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Jennifer Lorys Tamas




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Caribbean Literature
courtly rituals
body language
speech act theory
18th century
17th century

Jennifer Lorys Tamas

Ph.D. Candidate in French

Jennifer holds a PhD in French Literature and Stylistics from Paris IV-Sorbonne
("Dire et ne pas dire: du silence éloquent à l'énonciation tragique des déclarations d'amour chez Racine". Mention Très Honorable avec les Félicitations du Jury à l'Unanimité).

She is also a Fellow of the Stanford Humanities Center and holds a Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellowship. Her project is entitled: "A Revolution in Rhetoric: Declarations in Old Regime and Revolutionary France".

She comes from France. After high school and preparatory classes (hypokhâgne and khâgne) at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, she studied at Paris IV Sorbonne. She taught Linguistics and literature for six years at the Sorbonne where she obtained her Master in stylistics by writing two dissertations: “The Force of Persuasion in Zola’s Faute de l’abbé Mouret” (mémoire de maîtrise), and “Pragmatic of the Declaration of Love and its Enunciative Functionings” (mémoire de D.E.A). She also earned the French National certificates for teaching: the CAPES and the Agrégation de Lettres Modernes.

She was granted a Fulbright award to study in the USA in 2006.

Her interests include history, stylistics, rhetoric, medieval French, Latin, grammar and all kind of literatures. She also nourishes a deep passion for theater, creative writing, cinema, cooking / eating, ballet, classical music, and especially piano.


Advisor: Dan EDELSTEIN - Readers: Michel SERRES, Robert HARRISON, Sepp GUMBRECHT 

Spanning the Old Regime and the French Revolution, my dissertation asks: how can we explain the shift from royal declarations, formulated under the sole authority of the king, to the political declarations at the end of the 18th century, viewed as emanating from the general will? I claim that theater had a tremendous effect on liberating the voice of the spectators, who would soon become political actors. I focus on the staging of love declarations, as they showcase a new perception of authority and of gender tensions. By conceptualizing a revolution in rhetoric, I demonstrate how the democratization of declarations shapes new citizens.





L’éloquence du silence sur la scène théâtrale du 17eet 18esiècles, Hélène BILIS et Jennifer TAMAS (ed.), European Drama and Performance Studies ( Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2014). Forthcoming

Madame de Sévigné: les Lettres de 1671, Frédéric CALAS, Nathalie FREIDEL, Cécile LIGNEREUX, Jennifer TAMAS (Paris: Nathan, coll. Atlande, 2012). Forthcoming


“Racine: une dramaturgie de l’indicible,” European Drama and Performance Studies, (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2014). Forthcoming

“Valmont ou la sémiotique du corps au service d’une séditieuse séduction,” in Corps et Séduction, du charme à la manipulation. Proceedings of the International Conference on Seduction, University of Versailles, Forthcoming

“Dire et ne pas dire l’amour : formes discursives et effets pragmatiques des aveux dans Mithridate de Racine,” in Genres, Styles, Auteurs 2010 (Paris: Presses Universitaires Paris-Sorbonne, 2010), 119-142.

“La déclaration d’amour chez Racine : un discours emphatique qui oscille entre épanchement et brièveté,” inL'emphase: entre copia etbrevitas, 16e et 17e siècles (Paris: Presses Universitaires Paris-Sorbonne, 2010), 85-98.

“L’imaginaire de la clôture à travers le cloître et la maison close au 17e siècle: la femme et la mise au ban de la société française,” La Licorne 94 (2010): 85-99.

“La Médée d’Anouilh : entre drame intime et vision mythique d’une France blessée,” Revue du Paon d’Héra 5 (2009): 187-194.


-"From the Alcove to the Rostrum: Shifting from the Declaration of Sentiments to the Declaration of Women's Rights", March 2012, ASECS, San Antonio, TX

-"We Need to Talk! Staging Love Declarations in Early Modern France", February 2012, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA, [invited speaker]

-“Valmont ou la sémiotique du corps au service d’une séditieuse séduction,” Colloque international Corps et Séduction, du charme à la manipulation, Université de Versailles, December 2011, Versailles, France

-“Performance de la déclaration d’amour et théorie des actes de langage chez Racine: à l’épreuve du corps, du cœur et des mots,” Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventennth-Century Studies Conference, November 2011, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

“Is there a Morality of Emotions in Racine’s Theater ?,” Literature and Emotions Conference, University of Copenhagen, March 2011 Copenhagen, Denmark [invited speaker]

-"Dire et ne pas dire l'amour: formes discursives et effets pragmatiques des aveux dans Mithridate", October 2010, Paris IV Sorbonne, Journée d'agrégation, [invited speaker]

-“Olympe de Gouges, La Déclaration des droits de la femme et de la citoyenne: une révolution dans la Révolution”, March 2010, ASECS, Albuquerque.

