Caroline Laurent

Assistant Professor

  • Department: French Studies and Modern Languages
  • Office: 

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Professor Laurent began teaching at AUP in 2021. At AUP, she teaches French as well as courses on Francophone cultures and literatures. Before joining AUP, she taught Postcolonial Studies at Sciences Po - Saint-Germain-en-Laye in France, African and Comparative Literature at King's College London in England, and French Language and Romance Literatures at Harvard University in the United States.

Laurent's research deals with twentieth- and twenty-first-century French and Francophone literatures and cultures, with special emphasis on Metropolitan France, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia. Her book manuscript, The Words of Others: Remembering and Writing Genocide as an Indirect Witness, examines literary and graphic representations of genocidal violence. She focuses on the Holocaust, the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, and the Khmer Rouge genocide and mass killings in Cambodia. Specifically, by connecting the authors’ representational strategies to critical theories related to memory studies, she examines how indirect witnesses, that is individuals who did not literally or personally experience genocide, problematize their own testimonial acts. Her newest project entitled Connected Histories of (Post)Coloniality: Circulation and Reception of Art Representing a Diverse Francophone Past considers the representation and dissemination of histories through art forms, with the aim of dismantling a monolithic national(istic) narrative. By insisting on their creation, their circulation, and their reception, she shows how these historical representations encourage the formation of a new heritage that encompasses different communities. The foregoing creative processes also point to their perpetual transformation that would allow for new decolonized epistemologies and ways to illuminate the past in a context which is Francophone, but also alive in its plural, global, as well as multilingual realities.


  • Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures. Harvard University, 2016.
  • M.Phil. in European Literature and Culture. Christ's College, The University of Cambridge, 2006.
  • BA (Hons) in Comparative Literature and History & Social Sciences. The American University of Paris, 2004.



  • “Caine Prize 2023: Senegalese writers win for fantasy-horror story about dangers facing girls.” The Conversation Africa. 16 October 2023.
  • “Mohamed Mbougar Sarr: Senegalese novelist's win is a landmark for African literature.” The Conversation Africa. 9 November 2021.
  • “Goncourt Literary Prize - Senegal's Mohamed Mbougar Sarr wins prestigious award.” Eye on Africa, France 24. 3 November 2021.
  • “David Diop: his haunting account of a Senegalese soldier that won the Booker prize.” The Conversation Africa. 3 June 2021.
  • “Our World in Graphics.” Audio blog post with Haya Alfarhan. Arts and Humanities Now. King’s College London, 7 August 2019.



  • “Secrets de famille et fantômes/compulsion spectrale dans Cent mille journées de prières de Hui Phang et Sterckeman.” Squelettes, ectoplasmes et fantômes, edited by Frédéric Chauvaud and Denis Mellier, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2023, pp. 119-41.
  • “Mémoire et Imag(e)ination : La Représentation de la violence et du génocide cambodgien par l’art séquentiel.” Art séquentiel et catastrophes, edited by Charlotte Krauss and Françoise Lavocat, Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle, 2022, pp. 275-96.
  • “Embodiment and Transmission: An Interview with Franco-Cambodian cartoonist Tian Veasna.” Interview with Angelica P. So. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, vol. 13, no. 3, 2022, pp. 486-98. DOI: 10.1080/21504857.2021.1934054
  • “Vers une mémoire partagée des tirailleurs sénégalais.” MemWar - Memorie e oblii delle guerre e dei traumi del XX secolo, edited by Roberto Francavilla, Anna Giaufret, and Laura Quercioli Mincer, Genova UP, 2021, pp. 51-68.
  • Voyageurs malgré eux: Silence, Embodiment, and Exposure in Doan Bui and Minh Tran Huy.” French Cultural Studies, vol. 32, no. 4, 2021, pp. 346-63. DOI: 10.1177/09571558211025908  
  • “Le génocide rwandais : L’Ecrivain-témoin indirect comme ‘donneur d’échos’ dans Moisson de crânes de Waberi.” Nouvelles études francophones, edited by Nicoletta Dolce and Irena Trujic, vol. 30, no. 1, University of Nebraska Press, Spring 2015, pp. 79-90. DOI: 10.1353/nef.2015.0035


