Jean-Jacques Thomas

Jean-Jacques Thomas is UB Distinguished Professor and Melodia E. Jones Chair in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Since 2008 he is UB Associate Director of Canadian Studies for Québec Affairs and Programs. From 2003 to 2008 he was the Director of Canadian Studies at Duke University. From 1990 to 2004 he was the Director of the Institute of French and Francophone Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He taught at the Université de Paris-VIII, the University of Michigan, Columbia University and Duke University; for three years he was a Visiting Professor at UQAM; in 2005 he was appointed Associate Faculty Member at the Centre d'Etudes Poétiques of the Ecole Normale Supérieure. He was a member of the COS (Comité d'Orientation Scientifique - International Expert, Humanities) for the French Universities of Aix-Marseille (Provence, Méditerranée, Paul Cézanne). He has published several books on poetics and contemporary French literature: Lire Leiris: essai d'étude poétique d'un fonctionnement analinguistique (Paris : P.V. 1972); Poétique générative (Paris : Larousse 1978); Poética Générativa (Buenos Aires : Hachette, 1982; new and augmented edition, 1989); La langue, la poésie (Lille : Septentrion, 1989); Yves Bonnefoy: A Concordance (New York : Mellen, 1990); La langue volée (Berne : Lang, 1990). With Steven Winspur he co-authored Poeticized Language (University Park :Penn State Press, 2000). He translated into French The Semiotic Web [La Toile sémiotique] by Thomas Sebeok (Bruxelles : Degrés, 1981) and Semiotics of Poetry [Sémiotique de la poésie] by Michael Riffaterre (Paris : Seuil, 1983). With Bernardo Schiavetta he published the issue 14 of Formules (“Forme / Informe” – 2009); with Hermes Salceda he edited the volume Le Pied de la lettre (2010) and he edited the special issue of Substance 123 (“Pierre Alferi”) (2011). In 2012 with Camille Bloomfield and Marc Lapprand he edited the issue 16 of Formules (“Oulipo”). His new book Ecrits sur l’Oulipo (1976-2013) is scheduled for publication in 2014. He is a founding editor (2003) and current executive editor of the European journal Formes Poétique Contemporaines [FPC] and Director of Formules (2008). He is an associate editor of Poetics Today; he is a member of the editorial boards of Studies in 20th-Century Literature, SubStance, The New Centennial Review, Québec Studies, and a former member of the Advisory Editorial Committee of PMLA. He is Directeur Littéraire (Editor-in-chief) of PUNM (New Orleans). He was chair of several MLA divisional committees (1993-1998 Theoretical linguistics; 2001-2004 -- Politics of the Profession; 2009-2014 Linguistic Approaches to Literature). He was a member of the Coalition Group of Foreign Languages Specialists which produced the National Standards for Foreign Languages (Project 2000). In recent year he organized or co-organized several colloquia: “Urbanités Littéraires – Cityscapes” (SUNY – 2009), “Le Pied de la lettre” (Universidad de Vigo, Spain, 2010); “Les Automatistes” (Albright-Knox Art Gallery – Buffalo, 2010), “Oulipo@50 - L’Oulipo à 50 ans” (SUNY – 2011); “Spectacular Quebec” ACQS Annual Outreach Seminar (SUNY -2013). He was a member of the Organizing Committee for the UB campus visit of the French Ambassador to the US (2011) and he organized the visit of the Québec Délégué Général at UB (2013). He is an elected member of the MLA Delegate Assembly (2014-2017), a Councilor on the ACSUS Executive Board (2012-2015), a CAS Senator at SUNY – UB (2013-2014), a Member of the CAS Dean’s Priorities Council, a member of the SUNY – UB AP&T committee, and he is an invited Member of SUNY Faculty Diversity Fellowship Board (2013 - ).


Research Interests:
Poetry and Poetics, Linguistics, Semiotics,19th and 20th Centuries French literature and culture,  Quebec and Canadian studies, Francophonie in North-America.