Denis Provencher

French and Italian
Modern Languages
Room 549

Dr. Denis M. Provencher is Professor of French and Department Head in French and Italian at the University of Arizona.  He is a scholar of contemporary French and Francophone cultural studies and queer theory and LGBT studies with an emphasis on the global, the transnational, and the intercultural. His scholarship cuts across traditional disciplinary boundaries and explores the transnational flow of languages, peoples, and ideas -- related to gender, sexuality, class, race, and religion -- across North America, Europe, and the Global South (North Africa). For example, in his first book, Queer French: Globalization, Language, and Sexual Citizenship in France (Ashgate, 2007), he adopts a queer linguistic approach to examine the role of the “closet” in a republican French context where national identity and universalism forecloses the language of sexual identity, multiculturalism, and diversity.  It draws on French literature, popular culture, and ethnographic field research and first-person accounts of “coming out” in France to examine the tensions between Anglo-American and French articulations of same-sex desire.  In his new companion volume, Queer Maghrebi French: Language, Temporalities, Transfiliations, (Liverpool UP, forthcoming 2017), he relies on adopts an intersectional approach informed by feminist and queers-of-color scholarship to examine many issues -- globalization, transnationalism, imagined kinship, sexual citizenship, and competing models of gendered modernity -- in France, North Africa, and Canada.  Through an analysis of various cultural texts and technologies produced by queer Maghrebi (North African) and Maghrebi-French photographers, performance artists, religious thinkers, novelists, and filmmakers, Queer Maghrebi French investigates a broad range of diasporic utopian spaces and identities that have emerged at the intersection of France, the Maghreb, and North America.  Mixing ethnography and literary and cultural studies, it constructs an elaborate nexus of theoretical concerns and analytical frameworks to examine the ways in which artists and writers of Maghrebi descent negotiate the competing claims of secular Republicanism, family, and religious ties.


Dr. Provencher is also editor-in-chief of the journal Contemporary French Civilization and co-editor of the new book series Studies in Modern and Contemporary France, which are both published by Liverpool. Dr. Provencher has guest co-edited special issues of several journals including the Journal of Homosexuality and Québec Studies. Currently, he is co-editing with Dr. Mireille Rosello a new book on intersectional approaches to French and Francophone Studies.  Dr. Provencher is also conduction fieldwork in Montréal, Canada for a new monograph on Queer Québec as well as new projects related to queerness along the Vermont-Québec border.