Conferences & Lectures

  • “Reclaiming Việt Nam: Memory and Embodied Transmission in Papin’s Les Os des filles.” Women, Memory, and Intergenerational Transmission in the Francophone World. Women in French Australia. Virtual Seminar Series, 29 November 2023.
  • “The Presence of Perec’s Je me souviens… in Francophone Works or How to Create a Literary Memory of Past Traumatic Events.” Perec : Je me souviens. Je me souviens de Perec. Perec: I remember. I remember Perec. MLA Convention 2023. San Francisco, 5-8 January 2023.
  • “Passé, exil et souffrance : le corps-archive dans Les Os des filles de Line Papin.” SELF XX-XXI – Expériences. Paris, 16-18 June 2022.
  • (Mi)Lieu de mémoire: Southeast Asian Identities in Paris’s Chinatown.” Postcolonial Realms of Memory: Sites and Symbols in the Modern Francosphere. Winthrop-King Institute for Contemporary French and Francophone Studies. Florida State University. Tallahassee, 7-8 October 2021.
  • “Entomological Re-Appropriation of Propagandist Rhetoric: From Inyenzi to Phalène in Koulsy Lamko.” Narrating Violence: Making Race, Making Difference. Nordic Summer University Study Circle Narrative and Violence and The George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights, and Conflict Prevention at The American University of Paris. Paris, 29-31 March 2021.
  • “Through Mati Diop’s Eyes: Representing Social and Gender Realities of Women in Senegal.” Visual Africa: Francophone Women’s Aesthetic Representations of Africa (WiF Roundtable), NeMLA Conference 2021. Virtual Convention, 11-14 March 2021.
  • “‘Je’ to ‘Tu’ in Loo Hui Phang’s L’Imprudence: Siblings in Stories of Migration and Exile.” Siblings in French and Francophone Literature, NeMLA Conference 2021. Virtual Convention, 11-14 March 2021.
  • “Forgetting and Remembering France’s Tirailleurs Sénégalais.” MemWar – Memory and Oblivion of Twentieth-Century Wars and Trauma. Università di Genova. Virtual Conference, 9-11 December 2020.
  • “Secrets de famille et compulsion spectrale dans Cent mille journées de prières de Hui Phang et Sterckeman.” Squelettes, ectoplasmes et fantômes. Angoulême – CIBDI, 18-19 November 2020.
  • “Hybridity and Writing: The Representation of Violence in Rwanda and Burundi.” Narrating Genocide (Roundtable), NeMLA Conference 2020. Boston, 5-8 March 2020.
  • “Being and Belonging: from ‘I’ to ‘We’ in Clément Baloup’s Việt Kiều Memoirs.” Narrative Voice in Autobiographical Graphic Novels, NeMLA Conference 2020. Boston, 5-8 March 2020.
  • “‘Presque malgré nous, nous commencions de nous établir en ces lieux où nous n’avions pensé que passer’: Migration and Embodied Silence in Franco-Vietnamese Literature.” Narratives of Forced Migration in The Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. University of Stirling. Stirling, 16-18 September 2019.
  • “‘Je l’ai cherchée sans plus y croire’: Victims and Survivors of the Khmers Rouges in La Colline empoisonnée by Poustochkine.” “The Missing Picture”: Rethinking Genocide Studies and Prevention, International Association of Genocide Scholars 2019 Conference. American University of Phnom Penh. Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 14-19 July 2019.
  • Listening to Others: Writing the Rwandan Genocide as an Indirect Witness.” Thinking with Jean-Luc Nancy, Oxford International Conference 2019. Oxford, 28-30 March 2019.
  • “Violence, or the Memory of Childhood in Gaël Faye’s Petit Pays.” ASAUK: African Studies Association in the UK 2018 Conference. University of Birmingham. Birmingham, 11-13 September 2018.
  • “‘Résister, par tous les moyens’: Mobilisation in the Dystopian Political Work of Karim Amellal’s Bleu Blanc Noir.” Sous les pavés, Contemporary French and Francophone Studies Colloquium. Brown University. Providence, 12-14 April 2018.
  • “The Haunting Image and Memorial Construction: Tuol Sleng in French Comic Books.” ACLA Conference 2017. Utrecht University. Utrecht, the Netherlands, 6-9 July 2017.
  • “‘C’est le chemin qui décide de l’endroit où tu vas atterrir:’ The Plural Representation of Migration in Barroux and Bessora’s graphic novel Alpha.” Cincinnati Conference on Romance and Arabic Languages & Literatures. University of Cincinnati. Cincinnati, 31 March-1 April 2017.
  • “Beyond Borders: How to ‘Openly’ Speak of the Rwandan Genocide Through Literature.” Global Trajectories: Towards New Critical Horizons, Inaugural French and Francophone Graduate Conference. Harvard University. Cambridge, 12 May 2016.
  • “Between Life and Death, Past and Present: The Heritage of a Specter in La Phalène des collines by Lamko.” Passages, Seuils, Portes, Contemporary French and Francophone Studies Colloquium. St. Louis, 17-19 March 2016.
  • “Mémoire et Imag(e)ination: La Représentation de la violence et du génocide cambodgien par l’art séquentiel.” Sequential Art and Catastrophes: Comics, Mangas, Graphic Novels. Université Paris 3- Sorbonne Nouvelle. Paris, 11- 13 February 2016.
  • “Le Génocide rwandais: Voix collective et mémoire multidirectionnelle (Moisson de crânes de Waberi).” Congress of the Conseil International d’Etudes Francophones. San Francisco, 29 June-6 July 2014.
  • “The Pain of Incest in Déwé Gorodé’s L’Épave: from the Individual to the Caledonian Nation.” The Poetics of Pain, Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference. CUNY. New York, 25-26 February 2010.


  • Memory Studies Association
  • Modern Language Association
  • International Association of Genocide Scholars
  • British Comparative Literature Association
  • Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies
  • Northeast Modern Language Association
  • Women in French

Research Areas

  • 20th- and 21st-century French and Francophone Literatures;
  • Comparative Genocide Studies;
  • History and Memory;
  • Psychoanalysis;
  • Postcolonial Studies;
  • Diaspora Literature;
  • Cultural Studies;
  • Graphic Novels and Narratives;
  • Popular Culture