Laura C. Balladur

Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies


French and Francophone Studies

Roger Williams Hall, Room 409


Laura Balladur, Ph.D Duke University

Laura Balladur is Lecturer of French and Francophone Studies. Her broad interests include translation both in theory and practice, cinema, the relationship between literature and science, philosophical investigations of the mind-body dichotomy with a specific focus on the varied discourses on imagination, and current scholarship on the embodied self in dance. These varied interest are reflected both in her scholarship and her teaching. Her dissertation, Imagination, Physiology, and Dynamics of Representation (Duke, 2005), explored the emergence of life science in various 17th and 18th century scientific discourses, and its parallels on the changing concept of imagination. As an avid Argentine Tango dancer and teacher, most recently she has been working on the intersections between critical theory and Tango, from the rich and complex “lead/follow” dichotomy between partners, to the fetishism, the nostalgia, the community, the gazes, the narrative dance, and the essential mind-body connection—which further develops seventeenth and eighteenth-century inquiries into the nature of imagination. Her teaching addresses these questions on the embodied self and identity in French and Francophone literature, with a specific focus on eighteenth-century, as well as cinema.

Teaching (course selection)

  • French 240 “Science and Literature”
  • French 373 “Close-up on the Enlightenment”
  • French 250 “French literature from the Middle Ages to 18th century: Identity/Alterity”
  • French S36 “Intro to French Cinema”
  • INDS “Legacy of the New Wave”

Recent Theses Mentored (selection)

  • “Représenter l’essentiel: la tâche de Walter Benjamin” (2012)
  • “La vie en prose: La vérité et le pouvoir narratif dans L’Amant de Marguerite Duras” (2012)
  • “La Déstabilisation des limites linguistiques, temporelles, physiques et mentales dansAucun de nous ne reviendra de Charlotte Delbo” (2012)
  • “Le monde à travers un objectif: Guerre, mémoire, et médiatisation dans Le petit Soldat, Muriel, et Caché” (2011)
  • “Inventer la difficulté: Un Travail sur la pratique et la théorie de la traduction littéraire” (2010)
  • “Sur la traduction” (2007)

Select Publications

  • “Translation for Cross-Cultural Thinking in the Liberal Arts,” forthcoming.
  • “Drunk on Confusion: on Translation and Pure Language.” In Translation Bates International Poetry Festival (Bates eBook). Translation 2010, Bates College ebook.
  • Translation of Emeric de Monteynard, Selections. In Translations, Bates International Poetry Festival, Bates eBook. 2010.
  • “Work, Machines, and Vapors in Late Eighteenth-Century France.” In Civilization in French and Francophone Literatures and Film. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual French Literature. Amsterdam, Rodopi: Nov. 2006.