Laurence M. Porter

Laurence M. Porter received three degrees from Harvard University. He taught at Michigan State University between 1963 and 2009, where he received the Distinguished Faculty Award and chaired the Department of Romance Languages and Classics. He was also an Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Visiting Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Pittsburgh. He was awarded a Senior Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and other research grants from the American Council of Learned Societies and from the Ford Foundation. He served on the editorial board of the journal Degre Second (1976-1992), and is currently on the boards of The French Review, Nineteenth-Century French Studies, Studies in Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Literature, and Women in French Studies.
He has published fifteen books and over one hundred twenty book chapters and articles in every period of French literature, in Comparative Literature, Critical Theory, Psychoanalytic Approaches to Literature, and Women's Studies. Among his best-known books are The Renaissance of the Lyric in French Romanticism; The Interpretation of Dreams: Freud's Theories Revisited; The Crisis of French Symbolism; Victor Hugo; and Women's Vision in Western Literature: The Empathic Community, with chapters on Sappho, Marie de France, Mary Shelley, Virginia Woolf, Marguerite Yourcenar, Christa Wolf, and others. He co-hosted the International Colloquium on Nineteenth-Century French Studies in 1978, and delivered the plenary address at the annual meeting of that organization in 2000.