Director: Jeffrey Leichman 

Jeffrey M. Leichman (he/him) is Jacques Arnaud Associate Professor in the Department of French Studies at Louisiana State University and Director of the Center for French and Francophone Studies. Professor Leichman’s research focuses on performance cultures from the early modern period through the present, with three main areas of concentration: early modern European and colonial theatre; immersive digital humanities; and performance in cinema. Recent publications include work on New Wave film director Jacques Rivette, in dialogue with eighteenth-century polymath philosopher Denis Diderot and (French Studies 75.1); representations of Native Americans in eighteenth-century French comic theatre (in Rêver le Nouveau Monde, 2022); pedagogical approaches to Aimé Césaire and Pierre Corneille (in MLA Options for Teaching French Neoclassical Tragedy, eds. Bilis and McClure); and computer-designed procedural narrative as historiography (in Modes of Play in Eighteenth-Century France, eds. Falaky and McGinnis). He is also co-editor with Karine Bénac-Giroux of Colonialism and Slavery in Performance: Theatre and the Eighteenth-Century French Caribbean (Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment/Liverpool UP, 2021), and the author of the monograph Acting Up: Staging the Subject in Enlightenment France (Bucknell UP, 2016; reviews here). In 2018-2019, Mr. Leichman was a fellow in residence at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Nantes, France. 

A digital humanist with a focus on simulation and immersive environments for literary-historical research, Professor Leichman was the principal investigator for the NEH-funded Interactive VR Simulation of an Eighteenth-Century Paris Faire Theatre: VESPACE (HAA 266501-19), and co-directs Virtual Theatres in the French Atlantic World: Urbanism and Spectacle (18th-19th centuries) with Dr. Pauline Beaucé with support from the Thomas Jefferson Fund of the French Foreign Ministry’s FACE Council. As Director of the Center for French and Francophone Studies, Mr. Leichman is looking forward to collaborating with scholars and centers from around the country and the world at LSU. In addition to serving as an incubator for doctoral student research initiatives, the LSU CFFS will curate public-facing scholarly events around the global Enlightenment and performance studies, with a special focus on collaborative digital projects that look beyond the statistical capacities of computing to reconceive French studies as an inclusive, engaging, and intellectually vital center for twenty-first century humanistic inquiry. 

Assistant Director: Todd Jacob 
Assistant to the Chair 
French Studies 
Phone: (225)578-6589 
Office: 416B Hodges 

Graduate Research Assistant: Rachel Kirk 

Rachel Kirk is a doctoral student in French Studies interested in the representations of environmental justice and resistance to colonialism in literature, art, and oral histories in the Francophone world. She has led several high school and university intercultural education programs in metropolitan France, Spain, Morocco, Martinique, and the U.S. South. She was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Rabat, Morocco and she has a Master’s in International Education Development from Columbia University and a B.A. in Political Science and French from Virginia Tech.