Department Languages and Literatures
My name is Eric Turcat and I teach French in theDepartment of Languages and Literatures.
First and foremost, I am the proud husband of Jessica Turcat, a prize-winning poet and Oklahoma State University graduate who teaches one of the most popular diversity courses on campus: Introduction to Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies.
On the rare occasion that she and I are not fully consumed by the task of raising our three wonderful children, we enjoy dissecting the endless political bloopers of American social media culture as well as debating the intellectual value of the latest trends in feminist critical theory.
Aside from my broader interests in the history of ideas, I remain a French classicist at heart, with a focus on 17th-century moralism. This basically means that I still indulge in the pessimist ponderings of outrageously privileged dead white males who outwardly denounce the selfish nature of human beings while inwardly relishing every ounce of their own vanity. In fact, so enduring has been my fascination for classical moralists that the next chapter of my research now has me tracing the genealogy of today's politically enlightened principles of "liberal democracy" all the way back to their more sinister origins in the radical conservatism of the prerevolutionary era.
Towards that end, I will first be organizing a virtual conference on July 31 titled "Libertines and their Money," where transatlantic scholars will share their views on how economic power was never fundamentally redistributed as a result of our revolutionary wars. In 2022, I will further ask my international colleagues to reflect on the viability of personal freedom in a world of increasingly deterministic political pressures. Virus permitting, next year's conference might even be scheduled face-to-face.