Lecturer in French Studies
Contact & Office Hours
Tuesday, 9–11 a.m.
Wednesday, 3–4 p.m.
or by appointment.
Tyler Annex 105
Ph.D., M.Phil., M.A., Yale University
B.A., Washington University in St. Louis
Laura Jensen's scholarship and pedagogy are highly interdisciplinary, bringing together literary studies and the visual arts. Jensen is an expert in contemporary Francophone literature and her current book project is entitled New Faces of French Universalism: Marie NDiaye, Bessora and Leïla Slimani. This project focuses on the ways in which women of color write about race and representation from a universalist perspective, which tends to equate anti-racism with race blindness. Their novels explore the experience of being a racial minority in France when the word “race” itself is taboo. She is particularly interested in the ways these authors reach for visual sources when language fails.
Jensen's secondary area of research is foreign language acquisition, especially multiple-literacy theories and practices of pedagogy. At Smith, she has taught all four courses in the language series, from the beginner course to bridge course level. In her classes, from the very beginning, students engage with French culture and texts in meaningful ways. Jensen is committed to cultivating strong communicators, avid readers and keen researchers in French.
Outside the classroom Jensen can be seen on long runs around Northampton. She also loves to cook, travel, ski, and spend time with my very old, very tiny dog.