Melek Chekili

Melek Chekili is a first year PhD student in the French and Francophone track of the Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture program. She received a B.A in Modern Languages (English and Spanish) applied to Law and Economics, and an MA in legal and financial translation from the University of the Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris III. She subsequently worked as an exchange French lecturer within the French and Italian department at the University of Southern California during the academic year 2017/2018. Her multicultural background as well as her experiences abroad enabled her to speak the Tunisian dialect, Arabic, French, English and Spanish.

Her research interests include intermediality, and more specifically the way Francophone issues are tackled across literature and the visual medium, either film, musicals or theatre. She is also interested in postcolonial Francophone North-African literature and culture(s), in particular the relationship between ‘’Beur’’ literature and cinema, and the parallel with Chicano literature, cinema and art in the US, considering notions of bilingualism and translation.

Keywords: Mulitculturalism, notions of intermediality,  Tunisian dialect, Arabic, French/Francophone, English and Spanish/Chicano literature in the USA, notions of bilingualism and translation.

Alvin Chuan


A PhD student in the Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture program, Alvin Chuan works in the areas of French and Francophone Studies. His dissertation project examines North American Francophone migrant imaginaries - especially those from the Québec context - and their implication in, and commitments to, the cognitive-cultural economy.

Keywords: Literature and Culture of Québec; Migration Studies and Migrant Literature; Economic Culture, Thought, and Theory; Postcolonial Studies

Jesus Garcia


Jesse is a PhD student in French & Francophone Studies in the Department of Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture at USC. He received a bachelor's degree in Spanish and English from the University of San Francisco. He subsequently taught English with Peace Corps in Zimbabwe and Guinea, and soon after completing his service worked with various non-governmental agencies, including the United Nations World Food Program in Guinea. He returned to the USA in 2010 and studied advance French and sociocultural anthropology formally, earning a master's degree in French & Francophone Studies from the California State University, Long Beach. This wide-ranging academic and professional experience informs his interdisciplinary interest in literature, food studies, ethnography, and development discourse. He speaks Spanish, French, and English (and sometimes an incomprehensible combination of the three!); he continues studying Portuguese, Fulani, and Wolof. 

Brieuc Gerard


Brieuc Gérard is a fourth-year doctoral student and PhD candidate in the French & Francophone track of the Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture program. He received a B.A. in English and Spanish from Paris Nanterre University, an M.A. in British, North-American, and Postcolonial studies from University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle, and an M.A. in French & Francophone studies from the University of Southern California. His work is situated at the intersections of French theory (deconstruction), Queer theory, and contemporary French literature. At USC, he has taught in the Thematic Option as part of the Honors Program, and at all levels of the French Basic Language Program. His dissertation project tentatively titled X-Human: Queer Inhumanisms in the Wake of May 68 France examines the rise and receding of French theory and radical queer politics between the sixties and the eighties in France.

Keywords: 20th- & 21st- century French and Comparative Literatures, Philosophy and Literature, Materialism and Ontology, Political Philosophy and Postanarchism, Refugee Studies, Queer studies, Contre-cultures 

Katherine Hammitt

Katherine Hammitt is a PhD candidate of Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture, specializing in French and Francophone Studies. She received her Bachelor's degree in International Studies and French from Butler University in 2012 and her M.A. in European Studies from Indiana University in 2014. Her dissertation project, tentatively titled Beyond the Sea that Separates, engages with women francophone writers of the Pacific. At USC, she has taught first year French and worked as a teaching assistant for courses on both women writers and history of the modern Middle East. In the academic year 2018-19, she taught as a lectrice at the Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle (Paris 3) in Paris. Her research interests include postcolonial theory, visual culture, women writers, and memory studies. 

Jerome Gendrot

Jerome Gendrot is a first-year doctoral student of Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture, specializing in French and Francophone studies. He completed a B.A of History in the University of Angers – France and two M.A. in Philology and Linguistics in French: the first one at ELTE (Budapest – Hungary) in 2015, the second one at OSU (Columbus – Ohio) in 2018. 

Freshly transferred to USC, he is now in the process of gathering readings and collecting sources for his future dissertation. His interests chiefly remain in postcolonial studies, French and Francophone literary theory, deconstruction, postcolonial studies, memory studies, Blackness, Negritude, and African philosophy. Alongside his studies, he taught elementary French at Ohio State University for nine semesters.

Elsa Vallot

Elsa Vallot is a PhD Student in the french and francophone track, specialized in critical theory. She received her B.A in Public Law from the university of Panthéon-Sorbonne, and her M.A in Humanities and Social Sciences, theory and practices of language and art from the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS). She in interested in french and american hip-hop, francophone poetry, gender and race phenomenology, radical philosophy and politics, materialism. She writes about hardcore rap and gangsta rap, interracial alterity in France and the Indian Ocean.  She is starting a project on Muay Thay fighters in France.

Keywords: materialism hip-hop race feminism sports rap music theory critique

  • Department of French and Italian
  • Taper Hall 155 (THH 155)
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0359