Graduates 2020-2021 News: French & Francophone Studies spring2021more Uncategorized

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Graduates 2020-2021 News News: French & Francophone Studies spring2021more Uncategorized

Félicitations, Class of 2021!

Congratulations to our splendid graduates, all majors in French & Francophone Studies:

Class of 2021

Jutta Appiah, Elizabeth de Jager, Manon Diz, Emily Foster, Danielle Grae, Justin Kaley, Zoe LeMenestrel, Noelle Mlynarczyk, Sally Mullis, Tristan Ramage, Monica Sandu, Lou Sheridan, Nori Thurman, Maddie Turner, and Madeleine Walker.


Graduates 2020-2021 News News: French & Francophone Studies spring2021more Uncategorized

Well-Deserved Honors



Justin portraitJustin Kaley, “Le mollétisme comme paradigme : le déclin et l’avenir en doute du Parti socialiste de France” (High Honors)




Sally Mullis portraitSally Mullis, “Des Oiseaux Spectaculaires: Birds Observed and Imagined in French Culture under Louis XIV” (Highest Honors)




Nori ThurmanNori Thurman, “La Noblesse de Diplôme”: Evolution of the French Baccalauréat as an Instrument of Elite Selection (High Honors)



fall2020 News: French & Francophone Studies Uncategorized

Congratulations to our December Graduates!


As the semester draws to a close, the Program in French & Francophone Studies salutes graduating major Manon Diz and graduating minors Michael DeMatteo, Margaret Lawrence, and Mariana Erana Salmeron. We are very proud of your diverse accomplishments and know that you will fare well in the years to come. Félicitations!


Manon Aigues MortesManon Diz: “I think one of the saddest parts of finishing up my undergraduate studies at William & Mary is the fact that I won’t be having any more French classes! When I look back on my years as a French student here at W&M, I am blown away by how much everyone in the department (students and faculty alike) have helped me grow, and I will always cherish the connections I’ve made through my French studies. While I do not yet have set plans, I am considering TAPIF and pursuing a Master’s degree in ESL/Bilingual Education in the near future, both of which would allow me to continue using what I have learned as a French major!

Michael DeMatteoMichael DeMattteo: “When applying for college I knew William & Mary was where I wanted to go. French […] was an integral part of my identity here on campus. I lived in the French House my sophomore year and enjoyed cooking and preparing French pastries from my time living in France and apprenticing under a French pastry chef in high school. I was a private tutor in the Williamsburg community for French and mathematics, helping fellow W&M students and high school students prepare for advanced French courses  and SAT II subject tests. Upon graduation, I will be working for CapCenter LLC as a product analyst in their digital department.”

MargaretMargaret Lawrence: “I am a recent graduate of the College, majoring in Chemistry and minoring in French and Francophone Studies as well as Biochemistry. This summer, I will begin my studies at medical school and I am so delighted  to embark on my lifelong dream of becoming a physician. It is my plan to specialize in one of the subsets of primary care medicine so that I may practice in under-served rural, urban, and international communities. I am confident that my education at William and Mary will serve me well as I pursue these endeavors and I look forward to using my French language skills in abroad settings.”

MarianaMariana Erana Salmeron: “Hello, my name is Mariana and I am a graduating senior. I majored in Global Studies (Europe) and minored in French. I come from a very international background so it was a wonderful opportunity to study abroad in Strasbourg, France, through the IFE program. For my last semester I was a Teacher Assistant in a French 101 class, which was such a joy. It was a great experience since I am interested in the education sector and I am applying to graduate programs in that field.”

fall2020 News: French & Francophone Studies Uncategorized

A Spectacular Project

Paul Hardin_1“Who has the right to script their own story?” This is the question that French and Music double-major Paul Hardin has been asking himself for over a year now, as he fine-tunes the script of Spectacular, a musical theater production which he hopes to see performed on campus by the end of his senior year. The idea was born in a COLL 100 seminar which Paul took during his first semester on campus: having always had a passion for drama and history, he enrolled in Prof. Pacini’s “Spectacular Politics” course on political theater and the theatricalization of politics in early modern France. Here Paul discovered Le Cid, a classical tragedy by Pierre Corneille (1636), and he was moved by the cheerless destiny of a princess whose personal happiness has to be sacrificed to the social duties associated with her rank. The plight of this noblewoman inspires the plot of Paul’s new musical, which he sets a full century later, in 1745, when notions of individual rights and hopes of personal fulfillment are finally emerging.

Spectacular follows the intertwined ambitions and desires of a provocative young playwright (Nicolas) and a newly married (fictional) princess, future queen of France (Léonore). The Dauphine, as she is called, is inspired by the revolutionary theater she sees: she who had grown up watching Corneille’s Le Cid now finds a much more exciting behavioral model in Nicolas’ Pygmalion. In fact, just like Nicolas and his inevitably censured work, she too is fighting to assert her own agency and to script her own life. All this provides plenty of emotional drama, but, as the title suggests, Spectacular is also rich in meta-commentary about theater and the inspiration it provides. This argument is strengthened by Paul’s understanding of the work of French historian Jeffrey S. Ravel, who has traced the emergence in the eighteenth century of an increasingly autonomous and demanding French theater public. Spectacular thus weaves an important third character into its story: a rowdy Parterre (personification of the pit) who contests royal authority and the conventions it upholds. Monarchic policing notwithstanding, the Parterre too develops a voice and agency of its own, in this case to criticize and then select the royal theater’s repertoire.

Paul started work on the script for Spectacular during an independent study with Prof. Pacini in the Spring of 2020. He has now completed and workshopped the full text through a theater-writing class led by Prof. Tanglao-Aguas in the Department of Theater, Speech and Dance, and over the course of next year he will be working with Prof. Hulse in the Music Department to compose the musical score. Why do all this work? Paul explains: “I always like sharing stories that people haven’t necessarily heard of — and doing it in through the medium of my choice: that’s something that I’m really passionate about. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have such showy material: it makes for great musical theater.”

fall2020 News: French & Francophone Studies Uncategorized

Kudos to our Teaching Assistants!

Every year a group of advanced students is invited to serve as Teaching Assistants (TAs) for our FREN 101-202 language classrooms. These students — typically majors in French & Francophone Studies — enroll in a department-wide foreign language pedagogy course (MDLL 401) and conduct observations of professional instructors in action. They also meet every week with the French Language and Tutoring Program Coordinator, Professor Angela Leruth, who provides guidelines and suggestions for how to create tailored activities for the next Friday’s review class. The TAs design their own activities to reinforce the week’s most important grammar, vocabulary, and culture points, and they often add in a game or song to share their love of Francophone music.

