Deborah Jenson
Professor of Romance Studies

A scholar of "long 19th century" French and Caribbean literature and culture, I also work in the fields of cognitive literary studies and health humanities. Monographs, edited volumes, editions, and translations include: Beyond the Slave Narrative: Politics, Sex, and Manuscripts in the Haitian Revolution ; Trauma and Its Representations: The Social Life of Mimesis in Post-Revolutionary France; Poetry of Haitian Independence (with D. Kadish and N. Shapiro); Unconscious Dominions: Psychoanalysis, Colonial Trauma, and Global Sovereignty (with W. Anderson and R. Keller); Sarah, A Colonial Novella (with D. Kadish); and "Coming to Writing" and Other Essays by Hélène Cixous .  Monographs underway are Essays on Mimesis: From Marx to Mirror Neurons,  and Phenomenological Courage: Afro-Caribbean Literary Challenges to the Epistemic Brain in Naturalist Modernity . I have previously served as director of the Franklin Humanities Institute and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and as co-director of the Brain & Society theme of Bass Connections, as well as founding co-director of the Health Humanities Lab. I co-convene the Neurohumanities Research Group. Current courses are Contemporary African Philosophy with Felwine Sarr, and Pandemic Humanities. Forthcoming articles are in the Cahiers Marceline Desbordes-Valmore (2020) and Epilepsy and Behavior (2020).

Office Hours

Mondays 3-5 and Wednesday 11-1 by zoom appointment or walking on campus

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

  • 112 Language Center, Box 90257, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708
  • 205 Language Center, Box 90257, Durham, NC 27708-0257

Some information on this profile has been compiled automatically from Duke databases and external sources. (Our About page explains how this works.) If you see a problem with the information, please write to Scholars@Duke and let us know. We will reply promptly.