Marie-Pascale Pieretti

Professor of French

Chair French and Italian Department

Education Ph.D. in Comparative Literature – New York University, Maîtrise and Licence – Université de Lille III, France.
Teaching Advanced Conversation (current events and media), 17th- and 18th-century Literature, 20th and 21rst-century theater, Women’s literature survey and Stylistics.
Publications Her publications include articles on women translators, women in the academies and female epistolary writers in 18th-century France.
Research interests Women’s writings of the early modern period in Europe; Translation practices and textual strategies of 18th-century French women writers to participate in and contribute to the Republic of Letters; Youth and Children Literature.

Deborah Hess

Professor of French

Education Ph.D., French, minor in Comparative Literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.A., French, University of Chicago
Teaching In my courses, I seek the active participation of all students. With the exception of one course in English on French Caribbean literature and society, my courses are in French. I teach courses in the following areas:

  • Introduction to French Literature and Culture
  • Poetry-writing seminars, followed by the publication of original student poetry in Mélanges, the French Department poetry journal.
  • The French Novel since World War II
  • Caribbean Francophone literature

North African Francophone literature

Research & Publications The study of the relation between language and its cultural context is the focus of my research. In my development of a cultural approach to literary studies, I have published five books, two in 2011:

  • Maryse Condé : Mythe, parabole et complexité. Critiques Littéraires Series. Paris: L’Harmattan, 2011.
  • Palimpsestes dans la poésie: Roubaud, du Bouchet, etc… Études Littéraires Series. Paris: Éditions L’Harmattan, 2011.
  • La poétique de renversement chez Maryse Condé, Massa Makan Diabaté et Édouard Glissant. Paris: Éditions L’Harmattan, 2006.  
  • Politics and Literature: The Case of Maurice Blanchot (1999).
    • Complexity in Maurice Blanchot’s Fiction: Relations between Science and Literature (1999).

In addition, my conversation textbook presents French conversation through discussion of contemporary French culture and society:

  • Tournants: Conversation en Culture, Prentice-Hall (1993).

My articles in French or in English have been published on Caribbean Francophone literature (Maryse Condé, Édouard Glissant), North African Francophone literature and society (Assia Djebar, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Albert Memmi), on West African literature (Massa Makan Diabaté), and on French writers (Maurice Blanchot, Albert Camus, André Gide). I have read papers on French and Francophone literature at Universities in the U.S. and also in Montreal, Québec, Berlin, Copenhagen, Liège, Limoges, Nicosia, Alexandria, Alger, and Agadir.

Muriel Placet-Kouassi

Visiting Assistant Professor of French

Ph.D. in French, Louisiana State University.


French language (at all levels), advanced courses on 20th and 21st century French and Francophone literatures, films and cultures.


French Berlitz Essential (2nd Edition, Berlitz Publishing, 2009), a self-study course textbook.

Research Interests

Francophone literatures and cultures (West Africa). She has been part of the New York African Film Festival since 2003. Lived in Burkina Faso and Niger in the past years.

Stefania Britt

Adjunct Instructor of French

Education Masters of Arts in French Literature, Rutgers University.
Teaching Elementary French
Area of Specialization Her graduate studies included French Literature from the 12th to the 20th century, cinema, and Francophone literature. She has a particular interest in the works of André Gide, Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre.
Research interests In addition to her passion for teaching, she enjoys contemporary French cinema, French cuisine, and photography. She shares her interest for French language an culture with her husband and two children through frequent travels to France.