PhD French Literature with Concentration in Spanish, Indiana University, 2000
MA in French Literature, Indiana University, 1995
BA in French, Nazareth College of Rochester, 1993
Certificat pratique de langue française, Université Rennes II, 1992
Dr. Laura Dennis teaches French language, literature, and culture at all levels along with selected courses in Spanish. She began her career as an Associate Instructor at Indiana University, then was named Future Faculty Fellow and Lecturer at Indiana University East before coming to what used to be Cumberland College in 2001. Now Chair of the Department of World Languages, she has presented her research on cinema in the classroom, women and aging in literature, feminist geography, and the depiction of international adoption in articles and at conferences from Bowling Green to Montreal, Cincinnati to Vienna. She has also been actively involved in the University’s QEPs on critical thinking and metacognition, including a workshop she co-presented with Leonard Geddes at the 2017 SACSCOC Annual Meeting in Dallas, TX. When not on campus, she spends time with her three kids and many rescue animals; plays piano at her church, Pleasant View United Methodist; and volunteers as blog manager and occasional blogger with the Attachment & Trauma Network (ATN). Her work with ATN, a non-profit agency that aids families and children struggling with early childhood trauma, allows her to combine two of her passions–writing and helping families like her own. An avid reader and writer of creative non-fiction, she has increasingly pushed her writing beyond the bounds of academia, with pieces recently recognized by the Kentucky Women Writers Conference (Honorable Mention, 2017) and Tucson Festival of Books (Finalist, 2019).
"The Promises and Perils of Choosing (a) Language in The Namesake and Apatride" Kentucky Philological Association (KPA) Annual Conference, U Pikeville, Mar 2019
"Cultivating Appetites for Deep Learning: Instructional Practices that Generate Deep, Satisfying Learning" SACSCOC Annual Meeting, Dallas, Dec 2018
"Lost Between Worlds? Intercountry Adoption in Shumona Sinha’s Apatride" 33rd Annual Interdisciplinary Conference in the Humanities, UWGA, Sept 2018
"Does The Class Have a Chinese Exception? Language, Identity, and l’école républicaine as seen by François Bégaudeau" KPA Annual Conference, WKU, Mar 2017
Contributing editor to French 17: An Annual Descriptive Bibliography of French 17th Century Studies, 2000-2017
"Writing as Act of Memory: L’Inédit of Marie Cardinal" 31st Annual Interdisciplinary Conference in the Humanities, UWGA, Sept 2016
“Narrative, Voice, and the Craft of Historical Fiction in L’Allée du Roi by Françoise Chandernagor” Chapter 20 of Interpretation in/of the Seventeenth Century. Pierre Zoberman, ed. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2015.
“The Risks and Rewards of French Fictional Autobiography: A Comparative Case Study of L’Allée du Roi and Alabama Song” KPA Annual Conference, NKU, Mar 2015
“Apocalyptic Age? The Treatment of la vieillesse in the Work of Annie Ernaux” Kentucky Philological Review 27 (2014)