Visiting Professors



Thanks to the generosity of Mary L. Cornille and Jack Cogan, Wellesley College is able to appoint each year the Mary L. Cornille Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities. Cornille Professors are in residence either for a semester or a year, during which they actively engage with Wellesley College faculty and undergraduates in both formal (seminars, courses, lectures) and informal ways, participating actively in the intellectual life of the community.

The Cornille Professorship is administered jointly by the Office of the Dean and by the Newhouse Center for the Humanities, with which the Cornille Professor is automatically affiliated.

Cornille Professor 2017-2018

Rosemary Feal


Rosemary G. Feal, Executive Director Emerita of the Modern Language Association of America, led the worldwide association of humanities scholars from 2002 to 2017, where she spearheaded several major initiatives dedicated to improving language teaching and programs and providing opportunities for doctoral students of language and literature. She earned a PhD in Spanish from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, where she is Professor Emerita of Spanish and was previously a chair of their Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Humanities Alliance and the American Council of Learned Societies. Recently, she was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Commission on Language Learning, which wrote the 2017 report America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education for the Twenty-First Century in response to a bipartisan request from members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives. She is coeditor of the SUNY Series in Latin American Iberian Thought and Culture, an associate editor of the Afro-Hispanic Review and former senior consulting editor of the Latin American Literary Review. Her book publications include Isabel Allende Today; Painting on the Page: Interartistic Approaches to Modern Hispanic Texts; and Novel Lives: The Fictional Autobiographies of Guillermo Cabrera Infante and Mario Vargas Llosa, and her articles have appeared in Diacritics, MLN, Texto critic, and Letras femeninas, among others. Her keynote addresses at conferences have covered topics like the role of humanities at institutions of higher learning, trends in language study, fostering translingual and transcultural competencies, and financial literacy for department chairs. A dedicated teacher and mentor, she is the recipient of two awards for excellence in teaching.


Photo Credit: Daniel Root




Cornille Professor spring 2017

Emmanuel Akyeampong



Emmanuel Akyeampong is Professor of History and African American Studies and the Oppenheimer Director of the Center for African Studies at Harvard University. He serves as the President of the African Public Broadcasting Foundation and is a co-founder of the International Institute for the Advanced Study of Cultures, Institutions, and Economic Enterprise based in Accra, Ghana. Amongst his publications are Drink, Power, and Cultural Change: A Social History of Alcohol in Ghana, c.1800 to Recent Times (Heinemann, 1996) and Between the Sea and the Lagoon: An Eco-Social History of the Anlo of Southeastern Ghana (Ohio, 2001). He teaches a range of courses and advises within and beyond the university on African history, political economy and trade, the African diaspora, ecology, disease and law, and mental illness.





















Cornille Professor 2015-2016

Françoise Lionnet

Françoise Lionnet is Distinguished Professor of French and Francophone Studies, Comparative Literature, and Gender Studies at UCLA. She currently directs the J. S. Coleman African Studies Center, and has been the co-director of the Mellon Postdoctoral Program “Cultures in Transnational Perspective” for the past decade. She is the author of a two-volume study of Indian Ocean literature and culture, Writing Women and Critical Dialogues: Subjectivity, Gender and Irony and The Known and the Uncertain: Creole Cosmopolitics of the Indian Ocean (both published in Mauritius in 2012). Her other publications include Minor Transnationalism (2007) and The Creolization of Theory (2011), both co-edited with Shu-mei Shih; a special issue of the online literary journal Words Without Borders on Indian Ocean writing (2012); and the pioneering comparative studies: Autobiographical Voices: Race, Gender, Self-Portraiture (1989, 1991), and Postcolonial Representations: Women, Literature, Identity (1995). She has edited special issues of Yale French Studies, Signs, L’Esprit créateur, MLN, Comparative Literature Studies and the International Journal of Francophone Studies. She is currently working on two books. The first on creolization and world literature from the eighteenth century to the present is tentatively titled The Indies, Otherwise and is under contract with Stanford UP; the second, On Hope, is on French and Francophone visual culture.