Twenty-first Century French and Francophone Studies. It has welcomed distinguished scholars to campus, such as Julia Kristeva, Hélène Cixous, Etienne Balibar, Gerald Prince, and others, as well as writers such as Alain Mabanckou, Marie Nimier, Kébir Ammi, Boubacar Boris Diop, Henri Lopes, Rodney Saint Eloi, and Jean-Marc Ligny.

The French faculty at the University of Florida are as committed to teaching as we are to research. We presume and expect only the best in the classroom from all of us. This means, on the one hand, that preparation of future scholars is a priority. Personal attention is afforded all graduate students, whom we aid in developing their individual research interests and enhancing their command of critical and theoretical issues.

Teacher Training

Of no less importance, teacher training is a very important facet of our program. Most graduate students receive teaching assistantships, where they enjoy direct experience in language teaching. Our teaching assistants are closely supervised and mentored throughout their careers with us. New teaching assistants participate in initial orientation sessions, workshops, and in the fall semester they take a course in romance language teaching methods. We offer a “shadowing” course that allows graduate students to work closely with a French faculty member teaching an advanced course. Graduate students can also participate in the FLAC (Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum) program, and openings are available for teaching in the summer sessions. Our department ranks at or near the top in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for student evaluations. We are proud of our teaching assistants, who contribute directly to our ranking and to the overall excellence of our program.

Teaching Assistantships

In addition to teaching assistantships, University fellowships are available for outstanding students. Prestigious three-year fellowships can be awarded, as well as supplemental funding. Funds are available to send graduate students presenting a paper to scholarly conferences, and to send graduate students to a French-speaking country for summer research.

Graduate Students

Here are some recent Ph.D.’s and the title of their dissertations:

  • Hongli Fan, “The Acquisiton of Tense-Aspect morphology by English Learners of Chinese and French” (Director: Theresa Antes)
  • Cynthia C. Lees, “Border Spaces and La Survivance: The Evolution of the Franco-American Novel of New England” (Director: Carol Murphy)
  • Barbara Petrosky, “L’activité imageante chez Pierre Loti er Emile Zola: Deux écrivains photographes” (Directors: Carol Murphy and Gayle Zachmann)
  • Sophie Ganachaud, “De Pygmalion à Pinocchio: Le corps et la statuaire dans le cinéma français et italién” (Director: Sylvie Blum)
  • Abdou Yaro: “L’image de l’enfant dans le cinéma postcolonial de l’Afrique de l’Ouest francophone” (Ph.D. dissertation defended in 2009; director: Alioune Sow).
  • David Petrosky: “Studies in the Politico-Religious Ideology of French poetry: Middle Ages and Renaissance” (Ph.D. dissertation defended in 2009: director: William Calin)
  • Wedsly Turenne Guerrier, “Réhabilitation d’un poète haitien : Etzer Vilaire” (Director : Alioune Sow)
  • Anny Mavambu,“Représentation du métis en littérature francophone : expériences et expressions métisses dans Le chercheur d’Afriques de Henri Lopes, 53cm de Bessora, Garçon manqué de Nina Bouraoui et L’amant de Marguerite Duras” (Director : Alioune Sow)
  • Kathryn E. Fredericks,  « Leaving home : geography in Voltaire’s philosophical tales : Zadig, Micromégas, Candide and L’Ingénu » (Director : Brigitte Weltman-Aron)
  • Tohouegnon Christian Ahihou, « Langue et langage littéraires chez Ken Bugul—Techniques et effets de glissement dans l’écriture du roman » (Director : Carol Murphy)
  • Sami Mustapha, “L’écriture de l’enfance dans le texte autobiographique marocain” (Director : Alioune Sow)

Although we do not require a thesis for the M.A. degree, a number of our students choose to write one. Here are some recent M.A.’s and the title of their theses:

  • Kathryn Moody, “A Twice-Told Gothic Romance: The Structural Differences in Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly’s L’Ensorcelée and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights” (Director: William Calin)
  • Jaime O’Dell, “Transgressive Narratives: Gender and Revolt in Two Québécois Novels by Ying Chen” (Director: Sylvie Blum)
  • Lakhdar Choudar, “Poétique du désert: Parcours narratifs dans l’oeuvre de
    Malika Mokkeddem et Jean-Marie Le Clezio” (Director: William Calin)
  • Kristin Hodge, “The Morpho-Syntax of Latin and Old French: The Loss of
    a Case System” (Director: William Calin)
  • Alison Clifton, “Examining the Effect of Instruction of English Metalinguistic Terminology on Grammar Performance in Beginning French” (Director: Hélène Blondeau)
  • David Sullivan: “The Four Elements of Eric et Enide by Chrétien de Troyes: A Commentary” (M.A. thesis defended in 2008; director: William Calin)
  • Stephanie Kupfer. “Through the Looking-Glass and Beyond: Mirrors, Doubles, and the Uncanny in Krzysztof Kieslowski’s La Double Vie de Véronique” (M.A. thesis defended in 2009; director: Sylvie Blum-Reid)
  • Matthew Lawton: “L’évolution de la phonologie des voyelles nasales du français standard depuis le XXe siècle” (M.A. thesis defended in 2009; director: Hélène Blondeau)
  • Coutney Keady, « Colette’s kaleidoscope : a study of colors, mirrors, and continuities in Chéri and Gigi » (Director : Carol Murphy)
  • Richard Hendrie, « L’Affaire Dreyfus—Une perspective sur le film de Méliès » (Director : Sylvie Blum-Reid)
  • Edith Pare,  « Impact of Instruction on Learners’ Acquisition of Various French Phonemes » (Director : Theresa Antes)
  • Jingya Zhong, ” Linguistic and socio-stylistic variation of the generic subject clitics ON-TU/VOUS — Comparative Study between French L1 and French L2″ (Director: Hélène Blondeau)
  • Ryan Gallant, “Changing Tendencies in French gender Agreement: A Study of Inflectional Markers for Transgender Identity and Women in Professional Roles” (Director: Theresa Antes)
  • Ann Healy, “’Dans’ versus ‘En’: How to Teach Second Language Students of French Which ‘In’ They Mean?” (Director: Theresa Antes)
  • Michelle Brown, “The Role of Feedback and Learner Engagement on the Acquisition of French Grammar in Classroom Settings” (Director: Theresa Antes)
  • Elizabeth Ziffer, “Voix ‘affranchies’ ou ‘égarées’: La Vie sexuelle d’un islamiste à Paris de Leila Marouane” (Director: Brigitte Weltman-Aron)

All of our Ph.D.’s who sought an academic position have landed one. Our graduate students have been placed at, for example, Arizona State University, Auburn University, Columbia College (South Carolina), University of Delaware, Georgia Southwestern University, University of Miami, State University of New York at Cortland, University of North Alabama, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown,Tulane University, and Ramapo College (New Jersey).

The University of Florida Libraries contain some 4,000,000 volumes in their general collections and strong research holdings in French, developed over several generations. The University itself is generally recognized to be the flagship institution in the state university system. It ranks consistently thirteenth to seventeenth among public research universities nationally. The graduate French program is the only one in the state to be recognized in the National Research Council surveys. Gainesville, called the Tree City of Florida, is a relatively inexpensive place to live; it ranks consistently among the top ten most livable places in America.



Graduate Coordinator

Gayle Zachmann
208 Walker Hall

Current Graduate Students