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Lecturer of French Language
Claire Ménard obtained her PhD from Rutgers University and Paris 8 in September 2016. She is now a lecturer in French in the Department of Romance Studies. She received a Maîtrise in Anglophone Studies from the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, France, in 2007. After spending a year as a French intern at Colgate University and a summer at the French school at Middlebury College, she decided to continue her academic career in the U.S. and obtained a M.A in French Literature from Miami University, Ohio, in 2009. She spent the following year as a Teaching Associate at Brown University before applying to the doctoral program at Rutgers, New Brunswick, NJ.
Her current research interests lie in 20th – 21st century literature and films, especially hypermodernism and theory. Leos Carax, the Dardennes brothers, Cedric Klapish and Laurent Cantet are among her favorite film directors. She is also more particularly interested in the literary works of François Bon, Jean-Philippe Toussaint, Jean Echenoz, Michel Houellebecq, Marie NDiaye and Marie Redonnet. Other interests include the younger generation of bandes dessinées authors such as Manu Larcenet and Joann Sfar, as well as creative writing. She is also very interested in second language acquisition and the use of technologies in this context.
Her scholarship studies the representations – in contemporary French and Francophone literary fiction and feature films – of the developing condition associated with global markets and networking technology; a condition that she aptly summarizes in the word “flexibility”. Her approach to this issue draws on the “rhizome” concept proposed by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari – that is, on the idea of a discursive space in which everything is connected and which therefore functions like a network. As the Deleuze and Guattari critique of categorization highlighted the non-linear and non-centrifugal nature of the structures governing the creation of meaning, it can be helpful to study new forms of representation, communication and signification which are by essence both polymorphic and in constant mutation. This state of affairs supposedly gives more room to creativity and innovation; she argues, nevertheless, that in the 21st century, capitalism itself behaves more and more like a “rhizome,” that is to say an ever-changing and polymorphic structure, which forces human beings to constantly adapt in order to fit into this world, thereby becoming ever more flexible.
As a film specialist, she teaches the history of French and Francophone films, as well as film theory. She also coordinates French language courses, such as French 2090 and French 1210 and 1220.
- Romance Studies