Laura Loth

Laura Loth joined the faculty of the Modern Languages Department at Rhodes College in 2009 and specializes in contemporary Francophone literature, particularly Maghrebi (North African) and Caribbean literatures. Her other areas of interest and expertise are 19th-century colonial studies, gender studies, visual studies, and immigration literature. While she was a study abroad trip to Martinique in 2007, the ground began to tremble.  Prof. Loth began incorporating environmental and ecocritical questions into her work on the North African and Caribbean novels, with a specific interest in representations of natural disasters. Francophone authors create a literature that emerges from the traumatic geographic and geologic specificities that define these territories, reflecting on modes of cultural production that defy these same limitations and resist French political and cultural models of power and domination, themselves often also traumatizing.  She has recently authored two articles, “(Re)Writing the Ruins: Yanick Lahens Post-Earthquake Narrative Revisions” and “Traumatic Landscapes: Earthquakes and Identity in Contemporary Franco-Algerian Fiction by Maissa Bey and Nina Bouraoui” that explore the intersections between disaster studies and trauma studies in postcolonial Francophone literature. Many of Prof. Loth’s courses are cross-listed in the Gender and Sexuality Studies, Africana Studies, and Film Studies programs. From 2012-2016 she received a grant from the Ministry of French Culture’s French American Cultural Exchange Program to bring the Tournées French Film festival to Memphis. Professor Loth contributes courses to the Search, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Film Studies, and Africana Studies programs at Rhodes. She also serves as the faculty liaison to the Club C.A.F.E, Rhodes’s dynamic French club and in Summer 2016 accompanied a group of Rhodes students to Brittany, France.


“Writing and Traveling in Colonial Algeria after Isabelle Eberhardt: Henriette Celarié’s French (Cross) Dressing.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature. 36.1 (Spring 2017).

“Traumatic Landscapes: Earthquakes and Identity in Franco-Algerian Fiction by Maissa Bey and Nina Bouraoui,” Research in African Literatures. 43.1 (Spring 2016).

“(Re)Writing the Ruins: Yanick Lahens’s  Post-Earthquake Narrative Revisions,” Women in French. (Nov/Dec 2015).

“The Dynamics of Natural Disasters in Two Novels by Gisèle Pineau: Re-thinking Caribbean Communities.” Contemporary Caribbean Dynamics: Re-configuring Caribbean Culture. Eds.  Savrina Chinien and Beatrice Boufoy-Bastick. Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers, 2015.

“Journeying Identities: Nineteenth-Century Women’s Travel Writing in French Colonial Algeria.” Symposium 63.2 (Summer 2009): 107-126.

"Epigraph-Effect/Eberhardt-Effect: The Death of Legend in Malika Mokeddem’s Le siècle des sauterelles.Expressions maghrébines 4.1 (Summer 2005): 125-141.


“Dressing French: Writing and Traveling in Colonial Algeria after Isabelle Eberhardt,” Western Society for French History (WSFH), Chicago, IL, November 2015

“(Re)Writing the Ruins: Dany Laferrière’s  Post-Earthquake Narrative Revisions,” Caribbean Studies Association (CSA), New Orleans, LA, 2015

Writing the Disaster: Yanick Lahens’s Failles and Haiti’s Post-Earthquake Literature,” South Central Modern Languages Association (SCMLA), Austin, TX, 2014

“Traumatic Landscapes, Natural Disasters, and Women’s Identities in the Novels of Maissa Bey and Nina Bouraoui,” South Central Modern Languages Association (SCMLA), New Orleans, LA, 2013

“Laws of Nature: Haiti’s Impact on Disaster Literature in the Francophone Caribbean,” African Literature Association (ALA), Charleston, SC, 2013

“Caribbean Citizenship and Adolescent Literature: Maryse Condé’s Geopoetic Communities,” Caribbean Studies Association (CSA), Le Gosier, Guadeloupe, 2012

“Dynamics of Natural Disaster: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Women’s Communities in Maissa Bey’s Surtout ne te retourne pas and Gisèle Pineau’s L’Espérance macadam,” African Literature Association (ALA), Dallas, TX, 2012

The Aesthetics of Disaster in two Novels by Gisèle Pineau,” Kentucky Foreign Languages (KFL), Lexington, KY, 2011

“Resisting and Resistance: Natural Disasters in Gisèle Pineau’s Macadam Dreams,” First Annual Caribbean Women Writers Conference, Medgar Evers College, Brooklyn, NY, 2011

“New Directions in Language Center Design,” Discussant, South Central Association for Language Learning Technology (SOCALLT), Hot Springs, AR, 2010

Natural Catastrophes and Caribbean Community in two Novellas by Maryse Condé and Gisèle Pineau,” Winthrop-King Institute for Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, FSU, Tallahassee, FL, 2010


Dr. Loth received her B.A. with high honors in French Studies from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in French Literature from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Her dissertation, entitled “Moving Pictures: Gender, Vision, and Narrative from Colonial Algeria to Contemporary France,” was awarded with distinction.