Jena Whitaker
(517) 432-0713

B-230 Wells Hall

FacultyRomance and Classical Studies

Assistant Professor


Jena Whitaker holds a BA in French and Music from Rollins College, a MA in French Language and Literature from Florida State University, and a PhD in French Language and Literature from the Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, she was a pensionnaire étrangère at the École Normale Supérieure (rue d’Ulm, Paris).

Dr. Whitaker’s fields of interest include translation theory, nineteenth and twentieth-century French poetry, the birth of modernity, theories of technology, and the intersections of philosophy and literature. At MSU, she teaches lower-level and upper-level French language, literature, and culture courses. Additionally, she taught and developed a course for the Center for Integrative Studies in the Arts & Humanities entitled “Self, Society, and Technology: From Brave New World to Black Mirror.” This course introduced students to philosophical concepts theorized and advanced by French thinkers such as Michel Foucault, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Ellul, Bernard Stiegler, Gilles Deleuze, and Baudrillard to name only a few.


Ph.D., 2018, Johns Hopkins University

M.A., 2011, Florida State University

B.A., 2009, Rollins College

Awards and Honors


FRN 201: Second Year French I

FRN 202: Second Year French II

FRN 320: Self-Expression in Writing

FRN 321: Oral Expression

FRN 340: Introduction to Reading French Literature

FRN 415: Introduction to French Studies I: Metropolitan France

FRN 425: Advanced Studies in French Language

IAH 206: Self, Society, and Technology: From Brave New World to Black Mirror


“Introducing French Literature through Translation.” In Teaching Literature in Translation: Pedagogical Contexts and Reading Practices eds. Brian James Baer and Michelle Woods, Routledge.

“Michel Deguy, translation, and the primary chiasmus.” Modern Language Notes, vol. 136, no. 6, Sept 2021, pp. 13-30.

“Les parenthèses – un temps d’écriture, un temps du dehors: Blanchot, Derrida, Mallarmé.” in Léçon d’économie générale: l’expérience limite chez Bataille-Blanchot-Klossowski (Ed. Alain Milon) Presses Universitaires de Paris Nanterre, 2019.

“Désir de lire, désir de traduire.” Modern Language Notes, vol. 132, no.4, Sept. 2017, pp. 821-828.

“Histoires Extraordinaires: World-Wide Fame.” Edgar Allan Poe in 20 Objects from the Susan Jaffe Tane Collection, edited by Gabrielle Dean and Richard Kopley, Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University, 2016, pp. 121- 125.

“Gérard de Nerval”. The Literary Encyclopedia. Ed. Nigel Harkness. First published 27 July, 2015.