Laurent Dubreuil

Laurent Dubreuil

Professor of French, Francophone & Comparative Literature

ld79@cornell.eduld79 Office: KLR K260 Phone: 5-3675

A former student at the École normale supérieure, Paris, Laurent Dubreuil has been trained by scholars such as Hélène Cixous, Jacques Derrida, Pierre Judet de La Combe, and Umberto Eco. Dubreuil holds an agrégation as well as a doctorate in Literature and a second doctorate in Philosophy and Women’s Studies. His research focuses on literature as an expression of thought that both defies the boundaries of rationality and responds to the disciplines of knowledge. Dubreuil has reading ability in seven languages. He frequently works on French & Francophone literature, classical Greek texts, Continental theory, philosophy and social thought.

Dubreuil has published numerous articles in journals or collections, and he has edited several special issues of Labyrinthe on topics ranging from the end of the world to comics criticism. He is the author of four books. His first monograph explores the contradictory notion of possession through a detailed interpretation of Maupassant, Artaud and Blanchot. L’Empire du langage dwells on language and social prescription in (post)colonial France, from Renaissance to the present. L’État critique de la littérature is a meditation on the intellective discontinuities at stake in history, philosophy, and criticism, as they are enacted by French literary oeuvres (1850s-1950s). A force d’amitié is a ‘sentimental essay’ on passionate friendship, particularly in Greece and meta-European societies. Dubreuil is now preparing a new manuscript, tentatively entitled The Indiscipline of Literary Studies. This would be a broad and comparative effort on lingual signification, literary displacements, and negative epistemology.

Laurent Dubreuil first came to Cornell in Fall 2005 as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Romance Studies, before being granted tenure in Fall 2008 and appointed as a Full professor in Spring 2009.   Since 2007, he has served as the Director of the French Studies Program. He is currently the editor of Diacritics, the founder and general editor of sans papier—the first collection of electronic pre-prints in the field of French studies—and the editor-at-large of Labyrinthe, an interdisciplinary journal.

Recent Courses

  • The Haitian Experience
  • Readings in Modern French Literature and Culture
  • Language and Colonial Order
  • The Novel as a Masterwork
  • Introduction to Bande dessinée
  • The Extraordinary: 19th C. French Literature and Philosophy
  • Cinema and Writing in France and Francophone Countries

Research Interests

  • French literature (in particular: 19th & 20th C.)
  • (Post)colonial theories and Francophone literatures
  • Ancient Greek thought
  • French, Italian and German philosophy
  • Theory of comics and cinema
  • Epistemology of the disciplines, interdisciplinary, hypercriticism
  • Critique of language
  • ‘Digital Humanities’
  • Supernatural texts and phenomena (from possessions to absolute love)

Selected Publications

Edited Journal Issues