Linguist, poet, university professor. Born– August 24, 1955, Tuscaloosa. Parents– William Washington and Sarah Aduston (Meriwether) Humphries. Married– Ann Wahl Reiger, August 4, 1984. Married– Jeannie Smith, July 1, 1989. Education– Duke University, A.B., 1977, M.A., 1978; Yale University, M.Phil., 1980, Ph.D., 1981; received fellowship from Yale University, 1977-1981. Taught French at Yale, 1982, French and Italian at Louisiana State Univ., 1982-. Member; Modern Language Association; South Atlantic Modern Language Association; Phi Beta Kappa. Contributed to Southern Review, Book Forum, Oxford Literary Review, and others. Honors– Academy of American Poets Prize from Duke University, 1977. Commandeur de l’Ordre des Artes et des Lettres, 2001. LSU Foundation Distinguished Faculty Award, 1993. Died September 20, 2014.


Contemporary Authors online; Marquis who’s who online; LSU website


Borealis (poems).  University of Minnesota Press, 2002.

Losing the Text; Readings in Literary Desire. Athens, Ga.; University of Georgia Press, 1986.

Metamorphosis of the Raven: Literary Overdeterminedness in France and the South since Poe. Baton Rouge, La.; Louisiana State University Press, 1985.

The Otherness Within; Gnostic Readings in Marcel Proust, Flannery O’Connor and Francois Villon. Baton Rouge, La.; Louisiana State University Press, 1983.

The Puritan and the Cynic;  The Literary Moralist in America and France. New York; Oxford University Press, 1987.

Reading Emptiness:  Buddhism and Literature.  State University of New York, 1999.

The Red and the Black: The Myth of Celebrity in Stendhal’s Novel. Boston; Twayne Publishers, 1991.


Collected Poems of Edouard Glissant.  University of Minnesota Press, 2005.

Conversations with Reynolds Price. Jackson, Miss.; University Press of Mississippi, 1991.

Southern Literature and Literary Theory.  University of Georgia Press, 1990.

Joint editor:

The Future of Southern Letters.  Oxford University Press, 1996.

Poetics of the Americas:  Race, Founding, and Textuality.  LSU Press, 1997.