Screen Shot 2020-11-13 at 11.50.02 AMScreen Shot 2020-11-12 at 2.37.16 PM This year’s French TAs are Manon Diz, Caitlin Glauser, Sally Mullis, Mariana Erana Salmeron, and Tristan Ramage. When asked to share their thoughts about this experience, they commented on the excitement of “getting a peek behind the curtain to see what goes into planning a lesson.” They clearly enjoyed learning how to integrate culture and language teaching, and more generally they spoke of the pleasure of helping — and connecting with — other students across language and spatial barriers (unfortunately their teaching is all remote this semester!).

2020 has been a particularly challenging year as our TAs have had to overcome both the technological and the pedagogical difficulties of teaching over Zoom. They have had to find replacements for the traditional white board (students need to hear and see new language structures) and they cannot count on the usual visual cues that accompany and support classroom communication. Given the number of students in their classes, the TAs cannot even see everyone’s face at the same time!

Ultimately, however, the TAs agree on the value of the experience and of the skills they have acquired. The work has certainly been a useful grammar review for them, but it is also a meaningful way “to give back to William & Mary.” Furthermore, as one TA put it, “I definitely think that there are transferable skills.” Being a TA has taught them to manage their time and to create a lesson plan or presentation that is clear and flows well. It offers good practice in public speaking. Other useful skills include flexibility and quick-thinking (“being able to think on your feet”), and the ability to connect and develop relationships with people even without a fully shared common language (even FREN 101 is taught in the target language). These skills will serve our TAs well, whatever the professional path they end up choosing: they will be at ease in a classroom, but also know “how to engage a board, engage a client.”

We wish them all the best!

fall2020 News News: French & Francophone Studies

A Virtual Fête de la Recherche

Fête de la Recherche_1Just like our students’ research, the Fête de la Recherche goes on!


Once again, a highly motivated group of seniors organized, publicized, and graciously hosted this signature event of the French & Francophone Studies Program. The 2020 Virtual Fête was a unique opportunity for students, faculty, and alumni to hear about research recently conducted during a class trip to Guadeloupe; a summer study program in Montpellier; a semester course on campus; and two year-long honors thesis projects. This year’s program also included a conversation with alumna Laura Wagstaff Henderson (’09) who spoke eloquently about the many ways in which the research she did as a French & Francophone major has benefited her professional life. It was incredibly nice to see her again!

Program Highlights:

  • Manon Diz, “Contested Memories: Reimagining the Colonial Narrative of Slavery”
  • Sophia Morakis, “Modern Museography: An Analysis of the Exhibit Measure and Control”
  • Helen Heaton, “The Oppression of Women under the Vichy Regime”
  • Nori Thurman, “The Elite Advantage: The Past, Present, & Future of How Élitisme Républicain and the Baccalauréat Contribute to Educational Inequality in France”
  • Sally Mullis, “Des Oiseaux Spectaculaires: Birds Imagined, Observed, and Discovered in French Court Culture under Louis XIV”

Sally Mullis and Kelly Sherman did a wonderful job introducing our speakers over Zoom, and Jamie Holt designed our beautiful poster. We are similarly grateful to Maddie Turner who organized a Study Abroad Fair in association with this event.


Graduates 2019-2020 News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2020 More

Congratulations to French and Francophone Studies Major Kristen Popham!

Kristen Popham ’20 (double major in French and Francophone Studies and Government) has been awarded the prestigious Lord Botetourt Medal, which was established in 1772 “for the honor and encouragement of literary merit.” The link to the full story can be found here:,-staff,-students-during-virtual-ceremony.php#bot

Congratulations, Kristen!! Bravo!

Faculty Awards News News: French & Francophone Studies News: German Studies Spring 2020

3 MLL Faculty Receive Diversity Recognitions 2020

W&M’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion has recognized three MLL faculty this year for their “outstanding work as an advocate of diversity and inclusion”: Katherine Kulick (French and Francophone Studies, TESOL), Magali Compan (French and Francophone Studies), and Jennifer M. Gülly (German Studies). Congratulations! You can read what others have said about their efforts, and also see who else has won a recognition award this year. More here.

Alumni Updates: French & Francophone Studies fall2019more News: French & Francophone Studies

French and Francophone Studies Program Celebrates Student Research

On Friday, October 25, 2019, the French and Francophone Studies Program celebrated its annual Fête de la Recherche, an opportunity for students to present their research to their professors and peers. This research is drawn from honors theses, courses, internships, Monroe projects, or as part of a study abroad program (e.g. Montpellier summer, IFE). This year featured the following student presenters:
Jack Ruszkowski – “Street Soccer and Integration in France and Morocco”(French 314: Introduction to French and Francophone Cultural Studies)
Elizabeth Vanasse – “Street Art in Guadeloupe” (Francophone African Literature trip to Guadeloupe in spring 2019)
Julie Luecke – “Jeanne d’Archetype: Gendered Representations of Joan of Arc in Film” (Honors Thesis)
Kristen Popham – “An Archeology of the Postcolonial Narrative: The Role of the artist in constructing a new political imagery of postcolonial identity” (Honors Thesis)
Teddy Wansink – “Modernity Leave: The sexualized mother of French New Wave Cinema” (McCormack-Reboussin Memorial Scholarship in French, Honors Thesis)
Manon Diz – “Guadeloupe’s Contested Memories” (Francophone African Literature Trip to Guadeloupe, spring 2019)
Davidson Norris – Montpellier Summer Program, Summer 2019
Additionally, the Fête featured alumni keynote speaker and Williamsburg, VA native Jake Nelson, who graduated from William & Mary in 2011 with a double major in Music and French and Francophone Studies.
Seniors in the French and Francophone Studies Program planned, organized, and coordinated the event.
News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2018

A Mural for Washington Hall

For one week in April, the lobby in Washington Hall looked a bit like a construction site, replete with scaffolding and yellow tape. If you took the time out of your busy day, you could look up towards the ceiling, and observe the evolution of a work of art. Students in Prof. Magali Compan’s class “Contested Memories in Postcolonial Francophone Cultures” had to opportunity to learn directly from the artists Kid Kreol and Boogie. Read more here.

