Dr Tonnerre head-shot in suit

Dr. Olivier Tonnerre

Director of Faculty Development

Associate Professor of French



Dr. Olivier Tonnerre grew up in Brittany, France, and after obtaining a Master’s degree from the Université de Rennes II, he worked at Reed College for two years before joining the French doctoral program of the University of California, Santa Barbara, from which he graduated in 2006. He has since taught at the University of Mississippi before joining the DFL faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2015 and promoting to Associate Professor in 2019. His main area of research concerns the representations of the nobility in 19th century French literature, and he has published several articles on this topic through the lenses of authors as varied as Bourget, Balzac, Sand, the Goncourts, Delphine de Girardin or Balzac. More recently, he published on contemporary author Michel Houellebecq’s Soumission and its hidden indebtness to Huymans. He is currently preparing a manuscript entitled “Invisible Signs” which will analyze how the representations of the French nobility have shaped and influenced 19th century literature. Dr. Tonnerre also enjoys leading French discussion tables as well as trips to Francophone countries in the company of cadets. While not teaching, he travels to France and Europe for research and vacation.