Laura Loth joined the faculty of the Modern Languages Department at Rhodes College in 2009 and specializes in contemporary Francophone literature, particularly Maghrebi (North African) and Caribbean literatures. Her other areas of interest and expertise are 19th-century colonial studies, gender studies, visual studies, and immigration literature.
While she was a study abroad trip to Martinique in 2007, the ground began to tremble. Prof. Loth began incorporating environmental and ecocritical questions into her work on the North African and Caribbean novels, with a specific interest in representations of natural disasters. Francophone authors create a literature that emerges from the devastating geographic and geologic specificities that define these territories, reflecting on modes of cultural production that defy these same limitations and resist French political and cultural models of power and domination. She has recently authored two articles, “(Re)Writing the Ruins: Yanick Lahens and Dany Laferrière’s Post-Earthquake Narrative Revisions” and “Traumatic Landscapes: Earthquakes and Identity in Contemporary Franco-Algerian Fiction by Maissa Bey and Nina Bouraoui” that explore the intersections between disaster studies trauma studies in postcolonial Francophone literature.
Many of Prof. Loth’s courses are cross-listed in the Gender and Sexuality Studies, Africana Studies, and Film Studies programs. In 2012 and 2013 she received a grant from the Ministry of French Culture’s French American Cultural Exchange Program to bring the Tournées French Film festival to Memphis. She also serves as the faculty liaison to the Club C.A.F.E, Rhodes’s dynamic French club.
Dr. Loth received her B.A. with high honors in French Studies from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in French Literature from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Her dissertation, entitled “Moving Pictures: Gender, Vision, and Narrative from Colonial Algeria to Contemporary France,” was awarded with distinction.
French 201 Intermediate French
French 202 Francophone Connections: La Francophonie et l’Actualité
French 301 Advanced French Composition
French 322 From Napoleon to Sarkozy: French Civilization from the 19th to 21st Century
French 324 Textes provocateurs: Introduction to French literature after the Revolution
French 334 What is French Cinema?
French 141 Women Writers of the Francophone Caribbean
Humanities 201, Literature Track
Works in Progress
“(Re)Writing the Ruins: Yanick Lahens and Dany Laferrière’s Post-Earthquake Narrative Revisions.” (under review)
“French (Cross) Dressing: Writing, Clothing, and Traveling in Colonial Algeria after Isabelle Eberhardt,” (under review)
“Traumatic Landscapes: Earthquakes and Identity in Contemporary Franco-Algerian Fiction,” (under review)
“Re-thinking Caribbean Communities: The Dynamics of Natural Disasters in Two Novels by Gisèle Pineau.” Contemporary Caribbean dynamics: Re-configuring Caribbean Culture. Eds. Savrina Chinien and Beatrice Boufoy-Bastick. Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers, 2014.
“Journeying Identities: Nineteenth-Century Women’s Travel Writing in French Colonial Algeria.” Symposium, Summer 2009
“Epigraph-Effect/Eberhardt-Effect: The Death of Legend in Malika Mokeddem’s Le siècle des sauterelles.” Expressions maghrébines, Summer 2005
Recent Scholarly Lectures
“Writing the Disaster: Yanick Lahens’s Failles and Haiti’s Post-Earthquake Literature,” South Central Modern Languages Association (SCMLA), Austin, TX, October 2014
“Traumatic Landscapes, Natural Disasters, and Women’s Identities in the Novels of Maissa Bey and Nina Bouraoui,” South Central Modern Languages Association (SCMLA), New Orleans, LA, October 2013
“The Dynamics of Disaster: Haiti’s Impact on Disaster Literature in the Francophone Caribbean,” FDE Presentation, Rhodes College, April 2013
“Laws of Nature: Haiti’s Impact on Disaster Literature in the Francophone Caribbean,” African Literature Association (ALA), Charleston, SC, April 2013
“Caribbean Citizenship and Adolescent Literature: Maryse Condé’s Geopoetic Communities,” Caribbean Studies Association (CSA), Le Gosier, Guadeloupe, May 2012
“Dynamics of Natural Disaster: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Women’s Communities in Maissa Bey’s Surtout ne te retourne pas and Gisèle Pineau’s L’Espérance macadam,” African Literature Association (ALA), Dallas, Texas, April 2012
SELECTED CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
“Natural Catastrophes and Caribbean Community in two Novellas by Maryse Condé and Gisèle Pineau,” presented at the Winthrop-King Institute for Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, FSU, Tallahassee, FL, 2010
“Shaken to the Core: Earthquakes, Ruptures, and Reconciliation in Nina Bouraoui’s Le jour du séïsme and Maïssa Bey’s Surtout ne te retourne pas,” presented at the fourth international conference of Women in French (WIF), Ft. Worth, Texas, 2008
“Chasms and Borders: Seismic Identity in Three Franco-Algerian Novels,” presented at the annual symposium of the Cultural Crossings/Humanities Consortium of Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, 2007
“Unraveling Meaning: Théophile Gautier’s Mummies in Roman de la Momie and the Exposition Universelle of 1867,” presented at the annual conference of Nineteenth Century French Studies (NCFS), Indiana University, Bloomington, 2006