News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2019

Finding Cajun, documentary by Prof. Nathan Rabalais

nathan-rabalaisNathan film festival

Saturday, February 2, 2019
2:30pm – 4pm
Tucker Hall, 127A (Tucker Theater)

Directed by W&M professor Nathan Rabalais, Finding Cajun (2018) makes its Virginia premiere during the W&M Global Film Festival. The documentary presents a critical perspective on the origin and evolution of Cajun identity. Q&A with director to follow.

In the film, we see how Cajuns compare to the present-day Acadians in maritime Canada, a community that is supposedly at the historical root of Cajun ethnicity. The film examines how cultural and racial labels in Louisiana have shifted, especially over the past 70 years, and considers the stakes of maintaining (or losing) heritage languages in the United States. Through interviews with leading experts filmed on site in Louisiana, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, viewers will discover the diversity and complexity of South Louisiana’s French- and Creole-speaking communities and see how Americanization, racism, and language shift have reshaped the cultural landscape of Louisiana.

WMGFF poster Finding Cajun


Fall 2018 News: French & Francophone Studies Uncategorized

Fête de la Recherche 2018

Fête de la Recherche 2018 - Programme (1) (dragged)

The French and Francophone Studies Program celebrated its annual Fête de la Recherche on Friday September 28, 2018. This year’s celebration featured stimulating research presentations from students, information about the French and Francophone Studies Program and FFS course offerings for Spring 2019, a study abroad round table, and perspective on life after graduation and career options for FFS majors.

Faculty Profiles Fall 2018 More News: French & Francophone Studies Uncategorized

Welcome New Faculty: Vanessa Brutsche


Welcome to our new faculty member Vanessa Brutsche, Visiting Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies with a specialization in the intersections between spatial theory, the politics of memory, and historical violence in French and Francophone literature and cinema. Her broader interests include 19th–21st century literature, film history and theory, Holocaust and memory studies, and theories of space, place, and geography.

What have you most enjoyed about the courses you’re teaching at William and Mary so far?

 This semester I’m teaching FR393, “Flânerie on Film: Urban Space in French Cinema,” which explores not only various representations of the modern city inbutschex200 French cinema, but also how cinema has been used at times to critique or theorize new forms of urbanism and the changing politics of space. I’ve especially enjoyed the opportunity to visit so many historical moments (from the late-19th century to the present) and read different kinds of texts with this class, including cultural history, sociology, philosophy, and critical theory.

Of course, one of the best parts of teaching this class is getting to rewatch the films – ranging from avant-garde, surrealist films to classics by major filmmakers like Renoir and Godard. I find it thrilling that films made decades ago can still feel radical to students watching them for the first time, even though we live in such a media-saturated culture. That defamiliarization of what we are surrounded by every day – moving images – can lead to truly exciting and productive class discussions.

I’m also currently teaching Intermediate French (FR201). The thing I enjoy the most about teaching at this level is getting to witness the students’ progress – which happens so quickly! – especially because they are typically so focused on getting through the semester that they don’t realize how far they have come. It’s exciting to hear their use of the language get progressively more sophisticated.

Now that you’ve been here a few months, how has your time at William and Mary been so far? 

My time so far has been wonderful! everyone is incredibly welcoming. I’m continuously impressed with how open, inquisitive, and talented the students are, and the motivation they bring to the classroom. I’m also very much enjoying being a member of the Modern Languages & Literatures Department, in which there is such a strong sense of community across the diversity of languages and cultures represented.

How do you approach teaching cinema and film to students who have never taken a course on it before? 

I try to strike a balance between introducing the vocabulary and methodological tools that are specific to the study of cinema and addressing the analytical questions that advance our class discussions. In my current course on cinema and urban space, this has been somewhat facilitated by the fact that we began with the first films produced in France (by the Lumière brothers in the 1890s) and have progressed through film history more or less chronologically. Seeing how certain techniques develop as the technology advances and as filmmakers experiment with the medium allows a lot of formal qualities to stand out in early cinema that we otherwise take for granted in more recent, narrative cinema – like the effects of montage, or how our point of view is constructed by framing and camera movements.

What are your current research projects?

As a literature and film scholar, I specialize in modern and contemporary France, with an emphasis on 1945 to the present. My current research focuses on the intersections between critical theories of space and the memorial legacies of historical violence. The book project I am working on explores how the language of what was called the “concentrationary universe” appears in texts and films to describe the conditions of modern life, at a moment when France’s urban landscape was undergoing massive changes. Overall, my work is dedicated to understanding the ways in which writers and filmmakers refused to allow the camps to be remembered solely as a thing of the past, closed off in space and time, and instead insisted on the political and ethical urgency of continuing to grapple with the phenomenon of the camps.

Faculty Profiles News: French & Francophone Studies sidebar Spring 2018 Spring 2018 More

Maryse Fauvel (French and Francophone Studies) Retires

Grad 25 LargeMaryse Fauvel, Professor of French and Francophone Studies, retires this year after more than twenty years of teaching at W&M. During her tenure at W&M, Professor Fauvel published Exposer “l’autre”. Essai sur la Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration et le Musée du quai Branly (2014); Tâches d’encre, Maryse Fauvel, co-author, Heinle Cengage (2011); A vous de voir ! De l’idée au projet filmique (2010); and Scènes d’intérieur: Six romanciers des années 1980-1990 (2007). She has inspired her students through her innovative teaching, especially her focus on students’ writing. A fierce advocate for the faculty of MLL, she served as Chair of the department from 2013-2017. In addition to her research and scholarship, Maryse was extremely active in faculty service and governance at the University. Maryse championed student-centered learning and challenged her students at every point to become critical thinkers and polished writers. She will be sorely missed!

Faculty Profiles News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2017 More Spring 2018 Spring 2018 More Uncategorized

Professor Nathan Rabalais (French and Francophone Studies) publishes book of original poetry

Prof. Brett Brehm sat down with Nathan Rabalais to talk about his new book of original poetry in French, Le Hantage: un ouvrage de souvenance, just published by Éditions Tintamarre.


BB: I’m intrigued by the play of text and image in this book. Could you tell us how you conceived of that interplay?

NR: I think I’ve always been in touch with the visual aspect of art. Even when playing or writing music, I often imagine shapes, colors, or different contours when performing or thinking about themes and structure. This was just a great way to do it in a very explicit way and have the images accompany chapters and certain poems. It was also an opportunity to work with my brother, David, who is a fantastic photographer.

BB: Are there particular poetic traditions from which you are drawing here? Who and what were your main sources of inspiration for these poems?

