As Americans' attention was focused in 2020-21 on voting, Guillaume Ansart published an article entitled "Rousseau and Condorcet: Will, Reason and the Mathematics of Voting" in the British journal History of Political Thought. The work considers how Rousseau and Condorcet defined the social conditions and voting procedures necessary to make voting a mechanism of rational collective decision-making.
Alison Calhoun traveled virtually to Vancouver, Dublin, and London to present her research on Descartes and on early modern opera. As Director of Graduate Studies in French and Francophone Studies, she was particularly uplifted by the courage of the incoming cohort of graduate students, especially those who battled pandemic restrictions to join the program from abroad.
Along with his research team, Laurent Dekydtspotter recently published in the Journal of Neurolinguistics on the topic of nonnative French addressing the neurocognitive bases of nonnative language processing in the language network. In ongoing work, Dekydtspotter and colleagues, including Charlène Gilbert (MA '16, French Linguistics) and Kate Miller (PhD '11, French Linguistics), argue that this network of the brain modifies its activity during nonnative language processing to counteract the weaker activation of the stored information for the words and grammar of the nonnative language. This action of the language network is argued to be automatic and to reveal fundamental aspects of the language system.
Margot Gray hopes to have put teaching via Zoom behind her, after various mishaps - including an effort to help a student get into a breakout room that resulted in putting herself in the room instead, then not being able to get out, despite helpful coaching from the breakout group. (She did enjoy her unplanned discussion of the breakout topic, though.) Her book Stolen Limelight: Gender, Display and Displacement in Modern Fiction in French has been accepted for publication. She was glad to return to Proust with another forthcoming piece, and is contributing a chapter on political and corporeal suffocation in a collection with Oxford UP on Albert Camus's The Plague and COVID-19.