Texas A&M University Institute of Advanced Studies

Jonathan Bibeau

Jonathan Bibeau

Working with Faculty Fellow Dr. Susan Rubin Suleiman as a recipient of the HEEP fellowship has been greatly beneficial to my research that will result in my doctoral thesis. My dissertation will focus on the conversation between the French Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida concerning the issue of hospitality in their writings. Dr. Suleiman’s expertise in the area of French Studies as well as her concern with questions of foreign and in particular Jewish identity have been invaluable to helping me situate my work within its proper historical context, as well as engage with works and issues relevant to current events. For example, I was able to help Dr. Suleiman with research concerning the contemporary author Michel Houellebecq and his controversial novel Submission (2015) which describes a fictional future in which France comes to be governed by an Islamic political party, exploring the process, conditions, and consequences thereof. This further sparked controversy when the novel was published in France on the same day as the Charlie Hebdo shooting occurred in Paris (January 7, 2015), causing an intensification of the reaction to the attitudes and political climate seemingly subscribed to in the book and by its author. As a result of our research collaboration and conversations along with another of her graduate assistants concerning the meaning and impact of this work, Dr. Suleiman plans on presenting a paper on these topics at an event later this summer.

In addition, Dr. Suleiman’s knowledge of and passion for literature has been valuable to another part of my doctoral thesis which examines the works of such authors as Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, Victor Hugo, and Fyodor Dostoevsky as to how they relate to and help us better understand the philosophical conversation mentioned above. In particular, conversations with Dr. Suleiman helped me develop a reading of the works of Franz Kafka that I presented in part at the Southwest Seminar in Continental Philosophy (May 19-21, 2016) hosted at Texas A&M University, and that will form the basis for a chapter in my dissertation.

I also had the opportunity to work with Dr. Suleiman on the preparation of two of her books for publication: The Némirovsky Question, which was published in November of 2016, as well as a re-issue of her book Le roman à thèse ou l'autorité fictive, which originally was published in 1983 and which she was preparing for re-issue in French for 2017. My role involved such tasks as preparing the respective indexes, proofreading, etc., and the resulting insights and conversations from discussing the issues brought up by these texts, especially in regards to the relationship between literature and philosophy, have informed my own thinking and preparation of my doctoral thesis which explores those themes.

Finally, the presentation on the works of Franz Kafka mentioned above that I delivered in spring of 2016 served as the basis and preliminary work for another presentation that I made on Kafka's writings, this time focusing mainly on his story The Castle. This presentation was given at a colloquium titled "Kafka: On Trial" that took place in the philosophy department of Texas A&M University on April 21, 2017.

Working with Dr. Suleiman through the HEEP fellowship has been a great benefit to my work, research, and professional development, and I look forward to our continued collaboration throughout this year.

Mr. Bibeau is expected to graduate in December 2017.  



Graduation Year

May 2017

Degree Type


Fellowship Year(s)

'15 - '16

Previous Education

M.A. Clinical Psychology - Duquesne University - '09
B.S. Psychology - Brigham Young University - '08


C. Katz


1. Kafka – Interminable Analysis. Southwest Seminar in Continental Philosophy. College Station, TX. May 19-21, 2016.