Jacques Prévert has been a big influence on my style from the beginning. I’d like to think I emulate him in sort of a ‘false simplicity’ – using short and musical phrasings that often hide more complex plays on words or internal rhymes. But since I mostly write in Louisiana French, I think I’m influenced on a deeper, less obvious level by a lot Louisiana poets who paved the way for writing in our French (Deborah Clifton, Jean Arceneaux, Kirby Jambon and others).

BB: Could you tell us about the particular poetic language you are using here, and perhaps how that language relates to place?

NR: This book is very much rooted in Louisiana – in the language, the images, and overall esthetic. I try not limit myself to strictly oral style of Louisiana French, since the way I speak is a product of my whole experience with French (in Canada and France). I do love finding inspiration in the Dictionary of Louisiana French (2010) and finding words that remind me of my childhood or words I’ve never seen. I think we can do these words honor by reviving them and using them in new poems. To me, that’s the best way of appreciating immaterial heritage and culture – to keep using it and make it relevant.

BB: I’ve never heard the word ‘hantage’ before… is it a Louisiana French word?

I actually made this word up! It’s based on hanter (to haunt, frequent, return). There is a word in French hantise that has a similar connotation, but I’ve noticed that Louisiana French has a certain affinity for using –age at the end of verbs to make them nouns. For example, I’ve heard words like parlage (speaking), dormage (sleeping, slumber). It’s fascinating. And since my book is about how memory is processed, often without our even choosing to process it, I organized the book into chapters, each one related to a step of that process. That’s why there is a lot of imagery of waves and water in the book; it becomes a symbol of memories or feeling coming and going in their own time.

BB: Merci, Nathan!

NR: Merci à toi!

Faculty Profiles News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2018 More Uncategorized

Bienvenue! Welcome, Prof. Déborah Lee-Ferrand!

We are happy to welcome our new colleague Déborah Lee-Ferrand to our department! We sat down with her to hear about her exciting courses and research, including her new course “Food for Thought” and her dissertation. Bienvenue!

Alumni Updates: French & Francophone Studies News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2018 Featured Spring 2018 More Uncategorized

Jesse Tanson (French and Francophone Studies, ’18) Receives Highest Honors for Thesis on French Hip Hop


Throughout his time at W&M, Jesse Tanson has studied a wide range of topics in French and Francophone Studies, including cinema, literature, and creative writing. Jesse studied abroad in Strasbourg through the IFE program and worked in cinema there. He was also the recipient of the French program’s most prestigious award: the McCormack-Reboussin scholarship, which supports significant undergraduate research projects abroad. This research trip to Paris became the basis for Jesse’s honors thesis research. Following graduation, Jesse will teach English in the Aix-en-Provence/Marseille Region with the TAPIF (Teaching Assistant Program in France) program.



Félicitations, Jesse! Bonne continuation!

News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2018 More

Celebration of “la Francophonie”!

Every year, the month of March features a week dedicated to the French-speaking world: la Francophonie! The diverse cultures and accents of la Francophonie are celebrated throughout the world with art, festivals, and cultural events; and William and Mary is no exception!
IMG_4803 IMG_4790
Prof. Angela Leruth organized a series of fun and engaging events including an art exhibit, a cheese tasting, a showing of the film Respire, and a delightful concert on March 19 featuring music by our talented colleagues Profs. Brett Brehm and Anne Rasmussen. The talent of our students was also showcased; Abner Mondoloka (Music), Jesse Tanson (French) who DJ’d with a variety of French hip hop, and the students in Prof. Rabalais’s Creative Writing course shared their collectively written poem on la Francophonie.

Merci beaucoup to Prof. Angela Leruth and to everyone that helped make this event such a success!


Faculty Awards News: French & Francophone Studies Plumeri sidebar Spring 2018 More Uncategorized

Plumeri Award for 2018: Michael Leruth

Michael Leruth has been recognized for his outstanding dedication to his students and the university with the prestigious Plumeri award. This prize shows the great appreciation and support for his work from both his colleagues and the student body.

Michael Leruth at the Centre Pompidou in Paris
Michael Leruth at the Centre Pompidou in Paris

Michael Leruth holds a Ph.D. in French from Penn State University (1995) and teaches courses and conducts research on modern and contemporary French society and culture.  His particular areas of interest are French national celebrations, French political culture and national identity, the French Republic, the history of ideas and intellectuals in France, and contemporary art.  He has published articles on the topics in leading journals in the field of French cultural studies such as The French Review, French Cultural Studies, French Politics and Society, Modern and Contemporary France, Contemporary French Civilization, and Sites: Contemporary French and Francophone Studies.  Since 2004, he has collaborated with the French media artist Fred Forest, participating in Forest’s networked happening The Digital Street Corner (Art Basel Miami Beach, 2005) and providing the voice of the avatar Ego Cyberstar for a performance piece in the Second Life environment (Flux Factory, New York, 2010).  Michael Leruth regularly offers engaging courses on art, identity, and culture in France, like his COLL 150 Je suis Charlie. As one of the foremost specialists on French contemporary art, his book Fred Forest’s Utopia: Media Art and Activism was published just last year by MIT Press. Félicitations, Prof. Leruth!

Alumni Updates Alumni Updates: French & Francophone Studies News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2018 More Uncategorized

Maryse Fauvel Lecture Series

This exciting new lecture series recognizing the distinguished career of Prof. Maryse Fauvel began with a lecture entitled “Screening Racialized France: Immigration, Discrimination, and Citizenship in Contemporary French Cinema”. The thought-provoking lecture was given on Feb. 23 by Prof. Cybelle McFadden (W&M ’97) from University of North Carolina, Greensboro following a screening of Ligne de couleur (2015) from director Laurence Petit-Jouvet. Asa former student of Maryse Fauvel, Prof. McFadden spoke of her profound impact on her own research path and career.


The Fauvel Lecture Series honors Prof. Maryse Fauvel upon her retirement after 26 years of extraordinary dedication to The College of William & Mary. Guest lecturers will speak to the latest trends in French & Francophone cultural studies, engaging issues of socio-political relevance through original analyses of literature, new media, and other texts broadly defined. The series is an important part of the French and Francophone Studies section’s focus on issues of diversity, inclusion, and finding common ground in the increasingly diverse societies of the Francophone world.

This lecture was sponsored by the Wendy & Emery Reves Center for International Studies; the Dean’s Office; the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures; the Program in European Studies; and the Program in Film & Media Studies.


