Today it was my supreme pleasure to receive my PhD (officially!) from the CUNY Graduate Center!  The Commencement Exercises took place at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, along with several colleagues from the PhD Program in French at the GC, as well as other colleagues from Macaulay.  The student speaker was Gregory Donovan from the PhD Program in Environmental Psychology, who spoke brilliantly about what it is to be a scholar.  The best part for me, though, was that in attendance were my sister, mother, niece, nephew, and several friends.  Afterward my brother gave me a gorgeously framed giclé of Carl Köhler’s André Gide (pictured below).  I’m absolutely thrilled (and might I say, proud)!

Carl Köhler's André Gide

Crosspost from la Fondation Catherine Gide

This is a report on the Gide panel from the MLA 2012: “The Feminine in André Gide’s Life and Works” on the website for the Catherine Gide Foundation (Fondation Catherine Gide).  Justine Legrand writes:

Du 5 au 8 janvier 2012 se tenait à Seattle le Congrès annuel de la MLA (Modern Language Association). Parmi un panel de plus de 700 sessions d’études sur les littératures françaises, espagnoles, américaines, allemandes, italiennes, l’Association des Amis d’André Gide proposait une séance consacrée à la femme dans l’œuvre et la vie d’André Gide intitulée The Feminine in André Gide’s Works and Life.

Cette session, qui avait lieu le vendredi 6 janvier 2012 au Sheraton de Seattle, était dirigée par Christine Latrouitte Armstrong, professeure associée de Français à l’Université de Denison (Ohio, USA).

Les trois interventions (en français pour la première et en anglais pour les deux suivantes selon l’ordre de passage établi par la présidente de séance) d’une vingtaine de minutes chacune ont permis de toucher à un point clef de l’œuvre gidienne dont certaines portes ne demandent qu’à s’ouvrir.

  • “La place de la femme: Le second problème gidien”
    Justine Legrand, Paris Sorbonne Université, Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne ;
  • “Quel deuil pour quel corps? Gide’s Elegiac Poetics in Et nunc manet in te”
    Alina Opreanu, Harvard Univ ;
  • “Imagining Madeleine” John Sorrentino, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York.

Ces trois communications ont été suivies de questions et réflexions sur la condition féminine, et offrent de réelles perspectives de recherche sur des thèmes déjà abordés mais souvent peu développés par la critique gidienne.

Check out the fabulous photo of the three presenters: me, Alina Opreanu (Harvard), and Justine Legrand (La Sorbonne), and the moderator, Christine Latrouitte Armstrong (Denison). http://www.fondation-catherine-gide.org/2012/01/andre-gide-parisian-in-america.html

Report from the MLA – Seattle 2012

Got back from the MLA earlier this week and my head is still spinning. What an amazing experience.

First and foremost, I want to acknowledge the panel that I had the privilege of being part of: The Feminine in André Gide’s Works and Life .  My co-panelists and I discussed different aspects of how Gide presents and deals with women in his works: Prof. Justine Legrand (La Sorbonne) presented a stunning paper on Geneviève and the ways that Gide posited lesbianism within that work; Prof. Alina Opreanu (Harvard) discussed Et nunc manet in te, Gide’s elegiac memoir about his life with and marriage to Madeleine following her death, a presentation that lead almost seamlessly to mine entitled “Imagining Madeleine” where I discussed the way that the drama of the character of Alissa in La Porte étroite articulates to an imagined/eventual future Gide’s estranged marriage to Madeleine.  The evening before my presentation, I added a reference to Charles O’Keefe’s book Void and Voice (where O’Keefe declares that the narrator of La Porte étroite, Jérôme, “lies”).  One of the people in attendance who offered some rather insightful (and hilarious) reflections during the Q&A turned out to be none other than Charles O’Keefe himself.  What a joy and honor to have him there, and what a relief that I did not know that it was he beforehand!  Special thanks to the Association des amis d’André Gide and Prof. Christine Latrouitte Armstrong (Denison) for convening and supporting the panel.

I attended some other amazing panels that I found truly inspiring.  One was a poetry panel where my department chair, Prof. Peter Consenstein, discussed Georges Perec (“Georges Perec, a Man Asleep, Is You,”), as well as a panel on disability studies that has fortified my own work with Gide’s La Symphonie pastorale with respect to the character of Gertrude, and finally a panel on the Digital Humanities that my friend and colleague Prof. Lauren Klein (Georgia Tech) convened on slave narratives.  The question I ask myself is in what ways can I use DH in the research and reading of Gide?

In all the experience was worth more than I could have expected or hoped for.  It was inspiring to be at this conference among academics in the humanities from all over the world, and a true privilege to see so many past and current colleagues in attendance.

See you all at the MLA 2013 in Boston!