icon-arrow-down icon-arrow-left icon-arrow-right icon-arrow-up icon-calendar icon-check icon-close icon-compass icon-email icon-facebook icon-instagram icon-linkedin icon-map icon-play icon-plus icon-search icon-twitter icon-vimeo icon-youtube

Adjunct Faculty; Summer Intensive French Program Coordinator

Claire Eagle
McCone Building-M102A
(831) 647-4185

Claire is passionate about innovative pedagogy that encourages a deep engagement with the world, via vivid explorations of the form, meaning, and use of the language used to navigate real-world situations. In her classes, she marries thematic, action-based language teaching with the teaching of specific content matter, ranging from issues in intercultural communication to those of positive peace and nation-building, sustainable development, and inter-community justice. Claire is also certified to teach Professional French (French for Business, French for Diplomacy) by the Paris Île-de-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Claire has published in the fields of Political Science, French literary and democratic theory, and Second-Language Acquisition. Additional publications include translation work in democratic theory (French to English) for Diacritics and French language textbook reviews for The French Review. Claire is currently co-authoring a chapter on the representation of women in France (“Marianne repensée: femmes, culture, rupture et représentation”), to be submitted for review in March 2019.

Off-campus, Claire serves as Vice President and Director of the Monterey Peninsula Alliance Française, and is a lead organizer of the annual Alliance Française Concours de Poésie, co-sponsored by the Middlebury Institute.

Before arriving at the Institute, Claire held faculty positions at Cornell University, Sciences Po, and Université Paris XII.

Courses Taught

Courses offered in the past two years.

  • Current term
  • Upcoming term(s)

In this course we will examine the concept of security from the lens of social justice, that is, with attention to the risks posed to security by inequitable access to wealth, health, well-being, justice and opportunity. Unit 1 will concentrate on security and the body (immunization, access to care); Unit 2, security and the local community (role of women in society, social capital and social entrepreneurship); Unit 3, security and the state (gender in politics, women terrorists, privacy and cyber security); and Unit 4, security and the world (population mobility, sustainability and environment).

Dans ce cours, nous examinerons le concept de la sécurité en portant notre attention vers les risques que représente un accès inéquitable à la répartition des richesses, aux soins médicaux, au bien-être, à la justice. Le module 1 se concentrera sur la sécurité et le corps (vaccination, accès aux soins médicaux); le module 2, sécurité et communauté (rôle des femmes dans la société, capital social et entrepreneuriat social); le module 3, sécurité et Etat (genre dans la politique, femmes terroristes, vie privée et cybersécurité); et le module 4, sécurité et monde (mobilité de populations, durabilité et environnement).

Students will be assessed on the following:

• The creation and maintenance of a Middcreate website to showcase coursework

• Written compositions (5), 2 versions each

• Zoom conversations (3) on course themes with a Masters student at the University of Corsica Pasquale Paoli

• In-class presentations (2)

• Vocabulary quizzes (4)

• Final live essay, using Camtasia or iMovie

• Cahier and self-evaluation

Other course requirements include continuous and spontaneous participation both in class and online, and general preparedness for class each day (completion of daily assignments such as readings, reading responses, resumes of Radio France Internationale news stories, and so on).

This course will be conducted entirely in French, and all texts studied will be in French. Required language proficiency: ACTFL Intermediate-low to Intermediate-mid.

Spring 2019 - MIIS

View in Course Catalog

In FRLA 8211, we question the conventional understanding of political persuasion as a process in which communicators try to convince other people to change their attitudes or behavior in an atmosphere of free choice. We will grapple with the idea that persuasion may not always function as a simple, neutral vehicle by which to convey one’s political beliefs, and so may not always serve a good faith and open exchange of ideas. When, during an interview on France’s BFM TV, Marine Le Pen “alerte les Français sur l’autorisation du regroupement familial pour les migrants” (alerts the French about the authorization of family reunification for migrants), is she performing a simple transfer of information or appealing to and affirming values she knows are central to her base? What is the impact of “alerting”? Of recalling national identity (“les Français”, as if all French people shared a single objective identity) in the context of “migrants”? Of referencing authority (that of the State) and family (the blood that unites the migrants as Others)? Her statement could be mistaken for an innocent news headline, but behind her words lies a complex web of cultural distinctions and hierarchies that, without careful attention, we may remain mostly unaware of. Second language learners in particular risk “missing the point” because of the implicit nature of embedded meanings (Tanaka, 1988).

