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Jordan Bessette

PH. D. Graduate in French
Graduated from UNC in


M.A., French & Francophone Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2015
B.A., Spanish & French Languages and Literatures, University of Rhode Island, 2012

About Jordan

After finishing his undergraduate studies at the University of Rhode Island in 2012, and then participating in the TAPIF program in Blois France, Jordan came to UNC in 2013. He specialises in nineteenth-century French literature under the supervision of Dr. Jessica Tanner. His current interests include representations of gender, sexuality and the city as depicted in the novel. In particular, Jordan's research examines the relationship(s) between gender, sexuality and the rise of modern Parisian society, with respect to questions of beauty, artificiality, and mobility. While at UNC, Jordan has also held numerous positions on the department’s Graduate Romance Association student organisation, and has also served as a co-organiser for the Carolina Conference on Romance Studies and the Tournées French Film Festival. For the 2016-2017 academic year, Jordan was honoured to receive the “Jacques Hardré Award for Excellence in Teaching French,” a department-wide award based on student nominations. In 2017-2018, Jordan served as an exchange English lecturer at the Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3. Outside of UNC, Jordan has greatly enjoyed teaching French for several summers at the North Carolina Governor’s School, an immersive educational program for advanced high school students from the state of North Carolina.


  • “Imagining Celebrity: Arrivisme, Satire, and the Quest for Fame in Maupassant’s Bel-Ami.” Nineteenth Century French Studies. Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles, California. October 2018.
  • “The Constraints of the City, the Constraints of the Text: Spatial Pressure in Les Rougon-Macquart.” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Studies Supernumerary Conference. Rome, Italy. June 2018.
  • “The Self, Displaced: Urban Renewal and Temporal Exile in Emile Zola’s La Curée.” Society of Dix-Neuviémistes. Newcastle, England. April 2018.
  • “The Body as Object: Foiling Arrivisme in Monsieur Vénus.” Société of Dix-Neuviémistes. Paris, France. April 2016.
  • “Contemplating the Second Empire: Renée’s Gaze in La Curée.” Carolina Conference on Romance Studies. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. March 31-April 2, 2016.
  • “Passive-Aggressive Breakups: Dissimulation and the Role of Letters in La Place royale.” Carolina Conference on Romance Languages. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. April 9-11, 2015.
  • “Colonial Representations in French Travel and Recruitment Posters.” Carolina Conference on Romance Languages. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. April 3-4, 2014.
  • Typical Courses Taught

    As Instructor of Record, in collaboration:
    FREN 101: Elementary French I
    FREN 102: Elementary French II
    FREN 105: French for High Beginners
    FREN 203: Intermediate French I

    Graduate Research Consultant:
    ARAB 468: Arab Modernity in Literature and Culture
    FREN 371: Littérature française des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles “les modernités” contestés”