Maryse Fauvel and Cybelle McFadden (left to right)
Maryse Fauvel and Cybelle McFadden (left to right)
Fall 2017 Issue Featured News: French & Francophone Studies News: Hispanic Studies

French and Francophone Studies/Hispanic Studies: Experiences in Granada

Experiences in Granada, Spain

Julie Luecke (French and Francophone Studies, ’20)


IMG-20170627-WA0002In 2014, I spent three days in Granada, Spain, with a family I had known growing up. I distinctly remember walking around the fountain at los Reyes Católicos, the main square in Granada, with braids in my hair but not a single Spanish word in my mouth. I learned a few simple phrases (like no puedo ver–extremely useful for trying to watch TV with 5 younger children), but I swore I’d come back one day when I could truly appreciate the city by speaking its language (and ordering at Los Italianos, a gelato shop, by myself).

Three years later, I sat at the base of the same fountain at los Reyes Católicos with braids in my hair with my three host sisters, giggling and exclaiming at each other en español.

Through the Charles Center, I had received a grant to do cultural research in Granada, the final Moorish stronghold in the 1400s. In order to communicate with participants in my research though, I had to get a hold on the Spanish language. I had taken French all through high school (and am now a French major), so I was able to take accelerated Spanish classes with absolutely incredible professors: Profesora Carrion in the fall and Profesor Terukina in the spring.

Originally, I only took Spanish classes in order to conduct my research in Spain, but I loved class so much (especially thanks to two of my classmates, Will and Diana, who made having class EVERY MORNING at 9am bearable) that I decided to continue upon my return to the states. In Spanish 207 this fall with Profesora Baker, I remember turning in my first essay in Spanish, thinking, wow, just over a year later, I am capable of producing a coherent, persuasive, work in a language I had promised myself years ago that I would learn. It wasn’t particularly complex, but I was proud of my small feat on the way to fluency.Luecke 2

Unfortunately, I have to take next semester off Spanish classes as I study in Morocco, though I hope to continue its usage, especially in the Northern part of the country. I’ve still never ordered at Los Italianos by myself though, so it looks like I must take a small detour to Spain to visit my host family and their beautiful city again.

Fall 2017 Issue Featured News: French & Francophone Studies

French and Francophone Studies: Editing a Criminal Law and Policy Journal in D.C.

Editing a Criminal Law and Policy Journal in D.C.

Zarine Kharazian (Government and French and Francophone Studies, ’17)


Zarine KharazianZarine Kharazian currently works as a legal assistant at the Washington, DC law firm of Berliner, Corcoran, and Rowe. Part of her job is to serve as assistant editor of International Enforcement Law Reporter, a monthly criminal law and policy journal that reports on the developments in the international enforcement law field, ranging from anti-money laundering policies to EU data protection directives. She uses her French periodically when writing articles or blog posts for the journal that draw on primary French sources, such as agency press releases and court filings. Kharazian says that the skills she honed while doing research for her honors are helpful to her on a daily day, particularly the ability to read academic scholarship critically, identify gaps in existing literature, and formulate novel arguments in the articles she writes for the journal she edits. Recently, she submitted an article based on her honors thesis (Yet Another French Exception: The Legal, Cultural, and Political Dimensions of France’s Support for the Digital Right to Be Forgotten) for the European Data Protection Law Review‘s Young Scholar’s Award, a competition normally for graduate students, and article was ranked as one of the three best papers among the submissions. As a result, Kharazian’s paper will be published in the upcoming issue of the EDPL. She has also been invited to present a paper at the Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Conference to be held in Brussels in January 2018.



Faculty Profiles Fall 2017 More Featured News: French & Francophone Studies

New Book: Michael Leruth, French and Francophone Studies

leruth_mIn this video, Prof. Michael Leruth talks to us about his latest book Fred Forest’s Utopia: Media Art and Activism published, this year by MIT Press.

As mentioned on the MIT Press webpage, Prof. Leruth “shows that Forest chooses alternative platforms (newspapers, mock commercial ventures, video-based interactive social interventions, media hacks and hybrids, and, more recently, the Internet) that are outside the exclusive precincts of the art world. A fierce critic of the French contemporary art establishment, Forest famously sued the Centre Pompidou in 1994 over its opaque acquisition practices. After making foundational contributions to Sociological Art in the 1970s and the Aesthetics of Communication in the 1980s, the pioneering Forest saw the Internet as another way for artists to bypass the art establishment in the 1990s. Arguing that there is a strong utopian quality in Forest’s work, Leruth sees this utopianism not as naive or conventional but as a reverse utopianism: rather than envisioning an impossible ideal, Forest re-envisions and probes the quasi-utopia of our media-augmented everyday reality. The interface is the symbolic threshold to be crossed with an open mind.”

In this video, Prof. Michael Leruth talks to us about his latest book Fred Forest’s Utopia: Media Art and Activism published, this year by MIT Press.

As mentioned on the MIT Press webpage, Prof. Leruth “shows that Forest chooses alternative platforms (newspapers, mock commercial ventures, video-based interactive social interventions, media hacks and hybrids, and, more recently, the Internet) that are outside the exclusive precincts of the art world. A fierce critic of the French contemporary art establishment, Forest famously sued the Centre Pompidou in 1994 over its opaque acquisition practices. After making foundational contributions to Sociological Art in the 1970s and the Aesthetics of Communication in the 1980s, the pioneering Forest saw the Internet as another way for artists to bypass the art establishment in the 1990s. Arguing that there is a strong utopian quality in Forest’s work, Leruth sees this utopianism not as naive or conventional but as a reverse utopianism: rather than envisioning an impossible ideal, Forest re-envisions and probes the quasi-utopia of our media-augmented everyday reality. The interface is the symbolic threshold to be crossed with an open mind.”


Faculty Profiles Fall 2017 More Featured News: French & Francophone Studies

New Faculty Profile: Brett Brehm, French and Francophone Studies

Brett fall %2717 website photoWelcome to our new Faculty member, Brett Brehm, Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies with a specialization in 19th Century French Studies. His current research focuses on the history of color photography and its connections with literature and the visual arts. Brett is also  working on a book project, “Kaleidophonic Modernity: Sound, City and Technology.” For the full details, please watch his video interview below.





News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2017

Innovative Honors Thesis Research in Francophone Studies

Two French and Francophone Studies seniors recently defended their honors theses. Zarine Kharazian and Paul Naanou both conducted innovative research and received highest honors following the oral defense of their work. Financial support through the McCormack-Reboussin and the Charles Center, respectively, helped make these ground-breaking studies possible. Their work shows the interdisciplinarity and relevance to current social issues that characterize French and Francophone Studies at W&M.

