Jacqueline Couti is an Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the University of Kentucky. She specializes in Francophone Caribbean, African, and New World literatures and cultures. She probes the literary constructions of eroticized and sexualized images of bodies for the promotion and propagation of identity politics and nationalistic awareness in former French colonies from the Caribbean and West Africa. She studies notions of self, gender, race and ethnicity as social and national constructs, which present the body as a reflection of colonial and postcolonial societies.
The motif of the dancing body in the French Caribbean particularly intrigues her. She sees dance as a contemporary site of resistance and healing in traditional and contemporary genres such as ladja, gwo-ka, Bel-air, hip-hop and dance-hall. She intends to constitute an archeology of representations of dance and dancers as the expression of creolization and awareness of self in Francophone Caribbean Studies. She has published articles on masculine discourse, women writers, diasporic identities, memory, and exile as well as on issues of nationhood, sexuality, gender, and violence.