-"Le fonctionnement dramaturgique de la déclaration d'amour dans Phèdre de Racine", March 2010, Rencontres internationales à l'ENS (Ulm) [invited speaker]

-"De la séduction à la sédition: la remise en question du pouvoir déclaratif dans Tartuffe et Dom Juan de Molière", January 2010, Yale University [invited speaker]

-“Architecture et scénographie de la déclaration au 18e siècle”, December 2009, MLA, Philadelphia

-“La philosophie libertine à la croisée des domaines scientifique et religieux” December 2009, MLA, Philadelphia.

-“L’imaginaire de la clôture à travers le cloître et la maison close au 17e siècle: la femme et la mise au ban de la société française” Paris X Nanterre, Conference on “Bannissement aux 16e et 17e siècles en Europe.”, October 2009.

-“The Evolution of the Declaration of Love from the 16th to the 17th Century: A Shift toward Interiority” San Jose State University, Northern California Renaissance Conference, May 2009.

-“La déclaration d’amour chez Racine: un discours emphatique qui oscille entre épanchement et brièveté” Paris IV Sorbonne, conference on “L’emphase aux 16e et 17e siècles.”, March 2009.

-“La déclaration d’amour dans Les Liaisons dangereuses de Laclos: séduction par les lumières aveuglantes d’une clarté ambiguë”. ACLA Conference, Harvard University, March 2009.

-“L’échec définitionnel de la Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen: une transformation en suspens” French Culture Workshop, Stanford. March 2009.

-“Purity and Corruption in Jean Anouilh’s Theater” Department of Comparative Literature, Stanford, Graduate Student Conference on “Corruption.” April 2008.

-“Construction, déconstruction, reconstruction de l’identité à travers l’expression stylistique du paradoxe dans la lettre d’amour du 17e au 19e siècles” Department of French and Romance Philology, Columbia University, Graduate Student Conference on “Car Je est un autre.” April 2007.

-“Declaration of Love as Conversions” Department of French and Italian, Stanford, Graduate Student Conference on “Conversions.” January 2007.


-2003-2006: As a TA, I taught French grammar and stylistics for three years at Paris IV Sorbonne: LLM311-312 (literature and stylistics from 17th to 20th century).

-2006-2009: The classes I taught at Stanford include:
French literature: FRENLIT 131: Absolutism, Enlightenment and the Revolution in 17th and 18th century-France.
French conversation (FRENLANG 10 and FRENLANG 15),
French stylistics (FRENLANG 126),
French cinema (FRENGEN 192E: Images of Women in French Cinema: 1930-1990),
French langage (FRENLANG 2, FRENLANG 3 and Accelerated French 5B). 

In addition, I have been a TA for Jean-Marie Apostolidès several times.

-Summer 2010: French Instructor at the École Normale Supérieure (Ulm) for the summer session:  

-2009-2011: ATER at Paris IV Sorbonne (rank below Maître de Conférences) where I teach stylistics, grammar, versification and French literature.


President of the ENS summer school: "Un Eté à l'ENS".

Fund-raising, selection of the international students and the teaching staff



BGSA (Black Graduate Students of Stanford Association): 2006-present

     -“Guadeloupe in 2009: a French colony or a French integrated region?”, Diaspora Table,  Stanford, CA, March 2009

      - Interview with Maryse Condé on her last book La femme cannibale, Stanford, CA, May 2007

BayFo (Français d’Outre-Mer présents dans la Bay Area): 2006-present

       -Discours d’hommage pour la mort d’Aimé Césaire, BayFo, San Francisco, CA, May 2008

       -Discours d’hommage pour l’abolition de l’esclavage en France, BayFo, San Francisco, CA, May 2008