Paul Naanou’s “Qui me rendra présent : Francophone Representations of Lebanese Civil War Memory”, directed by Prof. Magali Compan
Highest Honors

Being of Syrian origin, Paul Naanou had always been fascinated by Levantine history and traditions. So when he became aware of Lebanon’s rich francophone history, he just had to figure out how it fit into the region’s wider narrative. Paul recognizes the importance of memory and collective trauma in relation to the current conflict in Syria, as well.

IMG_0419During Paul’s sophomore year of college, he applied for a Charles Center summer grant to go and meet the Lebanese francophone poet Nada Skaff and do archival research in Paris. For Paul, meeting Nada was a highlight of his college experience because the time spent with her gave him a visceral understanding of how living in French in a Lebanese context is just as authentic as living in Arabic. Moreover, having discussions with her about her own literature gave him insight into how diverse and rich the construction of a Lebanese experience can be.

In Paul’s senior year, he decided to pursue a honors thesis with Prof. Magali Compan that not only looked at the impact of the French language on Lebanese history, but of violence (namely the Lebanese Civil War) as well. Paul says, “I feel so fortunate to have been able to bring attention to Lebanese francophone texts because the experience permitted me to share with the others the reality that all peoples make sense of suffering and violence through different ways and we need to be attuned to them because they can help us articulate our own hallowing experiences. If anything, struggle is a universal reality and rather than let us divide us, I thinking delving into art from a place as seemingly opposed to us as Lebanon enables us to bridge cultural divides and better understand ourselves.”

Zarine Kharazian’s “Yet Another French Exception: The Right To Be Forgotten”
Co-Directors: Professors Maryse Fauvel and Michael Leruth
Highest Honors

Zarine Kharazian’s research focuses on France’s seemingly unique stance on “right to be forgotten” with regard to internet search engines like Google. Her work was made possible through the generous support provided by the McCormack-Reboussin scholarship, which funded archival research in Paris over the summer of 2016. Furthermore, a research internship at Sciences-Po, Paris, through the Internships in Francophone Europe (IFE) program, facilitated access to the Cujas Law library as well as the Sciences-Po library.

FullSizeRender (2)In 2015, the European Court of Justice established an online “right to be forgotten” in Europe. Under this right to be forgotten, individuals may request that search engines delist links that reference their personal information from search results. Search engines need not grant these requests, but they are now obligated to review them.

While the Court’s decision to establish the right to be forgotten certainly ignited a debate among Western privacy scholars and policymakers hailing from both sides of the Atlantic, no country has participated in the debate with as much fervor as has France. Zarine’s thesis addresses the following question: What explains France’s unique sense of urgency with regard to digital right to be forgotten? She argues that French privacy jurisprudence does not sufficiently explain France’s attitude and actions in the right to be forgotten debate, as most scholars have suggested. Rather, extralegal factors – namely, long-established societal “mentalités” with regard to the modern state’s responsibility to shield individuals’ honor and reputation from excessive public scrutiny and France’s enduring antagonism towards US digital hegemony – bear most of the explanatory weight.


News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2017

Senior Seminar Publications on Francophone Louisiana Writers

Thirteen W&M seniors are publishing a brief biography in French to the forthcoming open-access biographical encyclopedia on important figures of francophone Louisiana. The Class of 2017 seniors in French and Francophone Studies got a chance to engage with the authors, poets, and researchers whom they were studying, thanks to a collaboration between Prof. Nathan Rabalais and the publisher Éditions Tintamarre. Based in Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana, Éditions Tintamarre is the only French-language press in the U.S.

Each student in the senior seminar, FREN 450 French and Creole Louisiana, started with some online research on a prominent writer or activist. The students then completed phone or Skype interviews with their “subjects” to get extra information and fact-check.

F&FS senior Paul Naanou remarked: “I actually happened to stumble upon Amanda LaFleur, a professor who has done a lot for the preservation of Cajun French, when I was in high school just starting to learn French. It was incredible being to talk to such a wealth of knowledge and be entrusted with the responsibility of conveying her story in a succinct yet informative way.”

Katie Weed, an accounting major with a strong interest in French, interviewed renowned folklorist and poet Barry Jean Ancelet in person. Professor Emeritus at UL Lafayette where he has served as Director of the Center for Acadian and Creole Folklore and Professor of Francophone Studies and Folklore, Ancelet came to W&M’s campus in March to speak to the students in FREN 450 and to give a public talk in English on the Acadian diaspora. The event was made possible by the Dean for Educational Policy, the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and the Reves Center for International Studies.

Creole poet, Deborah Clifton, was interviewed by Aly Mingione to complete her biography
Creole poet, Deborah Clifton, was interviewed by Aly Mingione to complete her biography

Ms. Weed noted: “What I enjoyed most about the biography project was how our class content tied into the people we got to interview. I think that made the class material even more relevant. For example, I interviewed Barry Ancelet about his work on Cajun and Creole folk festivals during the same week when we read about his experiences, and that interview added a lot of interesting context to our senior seminar.”

Although the open access project will include important francophone Louisiana writers from as far back as the mid-19th century, students in FREN 450 focused exclusively on contemporary figures in order to engage more directly and personally with the writers.

News News: French & Francophone Studies News: Hispanic Studies Spring 2017 More

Man-Made Women: A Film Series

During 2016-17, the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures, and the W&M community at large, enjoyed an informal and lively film series on the representation of women in film.  The film series, aptly titled Mad-Made Women, was a unique opportunity to engage in discussions of gender, psychoanalysis, sci-fi, etc., and watch a variety of movies.  During Fall 2016, the series included movies such as Ernst Lubitsch’s Die Puppe [The Doll] (1919), Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958), Bryan Forbes’ The Stepford Wives (1975), and Blade Runner (1982).  This Spring 2017, discussion followed the viewing of films that included George Cuckor’s My Fair Lady (1964), Hirokazu Koreeda’s Air Doll (2009), Almodóvar’s La piel que habito [The Skin I Live In] (2011), Alex Garland’s Ex Machina (2015), among others.

The film series was co-organized by Prof. Julie Hugonny (French & Francophone Studies) & Prof. Carmen Sanchis-Sinisterra (Hispanic Studies).

