Prior to coming to the University of Arizona in 2010, Dr. Durand was Professor of French, English, and Film Media, and Head of French and Francophone Studies at the University of Rhode Island. His interests include the contemporary novel (France, Brazil, and US), French Cinema, Hip-Hop Culture, and Cultural and Literary Theory and Criticism. He has authored and edited four books: Black, Blanc, Beur. Rap Music and Hip-Hop Culture in the Francophone World (Scarecrow Press, 2002), Un Monde Techno. Nouveaux espaces électroniques dans le roman français des années 1980 et 1990 (Weidler, 2004), Novels of the Contemporary Extreme (Continuum, 2006) co-edited with Naomi Mandel, and Frédéric Beigbeder et ses doubles (Rodopi, 2008).
In addition to entries in the Dictionary of Literary Biography and the Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, he has published articles, chapters, and reviews on nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century French and Luso-Brazilian literature and culture in journals such as PMLA, The French Review, L'Esprit créateur, L'Atelier du Roman, Etudes Francophones, Contemporary French Civilization, Romance Notes, and Romance Quarterly. He is an associate member of the GRIC (Groupe de Recherche Identités et Cultures) at the University of Le Havre, France and of the Scientific Committee of the journal Arena Romanistica. He evaluates articles for College Literature and for Social Identities. Journal for the Study of Race, Nation, and Culture. Prof. Durand was invited to lecture as Visiting Professor at several universities and research institutions in Europe and the Americas: the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, the University of Le Havre, the University Blaise Pascal in Clermont-Ferrand, the Euromed Marseille School of Management, the University of Illinois in Chicago, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the Erasmus Mundus Master Program MacLands at the University of Stuttgart, and at the House of World Cultures in Berlin, Germany. He is also a permanent Visiting Professor at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) in Florianópolis, Brazil every Spring Break and July 15-August 15 since 2008.
Although he received his training and specializes in contemporary French literature, Dr. Durand's research has always been guided by an interdisciplinary method. In addition to literary and cultural theories, anthropologic, sociological, and philosophical approaches feed his own analysis of literature and culture. The core that influences all his scholarly projects consists of a fascination for spaces and places; intertextuality; semiotics; modern technological devices and electronics; and the kind of popular culture that characterizes the extreme contemporary.
He is currently working on several projects including several articles and chapters and a solo book project on Brazilian novelist Jorge Amado tentatively entitled The French Jorge Amado. Dr. Durand's teaching and research are closely linked because they feed each other. Durand believes in presenting his students with a practical aspect of everything they learn. It is especially important in literature because it shows students how useful reading, writing, analytical skills, and the manipulation of fiction and reality are in any job. For example, some of his students designed and maintain the official web sites of French and Belgian novelists Marie Darrieussecq and Jean-Philippe Toussaint in collaboration with the authors. Others animated public electronic fora on the web that allowed them to dialogue with several of the novelists read in class (such as Frédéric Beigbeder, François Bon, Benoît Duteurtre, Annie Ernaux, Anne Garréta, François Maspero, and Jean-Philippe Toussaint). In addition, Dr. Durand especially enjoys serving as advisor or committee member for theses and dissertations. He has directed and is currently directing two Ph.D. dissertations in English and several Senior Honors theses as well as an M.A. thesis in Spanish. He has served on numerous committees for M.A. candidates in Spanish and for Ph.D. candidates in English, French, and Marketing.
Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1999
- 20th century French Literature
- 21st century French Literature
- Brazilian Literature
- Contemporary French Literature
- French Cinema
- French Studies
- Jorge Amado