I discovered my vocation when, as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, I was assigned to teach English in a Senegalese lycée. Upon my return to the US, I set my B.A. in political science aside to take up advanced studies in French, including a year spent in Paris on a French government scholarship. Too many years as a graduate student and one too-long dissertation later, I was armed with a Ph.D. and ready to take on the academic world.

My teaching career took me first to Ohio Wesleyan University, a school I had attended as an undergraduate. Dropping enrollments in the 1970s plagued OWU and eventually I made my way to Maine where I lived in the woods with the bears while teaching at the University of New Hampshire. After two years, I had had enough of the harsh climate and headed south to Furman University where I have been since 1986.

Hired as a specialist in 18th Century French Literature, I soon discovered that life in a liberal arts institution required versatility and willingness to adapt and retool as one's career progressed. French civilization quickly became an additional specialty until the digital revolution began -- with me, not without me! In 1996, I was appointed director of the Language Resource Center and helped to design and later run the first digital language learning center on campus.

In the final phase of my career I have developed an avocation into part of my vocation and now teach several courses in French Cinema.

Name Title Description


Elementary French I

Introduction to the sound system and grammatical structure necessary to develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in French. An appreciation of French-speaking culture underlies the orientation of the course.


Intermediate French I

Continuation of the development of proficiency in listening and speaking, while expanding the reading and writing skills using materials of a literary or cultural nature.


Frn Lit of the Enlightenment

Introduction to the literature of the eighteenth century (1715-89), including essay, theater and prose fiction. Works by authors such as Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Beaumarchais and Laclos.


French Cinema

Survey of French and Francophone cinema from the 1920s to the present day. Topics will include the historical context of each era, the principal film genres, directors, actors, film theory and criticism. All readings and lectures will be in English; all films will be subtitled.

I believe that the power of education is transformative and that my goal is to guide students in their personal journeys of discovery and transformation. Ostensibly, the content of my courses has something to do with French, be it language, literature, civilization or film. However, the real purpose of my courses is to open students to another way of thinking, being, acting, and representing as well as to prepare them to become lifelong learners. To assume that their education ends the day they receive their diploma is to shortchange them on their education. To assume that their real education begins the day they leave Furman is to prepare them for the future.

University of Michigan
University of Michigan
University of Michigan

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