News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2017 More

Monsters, medical oddities and changing mindsets – Attending the “Odd Bodies” conference

Image INCS confThe timing couldn’t have been better: as she was finishing the syllabus of her French literature course, “Circus Freaks and Bad Mothers,” centering on depictions of monsters in the 19th-century, Visiting Assistant Professor Julie Hugonny received a call for papers for the 2017 Institute of Nineteenth-Century Studies conference titled Odd bodies. “When I saw the subject of the conference, I just knew I had to take my students there,” she recalls. It was a match made in heaven.

After securing funding from the Charles Center and the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences and coordinating her group’s arrival with the organizers of the INCS conference, she advertised the weekend-long trip to her students, and set to take nine of them on this particular adventure.

IMG_2114The FREN 392 literature course she taught featured classic works of literature such as La Belle et la Bête by Jeanne Marie Leprince de Beaumont, La Mère au Monstres by Guy de Maupassant, L’Homme qui rit by Victor Hugo’s, Les Diaboliques by Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, as well as theoretic articles on disability, perception and exclusion. The students were thus well prepared for attending a conference that boasted subjects like “ugly bodies”, “queer bodies”, “prosthetics”, “circus and freak show bodies”, as well as the more ominous “bodies behaving badly” and “dead bodies.”

Armed with fresh knowledge and a boundless curiosity, the students attended panels of their choosing and eagerly participated in the follow-up discussions. Each had taken the class for different reasons, some of them simply loved literature, some others came from a disability studies viewpoint or a background of postcolonial studies. At the conference, the range of panels addressed a multitude of subjects and amply rewarded all those penchants. In fact, the students’ only complaint at the end of the day was that, since the panels were simultaneous, they couldn’t attend them all and had to make tough choices.

Since the conference was taking place in Philadelphia, a visit to the Mütter Museum of medical oddities seemed a necessary step. This cabinet of curiosities, housed in the college of Physicians, features among other wonders, a life-size molding of Cheng and Eng, the original Siamese twins, the skeleton of a woman’s whose corset had reduced her ribcage to a life-threatening degree, and a wall of skulls, each labeled with the origin, gender and cause of death of its owner. Beyond its obvious entertainment value, the Museum presented the dominant discourse of the time and vividly illustrated the pathologization of deviancy from the norm, the very approach to bodily difference the conference endeavored to question.

Philly bridge 1The trip to Philadelphia was a success: the students went back to their readings (homework doesn’t wait for William & Mary students!) with a keener understanding of the historical and cultural context of the 19th-century as well as on the view of monstrosity prevailing at the time. More importantly, they acquired the literary strategies to examine, analyze and challenge this normative discourse.

Fall 2016 Issue News News: French & Francophone Studies

Breaking Stereotypes through French Cinema: Maryse Fauvel’s COLL 300 Experience

Fondation Louis Vuitton, built by Frank Gehry
Fondation Louis Vuitton, built by Frank Gehry

Perhaps one of the most powerful aspects of cinema is its ability to not only project and perpetuate stereotypes, but also to challenge and even break them. In fall 2016, students in Prof. Maryse Fauvel’s course FREN 393 “Representations of Paris in cinema: stereotypes and beyond”, studied French cinema that moves beyond these stereotypes. Eight of the students enrolled in this course also registered for a 1-credit COLL 300 that entailed a trip to Paris from Oct. 7 to 15.

The purpose of the trip was to discover aspects of Paris that are rarely shown in films, Prof. Fauvel explains. Students wrote blog posts  on numerous interesting topics of their choice, including the metro, the commodification of death in the Père Lachaise cemetery, graffiti, sites of memory, and other topics.

Café at the Grand Mosque of Paris
Café at the Grand Mosque of Paris

Highlights of their trip included a visit to the Parisian sewers, a guided tour of several multicultural and multilingual neighborhoods (such as the Goutte d’Or, with immigrants from various French provinces in the 19th-century, and since then from Western Africa ; or Belleville, with immigrants from North-Africa ; or the so-called Chinese neighborhood, with immigrants from China, Vietnam, Thailand) ; as well as a tour of the film museum and film studios ; a tour of a brand new art museum built by Frank Gehry in a post-modern style in the western part of Paris, as well as a talk in the 19th-century art Museum d’Orsay on “Paris, a city from the 19th-century”.

Prof. Fauvel and her students in Montmartre
Prof. Fauvel and her students in Montmartre

Several students expressed that the trip to Paris was the “highlight of their educational experience” because it not only allowed them to view Paris and the French people from different perspectives, but they also put to work and developed their analytical, critical, and writing skills through the course blog that was created over just five days!

The course and the trip were a fantastic experience for everyone involved!

Tasting pastries in Paris
Tasting pastries in Paris
Alumni Updates Fall 2016 More News News: French & Francophone Studies

Fête de la Recherche 2016!

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La Fete de la Recherche is an annual conference that showcases our students’ research projects. It is an opportunity for students to present to their professors and peers the research they are doing for an honor thesis, courses, internships or, projects completed during the summer program in Montpellier. Presenters explain their motivations, research process, discoveries, and also the challenges of pursuing research.

Presentations are either in French or English and cover a variety of topics and different aspects of French and Francophone cultures including literature, public spaces, museums and monuments, films, music and more.

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La Fête de la Recherche is also the opportunity to meet your French professors and your peers, ask questions about courses, study abroad programs, scholarships, research opportunities, and the Francophone community on campus.

This year’s Fête de la Recherche on September 30 included many great speakers, including a round table discussion on French beyond William and Mary featuring successful alumni Catherine Kang (Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology student at Harvard), Katie Gehron (Country Desk Officer, Peace Corp, Washington DC), Kevin Lonabaugh (Second-year pharmacy resident in family medicine and pediatrics,University of Oklahoma, OK), and Christian Bale (White House legislative analyst, Washington, DC).


 Sean Schofield from W&M’s Career Center shared some great information about the value of cultural literacy and critical thinking.  

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Attendees heard about some very exciting Undergraduate Research from students who participated in the IFE and Montpelier programs:

Zarine Kharazian – « Une exception technoculturelle: France’s Approach to the Problem of Digital Eternity. »

Lorraine Pettit – « Le tramway: une traversée de la ville et de la culture »

Paul Naanou – « War, Memory, and Trauma: Lebanese Francophone Literature. »


Last but not least, Lydia Funk and Rosie Vita spoke about their experiences in Montpellier!


