B.A., Jawaharlal Nehru University (India); M.A., Purdue University; Ph.D., Duke University
Professor of French
Works in postcolonial studies, Francophone studies, cultural theory (especially French theory), cinema studies, African studies.
In July 2015 I assumed duties as Director of the Newhouse Center for the Humanities. I continue to teach classes in the French Department in the areas of my expertise: Francophone studies and theoretical issues in literature, cinema, culture, and postcolonial studies. I have published two books, Contemporary Cinema of Africa and the Disapora (Wiley-Blackwell 2014) and Hybridity: Limits,Transformations, Prospects (SUNY 2007) and am a peer-reviewed author in journals such as Diacritics, Levinas Studies, Cinema Journal, Research in African Literatures, French Forum,The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature, International Journal of Francophone Studies, Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy, Contemporary Literary Studies.
The above work includes many intellectuals/authors and filmmakers, such as, Frantz Fanon, Emmanuel Levinas, and Edouard Glissant. Others who feature in my published work are: Mariama Bâ, Sembene Ousmane, Joseph Gaï Ramaka from Senegal, Assia Djebar and Albert Memmi from Algeria, Driss Chraïbi from Morocco, Moufida Tlatli from Tunisia, Jean-Marie Teno from Cameroon, Abdourahman Waberi from Djibouti, Ananda Devi and Marie-Thérèse Humbert from a small island called Mauritius, off the coast of Africa. My current project involves French and British colonial India.
Some courses I offer in Francophone/postcolonial studies and Cinema studies are: FREN 218 (on Négritude), 331 (on African Cinema), 330 (on Postcolonialism, offered this year in English and French, cross-listed with Comparative Literature), and 334 (on Ethics and Difference). These courses involve different regions of France and the postcolonial world, employing various theoretical, historical, and creative approaches that I develop in dialog with my students. I also routinely teach FREN 210 (Historical view of French Literature and Culture), 211 (Advanced Language Studies), and 201-202 (Intermediate French in Cultural Context). All my courses involve a fair amount of close reading, theorizing, and attention to analytical expression. I enjoy directing independent study and thesis work, and have clear guidelines for students wishing to pursue these. Students should contact me in advance for independent work. I often guide students for their work or study in Francophone countries.
Beyond Wellesley, I have served extensively in the Modern Language Association: (a) Postcolonial Division Executive Committee (b) Northeast representative to the Delegate Assembly (c) Program Committee and (d) African Literature Division (currently serving). I serve on the Editorial Boards of Research in African Literatures, The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, and the Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy.Beyond these formal appointments in the profession, I review books, articles, and individuals' files in these related areas.
To stay balanced, I practice Shotokan karate, and recently earned a black belt. I live with my family in Brookline.