Jacqueline Couti

Research Areas


Francophone Studies • Transatlantic Studies • Women, Gender and Sexualities Studies 


Jacqueline Couti received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in the area of French and Francophone Studies and New World/Transatlantic Studies. She taught at several institutions, including the University of Virginia and the University of Kentucky. At Rice, she is a core faculty member of the program in European Studies. 


She is the author of Dangerous Creole Liaisons (2016) and she has produced critical and annotated editions of novels by Auguste Traversay de Sansac and Jenny Manet for L’Harmattan, one of the major French publishers. Her current book project is entitled Sex, Sea, and Self: Sexuality and Nationalism in French Caribbean Discourses 1924-1948, which is under contract with Liverpool University Press, and she is also co-editor for a special issue on Afroféminisme (Black feminism) for the Australian journal Essays in French Literature and Culture, which will appear in 2019.


Her research and teaching interests delve into the transatlantic and transnational interconnection between cultural productions from continental France and its now former colonies. In so doing, she explores constructions of gender, race, sexuality, identity politics and nationalistic awareness. A central theme of her research is how local knowledge in the colonial and post-colonial eras has shaped the literatures and the awareness of the self in former French colonies through specific representations of sexuality, and she has received grants from foundations, such as the Volkswagen Stiftung. 


A highly regarded teacher, she received several teaching awards at the University of Kentucky, and she also has directed study-abroad courses in Morocco, France, and on Martinique. 



Selected Publications


Dangerous Creole Liaisons: Sexuality and Nationalism in French Caribbean Discourses from 1806 to 1897 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2016).


Ed. and introd., "Les amours de Zémédare" et "Carina" by Auguste Traversay de Sansac (1806) (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2017). 


Ed. and introd., Maïotte by Jenny Manet (1896) (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2014). 


Ed., Discourses of Trans/National Identity in Caribbean Literature, special issue of Canadian Review of Comparative Literature/ Revue Canadienne de Littérature Comparée 38/1 (March 2011).


“La romance nationale transatlantique: Amour, famille et patrie,” in Auguste Traversay de Sansac, “Les amours de Zémédare” et “Carina”, ed. and introd. Jacqueline Couti (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2017), vii-xli.


“Hors de soi: Dissociation et réintégration corporelles dans C’est vole que je vole (1998) de la martiniquaise Nicole Cage-Florentiny,” in Gladys M. Francis (ed.), Amour, Sexe, Genre et Trauma dans la Caraïbe Francophone (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2016), 169-80. 


“The Mythology of the Doudou: Sexualizing Black Female Bodies, Constructing Culture in the French Caribbean,” in Susan Bordo (ed.), Provocation: A Transnational Reader in the History of Feminist Thought (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2015), 131-43.


“Birthing Chaos: Two-Faced Women, Cultural Conflict and Betrayal in Créoliste Writings,” in Patricia Donatien and Rodolphe Solbiac (eds.), Critical Perspectives on Conflict in Caribbean Societies of the Late 20th and Early 21st Centuries (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015), 31-50. 


“La Doudou contre-attaque: Féminisme noir, sexualisation et doudouisme en question dans l’entre-deux-guerres,” Comment s’en sortir 1 (2015), 111-39. 


“Passer à la trappe: Les études postcoloniales et l’oubli du roman feuilleton des Antilles françaises,” in Jenny Manet, Maïotte, ed. and introd. Jacqueline Couti (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2014), ix-xl.


“Le Bourreau et la victime: Politiques du corps et des rapports sociaux des sexes dans l'œuvre de Gisèle Pineau,” Nouvelles Études Francophones 27/2 (2013), 74-89.