Graduate Study in French


A distinguished faculty prepares students for the M.A. in French Language and Literature and the Ph.D. in French Language and Literature.  Our distinguished scholars and critics have received  numerous honors, prizes, and fellowships, including awards from the Guggenheim, NEH, NSF, ACLS, and the appointment to Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques and to the American Academy of Arts.* Our excellent teaching has been acknowledged by one Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching and we have had several finalists for the same award. Our publications and courses cover a wide range of topics in all periods in French and Francophone literature and culture.

Middle Ages and Renaissance: Irit Kleiman
Seventeenth-Century Literature: Jennifer Row
Eighteenth-Century Literature: Susan JacksonJeffrey Mehlman
Nineteenth-Century Literature: Dorothy Kelly, Jeff Kline, Jeffrey Mehlman
Twentieth-Century Literature: Odile Cazenave, Jeff Kline, Jeffrey Mehlman

Our shared critical and theoretical concerns cut across traditional century and disciplinary boundaries. Students in the French Graduate Program thus can choose to work in traditional areas or to structure a program that centers on a theoretical, generic, or thematic topic.

Francophone Film and Literature: Odile Cazenave

French Film and Film Theory: Jeff Kline

Francophonie, Migration, Globalization, Travel Writing: Odile Cazenave, Jeffrey Mehlman

French Linguistics and History of French Language: Carol Neidle

History and Society, Intellectual History, Literary History, Historiography:
Odile Cazenave, Irit Kleiman, Jeffrey Mehlman, Jennifer Row

Literature and Language: Philosophy, Theory, Forms, Translation
Dorothy Kelly, Irit Kleiman, Jeff Kline, Jeffrey Mehlman, Carol Neidle, Jennifer Row

Psychoanalysis and Literature: Dorothy Kelly, Irit Kleiman, Jeff Kline, Jeffrey Mehlman

Women’s and Gender Studies: Odile Cazenave, Susan Jackson, Dorothy KellyJeff Kline, Jennifer Row

Boston Area Graduate Women’s Studies Consortium
(opportunities for inter-university courses)

Autobiography, Memoirs, and Letters: Susan Jackson, Irit Kleiman, and Jeffrey Mehlman

Poetry: Dorothy Kelly, Jeffrey Mehlman

Theater: Susan Jackson, Jeffrey MehlmanJeff Kline

The Novel and Narrative: Odile Cazenave, Susan Jackson, Dorothy Kelly, Irit Kleiman, Jeffrey Mehlman, Jeff Kline

Our exchange agreement with the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon gives us the opportunity to send one of our advanced French graduate students to the prestigious ENS each academic year. Recent graduate students have also taken advantage of Boston University’s thriving undergraduate study abroad programs to spend a year working in our study abroad program in Grenoble and our Paris Contemporary Studies program.

Our graduates have found full-time academic positions at institutions including Tufts University, Colby College, Brandeis University, University of Colorado, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Dickinson College, Drew University, North Carolina State University, and the University of Texas.

And of course we are located in the heart of Boston.


*In 2007, The Chronicle of Higher Education rated the French faculty at Boston University number one in the nation in faculty research productivity.

French Linguistics and History of French Language