Christopher Elson

Christopher Elson

Professor of Canadian Studies & French

| Faculty Member

Christopher  Elson Christopher  Elson

BA(Vind), MA(Dal), DEA, Doctorat(Paris-IV)

Dr. Christopher Elson serves as a Professor of French and Canadian Studies in the King’s-Dalhousie Joint Faculty. He is a King’s-Dalhousie Carnegie Professor.

Dr. Elson began his post-secondary education in the Foundation Year Program at the University of King’s College and graduated magna cum laude with a Joint Honours in Philosophy and French in 1986. After a year teaching in a French lycée in Lille, he completed an MA in Dalhousie’s Department of French. He honed his teaching skills as a tutor in the Foundation Year Programme from 1989-1991, and subsequently resumed his graduate studies at the Université de Paris IV (Sorbonne), where he focused on the relation of contemporary Poetics and Ethics. He also studied at the Collège International de Philosophie and received his Doctorat de Troisième Cycle (nouveau régime) in 1995.

Selected Publications


  • Dear Reader: Selected Scott Symons (Edited and with an Introduction by Christopher Elson). Toronto: Gutter Press (A Pages Book), 1998, 318 pages.
  • Contemporary French Poetics. Amsterdam: Rodopi (coll. Faux Titre) 2002, 215 pages. (co-edited with Michael Bishop)


  • Poetry and Value (essay by Michel Deguy). Halifax: Editions VVV Editions, 2004, 47 pages.
  • Levinas and the Greek Heritage (essay by Jean-Marc Narbonnne) in Levinas and the Greek Heritage by Jean-Marc Narbonne, followed by One Hundred Years of Neoplatonism in France: A Brief Philosophical HistoryLeuven/Paris/Dudley, Mas: Peeters, 2006, pp. 3-97/256.


  • “L’entre-esthétique d’Herménégilde Chiasson” in L’art français et francophone depuis 1980/Contemporary French and Francophone Art (eds. M. Bishop, C. Elson) Amsterdam: Rodopi (coll. Faux-Titre), 2005, pp. 161-177/238.

Selected Classes Taught

  • FREN 2021 Nature and Culture
  • FREN 2801 Cinema: The French Phenomenon II. From the New Wave to the New Millenium
  • FREN 3800 French Theatre and Poetry of the 20th Century
  • CANA 2000 The Idea of Canada
  • CTMP 2325 From the Postmodern to the Extreme Contemporary:  25 years of French Culture in the World

Undergraduate & Graduate Research Topics Recently Supervised

  • PhD – La Sympathie dans l’univers de Marguerite Yourcenar (novel)
  • MA – L’esthétique du corps dans l’oeuvre de Claire Denis (cinema)
  • CSP Honours Thesis – Speaking Figuratively: Levinas’s face as seen through the words of Blanchot and Marion
  • CSP Honours Thesis – Infrastructures of Aporia: The Paradox of Faith in Jacques Derrida’s Gift of Death.
  • French Department Honours Thesis – “Je connais mes limites. C’est pourquoi je vais au-delà” Serge Gainsbourg et la permanence culturelle. (chanson française)
  • French Department Honours Thesis – L’amour dans l’oeuvre de Jacques Prévert. (20th Century Poetry)


Modern and Contemporary French literature, French and Canadian cinemas, Poetry and Philosophy, Poetry and Ecology, Acadian poetry and visual arts, French Canadian culture in Western Canada, Contemporary theories of culture, The Sublime, Eroticism, Deconstruction, Culture and Conservatism in Canada, Theories of Place, Theories of Friendship.