Research in pragmatics tells us that shared cultural assumptions are deeply embedded in our language, and this embeddedness is instrumental in both the intersubjective affirmation and active construction of worldviews (Bourdieu, 1990; Duranti, 1997; McConachy, 2013). The primary objective of FRLA 8211 is to guide learners to see and question this web of cultural assumptions and values in language use, and in persuasive political discourse in particular. Once students begin to have an awareness of the processes that both reaffirm and alter their cultural, social, and political realities, they have a chance to take agency over those processes. In other words, this course encourages language learners to step out of the mold of passive language imitator to foreground language learners as language users and intercultural mediators who can piece apart the layers making up contemporary political discourse and proactively weave their own stories into the complex web of French language use today.

Fall 2018 - MIIS

View in Course Catalog

The more we are exposed to a culture, the more paradoxical it often begins to seem. In this class, we do not seek to do away with neat categorizations of cultures (high Uncertainty Avoidance versus low, Individualist versus Collectivist, and so on), which are useful frames of reference. We want, however, to complicate these schemas via a series of in-depth encounters with different cultures, including our own. Students will be asked to:

• Explore the complexity of their own culture in reflective writing assignments, pointing out paradoxes where those can be found;

• Hone their observation skills by reading and decoding a range of critical incidents of cross-cultural encounters;

• Study Hofstede’s cultural dimensions as useful tools to begin conceptualizing where cultures converge and diverge;

• Choose a cultural contact (a university student studying English) among contacts provided to them from Haiti, Senegal, Togo, and France;

• Explore context-appropriate behavior in their contact’s culture, and develop hypotheses and explanations for any paradoxical conduct they encounter;

• Video-chat with their cultural contact, allowing him or her to correct misunderstandings and answer any questions about paradoxes that surface during the students’ research.

To scaffold conversations between students and cultural contacts, we will use questionnaires developed by the Cultura program at MIT. By the end of the term, students should be able to speak in an informed manner about complexities in their target culture, from the perspective of their cultural contact. Students will leave with a deeper understanding also of the French language, as they reemploy the words of their contact in their observations and interpretations of the target culture, and regularly present on and discuss this language.

Spring 2018 - MIIS

View in Course Catalog

In this course we seek to explore the concept of security, and to identify and discuss the myriad threats posed to it. Broadly speaking, this will involve exploring issues related to: food (in)security and conflict, public health (specifically, population mobility and disease prevention), terrorism, and environmental sustainability. Just as important will be the development of French language skills allowing students to discuss these issues, as well as to develop their proficiency more generally. Through in-class discussions, task-based projects, and opportunities to present (orally, in text, or “live essay” format), students will make progress in their ability to talk about contemporary challenges raised by the concept of security, while improving their French more generally.

Fall 2017 - MIIS

View in Course Catalog

Areas of Interest

Claire’s graduate work explored democracy through the lens of contemporary democratic theory and the classic French tragedy of Jean Racine. It proposed the idea of the “happy-tragic”, where the success of a democracy would be gauged by its internal mésententes or disagreements, which carve space within community for new understandings and ultimately, progress.

Today Claire is interested in how language learning, too, is propelled by debate, the negotiation of meaning, and a certain “tragic” (but not sad) recognition of gaps in a learner’s own knowledge bank. In this way, the most effective language classrooms could be seen as real-life democratic spaces. Claire’s recent research on learner perception of learning in the content-based classroom (Eagle, 2017) explores how learners grapple with the uncertainty that comes from this type of high-level language learning.

Academic Degrees

B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies, University of California, Berkeley

M.A. in Teaching Foreign Languages, Middlebury Institute of International Studies

M.A., Ph.D. ABD in Romance Studies, Cornell University


Eagle, C. (2018). [Review of the book Par Ici, by N. Desjardins]. The French Review, 92(2).

Eagle, C. (2017) Student perception of learning in the French CBI classroom. In Clausen, K., Beaulieu, R., Hill, J., Snyder, N., and Cruz Pallares, K. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2016 Conference of the Action Research Network of the Americas (ARNA). Knoxville, Tennessee, USA: ARNA.

Eagle, C. (2017). [Review of the book Saison 3: B1, Méthode de français, by Cocton et al.] The French Review, 91(1).

Eagle, C. (2017). [Review of the book Saison 4: B2 Méthode de français, by Cocton et al.] The French Review, 91(2).

Dubreuil, L. (2006). Leaving politics (C. Eagle, Trans.). Diacritics, 36(2).

Eagle, C. (2006). Ronsard’s order of illusion: A study of fantasy and form. Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities. Honolulu, HI: HICAH. ISSN #: 1541-5899.

Eagle, C. (2006). Willed space in the work of Rousseau and Wittgenstein. Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities. Honolulu, HI: HICAH. ISSN #: 1541-5899.

Eagle, C. (2003). ‘Optimal’ behavior in international negotiation: An interdisciplinary  study of Camp David. Peace, Conflict and Development, 3. doi: dx.doi.org/10.7246/pcd.0303