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  • B. Ed. French as a Second Language Teaching, Brock University, 2014
  • Ph.D. French Studies, University of Toronto, 2011.
  • B.A. French Studies, University of Western Ontario, 2002


Rocky Penate completed his doctoral thesis in French literature at the University of Toronto (2011). Specializing in 19th and 20th century literary and philosophical productions, he has primarily studied the works of Gustave Flaubert, Marcel Proust and Francis Ponge. He continues to study these now classic authors in addition to other modern artists whose post-industrial revolution works shed light on modern experiences and representations of speed. He also does research in the field of animal studies, looking to demonstrate how specifically literary forms of knowledge have contributed to thinking about animals and continue to do so. These literary and theoretical interests are complemented by a continued devotion to teaching and education, a field in which he earned an additional bachelor’s degree in 2014.   

Research and teaching interests

  • French Literature of the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Literature and philosophy
  • Animal Studies
  • History of Ideas
  • Poststructuralist Theory

Current projects

Rocky Penate is a specialist in French literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. He works primarily on literary representations of the speeds that characterize the modern experience. In addition to studying the representation of the various technological phenomena that determine modernity’s particular rythms, he is also interested in the artistic, philosophical and practical responses that they inspire. He has thus far concentrated on the writings of Flaubert, Proust and Ponge, all of who made important contributions to the the conception and representation of modernity’s defining velocities. Rocky Penate’s work attempts to demonstrate that the difference between the earliest experiences of modern speed and today’s accelerated versions, is one of degree rather than kind.

Rocky Penate’s other interests lie in the interdisciplinary field of animal studies; he is especially interested in the posterity of romanticism’s conception of nature and of the human-animal relationship, as well as a reevaluation of the machine-animal dichotomy inspired by concepts of hybridity such as Donna Haraway’s « cyborg ». Indeed, it is through such hybrid theories that his work on the representation of technology and its concomitant speeds intersects with his work on animals and their inherent embodiment.

Selected publications

  • « La poésie à l’encontre du regard animal : de Lamartine à Ponge », in Rocky Penate, Nigel Lezama and Joëlle Papillon (Eds.), « Affirmation et dénégation des animaux en littérature », Voix plurielles. To be published in 2015.
  • « Hérodias de Flaubert : le dévoilement au service de la Bonne Nouvelle »», in Rebecca Josephy (Ed.), « Tabous et interdits bibliques dans la littérature française du XIXe au XXIe siècle », Études françaises. To be published in 2015.
  • « Penser l’emprise du travail moderne à la lumière des modèles de “non-travail” inactuels : l’oisiveté nietzschéenne et l’érémitisme flaubertien, in Trajectoires [Online], no 6, 2012, published on 08 january 2013. URL : http://trajectoires.revues.org/925
  • « “Un calme confiant” : vers une conception de la patience dans Le Temps retrouvé », in Adam Watt (Ed.), Le Temps retrouvé Eighty Years After/80 ans après : Critical Essays/ Essais critiques. Oxford : Peter Lang, coll. « Modern French Identities », no 84, 2009, pp. 155-166.

Awards and achievements

  • 2007-2008 Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)
  • 2005-2007 SSHRC Doctoral Fellowhip
  • 2004-2005 Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)
  • 2002 Gold Medal in French Studies, University of Western Ontario

Selected professional and community affiliations

  • Association des Professeurs/es de Français des Universités et Collèges canadiens (APFUCC)
  • Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
University of Waterloo