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Modern Languages and Literatures

Tessa Sermet

Tessa Sermet

Assistant Professor of French


French and Francophone literature and cultures
Science fiction studies
French film, graphic novels, visual culture

Research Interests

Twentieth- and twenty-first century French and Francophone literature
Seventeenth century French classical utopias
Science fiction studies, utopian and dystopian literature
Spatial studies
French film, graphic novels, visual culture
Relationships between Brazilian and French modernism
Portuguese language and Brazilian culture


PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison (French)
MA, University of Geneva, Switzerland
BA, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Courses Taught

FREN 110 Beginning French I
FREN 112 Beginning French II
FREN 326/MUSC 302 Chanson et société
FREN 380 Utopia to Science Fiction
PORT 120/MUSC 120/ LING 120 Beg Portuguese Thru Brazilian Music


“Blaise Cendrars e o Modernismo Brasileiro: a (Re)descoberta do Brasil.” Spanish & Portuguese Review Vol. 2 (January 2017).

“Transparence Utopique et Scientifique: La Nuit des Temps de René Barjavel.”
In: Chimères – A Journal of French and Francophone Literatures and Cultures,
The University of Kansas: Volume XXXII (New Series), Fall 2015.

Book Review

Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, vol. 28.2, Summer 2018.
GUAY Patrick, Jacques Spitz: le mythe de l’humain. Pessac: Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux, 2016, (2017).

Symposia Organized

Graduate Association of French and Italian Students (GAFIS)
30th Symposium: “Turning Point”
Keynote speaker: Robert T. Tally Jr., Texas State University, 2017.


“Reproduction, Sex, & Gender: Variations on the Concept of Labor in Élisabeth Vonarburg’s In the Mothers’ Land.” SFRA – Annual conference, Milwaukee, WI, 2018.

“Devolution and Simian Genesis in Chevillard’s Sans l’orang-outan.” MMLA – Annual conference, Cincinnati OH, 2017.

“La Garderie du Pays des Mères de Vonarburg: une Hétérotopie Éducationnelle?.” PAMLA – 114th Annual Conference, Pasadena CA, 2016.

“Contraintes Spatiales et Progrès Social: Études des Phases de Transition dans le Transperceneige/Snowpiercer.” Congrès Boréal – Exodes et Voyages Infinis, Mont-Laurier, Québec, Canada, 2016.

“Transparence Utopique et Scientifique: La Nuit des Temps de René Barjavel” Annual Graduate Student Conference. Department of French and Italian, University of Kansas, 2015.
Prof. Samira Sayed Prize for best conference paper.

“Utopia(s) and Constraints: the Testimonial Function in Perec’s W ou le souvenir d’enfance.” Annual Graduate Student Symposium, “GAFIS.” Department of French and Italian, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2015.

“Blaise Cendrars e o Modernismo Brasileiro: a Redescoberta do Brasil.” Annual Graduate Student Conference, “Kaleidoscope.” Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2015.

“Rites of Passages and Biopower: towards Posthumanism in Snowpiercer and Le Transperceneige.” PCAS/ACAS – Annual conference, New Orleans, LA, 2018.