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Laurent Dubreuil

Professor of French, Francophone & Comparative Literature

Laurent Dubreuil

Klarman Hall, Room 260
247 Goldwin Smith Hall

Educational Background

  • Agrégation (French & Comparative Literature), 1996
  • Ecole normale supérieure, Paris, 1994-1999


In exploring the powers of literary thinking at the interface of social thought, the humanities and the sciences, Laurent Dubreuil’s research interrogates the way we think, speak, write, love, and live.

At the École normale supérieure, Paris, and in other French universities, Prof. Dubreuil received training in most fields pertaining to the humanities, with a particular emphasis on French, Francophone and Comparative Literature (doctorate: 2001), Philosophy (doctorate: 2002), and Classical Philology. His professors and advisors included Jacques Derrida, Hélène Cixous, Umberto Eco and Pierre Judet de La Combe. In his years as a Mellon New Directions fellow, Dubreuil acquired further competencies in Cognitive Science. 

Laurent Dubreuil is the author of eight scholarly books, available in French and/or in English. He is also a creative writer in French, with two other books having been published by Gallimard. Within French and Francophone studies, Dubreuil has worked extensively on literary thinking and practice (mainly, though not exclusively, from the 19th Century onwards), general and contemporary philosophy, postcolonial theory, epistemology, and the arts (including cinema and bande dessinée). The editor of diacritics from 2011 to 2017, Dubreuil has devoted a significant part of his time this journal and to other periodicals, collecting essays on topics ranging from comics to primatology, from negative politics to Asia, from the work of Abdelkébir Khatibi to the limits of rationality. In 2016, Anthony Mangeon, a Professor at the University of Strasburg, edited a “Dubreuil reader” in French, entitled L’empire de la littérature.

In 2018, Dubreuil will publish two new volumes: Poetry and Mind (Fordham UP), a vast reconsideration of the mental experience of poetry at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, with no a priori limitation in terms of era, area or language (core hypothesis to be found here); and Dialogues on the Human Ape (The U of Minnesota P), an inquiry on human and animal minds, co-authored with noted scientist Sue Savage-Rumbaugh

Laurent Dubreuil is currently finishing writing a monograph on Charles Baudelaire and the extinction of modernity.


  • Cognitive Science Program
  • Comparative Literature
  • French Studies Program
  • Romance Studies

Graduate Fields

  • Cognitive Science
  • Comparative Literature
  • Romance Studies


  • French literature (all periods, with an emphasis on the 19th, 20th and 21st C.)
  • Francophone studies (all areas)
  • Postcolonial theory
  • Literary theory and Philosophy (esp. poetics, epistemology, politics, metaphysics, the artistic experience)
  • Cognitive Science (esp. language, “culture" and mind in human and non-human apes)
  • Theory and practice of Comparative Literature, Interdisciplinarity, and “Transcultural” approaches




Edited Journal Issues



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