Hélène Laroche DavisHélène Laroche Davis, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Modern Languages and Cultures

Chair, Intensive Liberal Studies

Born in Lyon, France, Hélène Laroche Davis received a B.A from the University of Lyon, a M.A from the University of Paris Sorbonne. She came to Stanford as a Fullbright scholar and received a PhD from Stanford University.

She published a book in Paris on a Surrealist poet Robert Desnos. Numerous articles on French literature and cinema written by her were published in reviews, magazines and newspapers in the United States.

After working with famous French film director François Truffaut for several years, she published a book on his work focusing on his film SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER, at Rutgers University Press. In 1974, she founded The French Ciné-Club of Palo Alto which she still directs with success. It is a cultural meeting place for francophiles and film fans. Hélène Laroche Davis introduced film courses at College of Notre Dame in the early 80’s. She now teaches French courses as well as culture and film courses. She travels to France every year and attends film festivals.


  • Ph.D., French. Stanford University, 1974.
  • MA, English. University of Paris, France, 1961.
  • BA, . University of Lyon, France, 1958.

Courses Taught

  • French Cinema Culture and Language
  • French History and Culture I
  • History and Culture of France II
  • French Cinema
  • French Literature
  • History of France


  • PALMES ACADEMIQUES, French Government, 1999
  • Fellowship at the University of Montpellier, France, 1995
  • Fullbright Scholar, Stanford University, 1958-1959

Professional Affiliations

  • Member of the Executive Council of the AATF, 1975-1979
  • Member of the AATF, 1973-present


  • INTERVIEW WITH FRANÇOIS TRUFFAUT. Criterion Collection DVD, 2005.
  • Articles on French Cinema in LA LITOTE and JOURNAL FRANÇAIS, 1995-1998.
  • “6ème festival de Sarasota” and “La dernière folie de Diane Kurys.” LE JOURNAL FRANÇAIS D’AMERIQUE, 9-22, December 1994.
  • “Interview with François Truffaut.” SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER, Rutgers University Press,1993.
  • “Interview with François Truffaut.” CINEASTE, New York, 1993.
  • “French cinema after Truffaut.” FRANCE TODAY, No. 2, 1985.
  • “Le Truffaut que j’ai connu.” LE JOURNAL FRANÇAIS D’AMERIQUE, 1984.
  • “Un regard nouveau sur le Pianiste.” N.E.F. Paris, France, February 1982.
  • Reviewed in Le Monde, Paris, France, July 10, 1981; and L’ESPRIT CREATEUR, Summer 1982.
  • ROBERT DESNOS: UNE VOIX, UN CHANT, UN CRI. Roblot, Paris, May 1981.
  • A CRITICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY OF FRENCH LITERATURE, Vol.VI, section on Robert Desnos, pp. 1091-1099. Syracuse University Press, 1980.
  • “Rencontre avec François Truffaut dans le dernier métro.” LE JOURNAL FRANÇAIS D’AMERIQUE, November 27, 1980.
  • Book Review: David Scott: “Sonnet theory and practice in XIXth century France.” FRENCH REVIEW, May 1979.
  • “Les dix dernières années du cinéma français.” Le Californien, San Francisco, California, 1976.