Jacqueline Couti

WEBSITE(S)| French Studies | Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality | Center for African and African American Studies | European Studies


  • PhD, University of Virginia

Research and Teaching

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

Recent Courses

  • FREN 433 French Caribbean Ecocriticism
  • FREN 340 Gender around the World
  • FREN 337 Shakespeare in the Caribbean
  • FREN 313 Major Literary Works and Artifacts of the Francophone World

Jacqueline Couti works in the area of French and Francophone Studies. Her research and teaching interests delve into the transatlantic and transnational interconnections between cultural productions from continental France and its now former colonies. Her work explores constructions of gender, race, sexuality, identity politics, and nationalism. A central theme of her research is how local knowledge in the colonial and post-colonial eras has shaped the literatures, and the cultural awareness of the self, in former French colonies through specific representations of sexuality. Before coming to Rice, she taught at the University of Virginia and at the University of Kentucky. A highly regarded teacher, Couti has received several awards and she also has directed study-abroad courses in France, Morocco, and on Martinique, and she has also received grants from international foundations, such as the VolkswagenStiftung.

In 2021, Couti organized and hosted the international conference In the Path of Disaster(s): Narratives around Natural Catastrophes in the Americas/Circum-Caribbean [1]at Rice University, which highlighted research, artwork, and activism from around the country, the Circum-Caribbean region, and Europe alongside studies from Rice faculty. Follow the link[2] to watch the conference videos.

In 2020, she also co-organized  and co-hosted the conference DES FéMINISMES NOIRS EN CONTEXTE (POST)IMPéRIAL FRANçAIS? HISTOIRES, EXPéRIENCES ET THéORIES[3] in Paris, France, which marked a watershed moment in the reconceptualization of French and Francophone Black womanhood. Follow the link[4] to watch the conference videos.

[1] https://bigidi.rice.edu/
[2] https://pathsofdisaster.rice.edu/
[3] https://mysymposia.wordpress.com/
[4] https://mysymposia.wordpress.com/videos/

Selected Publications

1. Books and Edited Volumes

  • Sex, Sea, and Self: Sexuality and Nationalism in French Caribbean Discourses 1924-1948 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2021).
  • Ed. with Kathleen Gyssels, “Mines de rien”: L’Antillaise et l’Afropéenne face aux tropologies, entre mythes et réalités au fil du temps, special issue of Essays in French Literature and Culture 56 (October 2019).
  • Ed. and introd., "Les amours de Zémédare" et "Carina" by Auguste Traversay de Sansac (1806) (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2017).
  • Dangerous Creole Liaisons: Sexuality and Nationalism in French Caribbean Discourses from 1806 to 1897 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2016). Paperback 2021. French translation forthcoming in 2022.
  • 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).

2. Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Lumina Sophie, Nineteenth-Century Martinique,” in Erica L. Ball, Tatiana Seijas, and Terri L. Snyder (eds.), Women Claiming Freedom: Gender, Race, and Liberty in the Americas (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), 373-92.
  • “Le conte créole: Langue et pouvoir à l’époque contemporaine,” Cités: Philosophie, Politique, Histoire (April 2020), 319-32.
  • “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.
  • “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.


Sex, Sea, and Self Couti Book1 Couti Book2 Couti Book3
Debout & Déter / Standing Up & Determined: Black Women   on the Move, Black Feminisms in French (Post)Imperial Contexts LE FRUIT DÉFENDU : MOEURS CRÉOLES