Robert Decker

Graduate Student
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Robert Decker is a doctoral candidate in the department of French and Italian.  His work examines representation and narratological functions of space and history in contemporary French-language fiction of the Caribbean.   His dissertation focuses on the novels of authors such as Edouard Glissant, Vincent Placoly, and Maryse Condé, among others.  His research interests include postcolonial theory and literature, narratology, 19th century history and fiction, and ecocriticism.


  • 2013: University of Kansas, M.A. with Honors in French Literature
  • 2010: University of Kansas, B.A. with Honors in French Literature
  • 2010: University of Kansas, B.A. in English Literature

Publications, Conference and Colloquia Papers

  • “Speculation and Gender Exploitation in Balzac’s Scènes de la vie de Province.”  French Forum 39.2-3 (2014): 65-79.
  • "Cultural (Trans)nationalism and Authenticity in Dany Laferrière's Je suis un écrivain japonais." North East Modern Language Association Annual Meeting. Baltimore, March 2017.
  • "Visual and Textual Aesthetics in Michel Tournier’s Les Suaires de Véronique." International Colloquium on Twentieth and Twenty-First Century French and Francophone Studies.  Bloomington, April 2017.

Grants and Fellowships

  • Fellowship, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 2017-18
  • McMahon Grant for Language Study, 2015
  • Armstrong Grant for Doctoral Study, 2014-19

Teaching Positions Held:

  • August 2015-Present: Assistant in Instruction, Princeton University.  Courses Taught: Elementary French 1, 3.
  • August 2013- May 2014: Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Kansas.  Courses Taught: Elementary French 1, 2.
  • September 2012- July 2013: English Lecturer, University of Franche-Comté, France.  Courses Taught: English Grammar, Oral Expression and Comprehension, Written Expression and Comprehension, Public Speaking in English.
  • Summer 2012: Assistant Director for the University of Kansas Summer Language Institute.  Courses Taught: Intermediate French, French Conversation, Studies in French Culture.
  • December 2010- May 2012: Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Kansas. 

Research and Teaching Awards:

  • Margaret Kemp Award for Research in Foreign Languages: 2012.
  • David A. Dinneen Award for Pedagogical Excellence: 2012.
  • Award for Excellence in French Studies: Twentieth-Century Literature: 2010.
  • Award for Excellence in French Studies: Francophone Literature: 2010.

Other Scholarly Activities:

  • Fall 2016: Co-Organizer of the conference “Transparency and Opacity in French Language Literature.  Princeton University, October 2016.
  • Fall 2015: Co-Organizer of the conference “Writing Out Loud: Orality and Aurality.  Princeton University, October 2015.
  • Spring 2012: Co-Organizer of the conference “Réflexions / Réfractions,” University of Kansas, April 2012.