Laurent Déchery

Professor of French

Chair of the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures

I studied philosophy at the University of Paris X, Nanterre where I received my PhD in 1985. I wrote my doctoral dissertation on George Berkeley’s theory of vision.

I also studied with Algirdas Julien Greimas, at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Semiotics for three years.


My translation of Berkeley’s works on vision was published in 1985 by Presses Universitaires de France (collection Epiméthée) as part of George Berkeley’s complete works in French.


I published articles on aphorisms and such authors as Descartes, Diderot, Mallarmé, Robbe-Grillet, and director Agnès Varda.


I wrote an illustrated book introducing philosophy to young readers (Le livre des philosophes. Paris: Gallimard-Jeunesse, 1998.).


I just finished a multi-disciplinary book on perception in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It includes, among others, studies on Leonardo da Vinci, Descartes, La Fontaine, Berkeley, Montesquieu, Diderot, Buffon as well as a study on Jacques Linard’s series of still-life called “The Five Senses”.The book is untitled Le premier regard, essais d’anatomie métaphysique and was published by L'Harmattan in the fall of 2007.


I teach language courses at all levels as well as French Civilization, French Prose, French Cinema, French Songs, and more recently a course on French women writers and artists. I also teach in English, in our integrated curriculum (Curriculum II), courses on world literature, on visual literacy as well as the senior seminar.


My current interests include Denis Diderot, art, contemporary French literature (especially by women), and cinema.

I am starting a analysis on Diderot’s tales and readings of contemporary French women writers.