Queen's University

Dr. Johanne Bénard

Associate Dean (Studies), Associate Professor, Department of French Studies
HUMANITIES, LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE

Autobiography

I am currently Associate Dean of Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Science and a professor in the Department of French Studies. I grew up in Québec and attended Université de Montréal, where I received a Ph.D. in 1989. My dissertation was on the French writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline and, in 2000, I published L’inter-dit célinien. Pour une lecture autobiographique de l’oeuvre de Louis-Ferdinand Céline. I have since published many articles on Céline and, with two co-editors and, a book on Céline’s polemic works: Les pamphlets de Céline: enjeux d’une réédition et bilan de la recherche. My research comprises different French authors of the XXth century (Colette, Cocteau, Beckett, Queneau and Sarraute among others), with a focus on intertextuality and intermediality. My most recent area of research is the presence of Shakespeare’s plays in Céline’s novels, and, more generally, the relationship between Céline’s work and theatre. I am also a regular contributor to the Québécois journal, Jeu.

Most Recent Project

Les pamphlets de Céline: lectures et enjeux

Co-edited with Régis Tettamanzi (Université de Nantes) and David Décarie (Université de Moncton), Québec, Éditions Huit.

Contributors to this collection reflect on the recent publication in Québec of Céline’s polemic works by Éditions Huit (Écrits polémiques, edition by Régis Tettamanzi) and the present state of research on books whose publication has been forbidden in France since World War II.

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Other Projects

  • Céline and Shakespeare

    Since 2010, I have been examining the presence of Shakespeare’s plays in Céline’s novels. My focus is exploring ways in which references to plays like Macbeth and The Tempest inform Céline’s fiction, and constitute bridges between the novels and the polemic works.

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  • Céline and Theatre

    Through articles and reviews, I have been examining the potential that exists for Céline’s writings to be adapted for the stage and, more significantly, I contend that the bounds of theatrical adaptation are already programmed in Céline’s texts themselves. In a reverse way, I have also been studying how theatre is embodied in Céline’s novels, resulting in passages that echo theatrical scenes.

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  • Céline in America

    This article seeks to draw an outline of the critical tendencies of American studies of Céline over the last decades and to offer something different from studies that have provided an overview of Anglo-Saxon criticism of Céline's writing. I make no claim here to provide a complete survey, but concentrate above all on works or collections that seem to exemplify an attitude towards Céline’s work that is specifically American. This is done in a slightly expanded field since the scope of the project is not limited to the United States, but encompasses Canadian criticism also which, in many ways, presents interesting points of convergence with criticism coming out of United States.

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  • Shakespeare and Stratford

    Reviews and articles related to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

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  • L'inter-dit célinien. Pour une lecture autobiographique de l'oeuvre de Louis-Ferdinand Céline

    This is a study of Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s work (from Semmelweis to Rigodon) as an autobiography, which links to the theme of persecution.

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