For more information about this event visit our website:

News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2015

Food in Southern France: Ellery Lea Shares Her Study Abroad Research Experiences

Since I was a child, I’ve always been interested in the role of food in contributing to a culture’s shared identity and sense of community. My interest in cuisine stems primarily from my family background because my parents have worked in the food service industry my entire life, and they used to run their own coffee shop. Seeing their hard work at their shop instilled in me a respect for small business owners and their ability to establish relationships with customers through personalized service and simple food and drink.


For my project last summer, I decided to investigate a small aspect of the culture in Montpellier by researching and sampling local foods created and sold within the Langeudoc-Roussillon region where Montpellier is located. My goal was to better understand the character of the region by investigating the goods that are important there. I also interviewed James Egreteau, the owner of Le Panier d’Aimé, which is a small business in Montpellier that sells locally produced food and drink. By tasting regional products, such as spreads, oils, and wines, and learning about Mr. Egreteau’s growing business, I was able to explore a facet of the culture in Montpellier from a local’s perspective. Locally sourced foods, like those sold at Le Panier d’Aimé, are a way for tourists and younger generations to connect to the rich agricultural history and traditions of the South of France.

boutique 2 Food can sometimes be taken for granted because it’s easy to purchase and consume food without thinking too much about where it comes from and who produces it. However, my experience in Montpellier reinforced the idea that food is a powerful way to connect with others and learn about an area’s history and personality.

  • Ellery Lea
News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2016 More Uncategorized

Forget Me (Not)? : Zarine Kharazian’s research in Paris

News about our McCormack Reboussin scholar in France

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William & Mary student Zarine Kharazian ’17 shares news about her research on “the right to be forgotten” and differing views between the U.S. and France when it comes to preserving (or deleting) one’s digital past. Zarine is a double-major in French and Francophone Studies and Government. Read the whole story!

News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2016 More

Internships in France and Belgium: Five William & Mary students abroad with IFE

Zarine Kharazian – Paris – SciencesPo, Centre de recherches internationales
Zarine is working as an assistant researcher with CERI, a renowned center for IR research and joint laboratory of Sciences Po and the CNRS. Zarine was assigned to a research project entitled ITIC and aimed at analyzing modern political uses of new information and communication technologies. She was assigned to the topic of Five Eyes, an intelligence network federating several Anglophone countries, especially as related to the Snowden affair. Her theme is to demonstrate the limits of any cultural familiarity linking the member countries.

Rachel Larned – Brussels – ESISC – European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center
In her internship, Rachel is a research assistant
 with this think tank and intelligence consulting service. Recent events at home and abroad have generated
 considerable activity for ESISC. Rachel has been assigned to 
work on Francophone countries and in particular the Congo
 and Burkina Faso. She participates in briefings, lends a hand
with translations of documentation concerning North Africa, 
and generates analytic notes. Her research topic will be tied to current events in Francophone Africa, most likely focused on The Republic of the Congo.
Paul Naanou – Paris – École des Loisirs – Children’s book publisher
Paul is conducting his internship as a staff assistant to the
 communication service of a prestigious publishing house 
for children, one of the oldest in France. Combining his
 interest in publishing with his studies in mathematics and
computer science, Paul has been assigned to work with the 
firm’s webmaster on a complete redo website. At the same time, Paul is learning about all the firm’s departments and services and, more generally, about the publishing business. In March, Paul had the opportunity to assist with staffing the firm’s various stands at the Annual Paris Book Fair, including being responsible by himself for a stand featuring audio books. Paul has chosen to conduct his research on one of the firm’s authors, Geneviève Patte, author of “Laissez-les lire !” and a major figure in the democratization of reading among all children in France. His research theme will be cultural democratization without loss of pedagogical quality.
Jason Nagel – Paris – CERI – Principal French research institute for international affairs
Working as an assistant researcher in this renowned IR research
center, Jason has been assigned both communication tasks and
research tasks. For the Center’s administration, Jason has been
very usefully translating or correcting scientific articles and website
objects, including an interview with the authors of a work on
contemporary Algeria or the transcription of an interview with a
US State Department official during a seminar organized by CERI. In addition, with his supervisor who is CERI’s Director Alain Diekoff, Jason has been conducting bibliographic research on questions of culturalist theories in international relations. He also participates actively in the programs and events of the Center. His research topic will be related to the French intervention in Mali.

Nairuti Shastry – Brussels – Belgian public health agency for birth and early childhood (ONE)
Nairuti has been warmly welcomed as an intern and is
serving as an assistant to the director of communications
of this important social agency. She was trained
 to conduct observations and other activities in the field,
 particularly pre-natal and infant consultations, which has allowed Nairuti to make contact with
 other organizations. In the Communications Department
 she is contributing with translations, press reviews and
 the preparations for a conference in conjunction with the
network Eurochild. She will
 assist with the updating of the website and in developing new communication instruments. Lastly, Nairuti will lead a seminar on healthcare in India. Her research topic touches on health care access for immigrants who do not speak French and how much language proficiency influences the access.

Fall 2014 News News: French & Francophone Studies

French Prof. Magali Compan’s Students Speak Out About New Course

In the Fall semester 2014, Prof. Magali Compan taught a new course in the French section, a Freshman seminar entitled “Francophone Women Writers”. The course examined texts by women from around the Francophone World (Mauritius Island, France, Haiti, Guadeloupe, Reunion Island, Sénégal, Tahiti, Algeria). During the course of the semester, students examined how women from different cultures and countries narrate their lives through literature and film. The texts they explored reveal vital insights into the history, culture, social realities, and politics of francophone cultures. While the course theme centered on questions of gender, the texts they explored also raise important issues of race, social class, religion, colonialism and post-colonialism. This class, which was taught exclusively in French, offered the opportunity to discuss in large and smaller groups literature and theoretical texts. In this video her students share some thoughts about the Freshmen seminar.

News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2014

Preston Heinlein (’14) speaks about his experiences as a major in French & Francophone Studies

Preston Heinlein transferred to W&M at the beginning of his junior year. He knew that he wanted to study linguistics and the French language in particular. He spent a summer in Montpellier, taking courses at the Université Paul Valéry and working on an independent research project about the local LGBT community, which he then presented at the annual W&M Fête de la Recherche. Other highlights of his time at the College include his experience working as an intern for the 2014 French & Francophone Film Festival. Preston has just been elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and is the recipient of the 2014 St. Onge prize for the student in French & Francophone Studies who shows the most promise for graduate-level work. Next year he will teach English in France through the French Embassy’s TAPIF program.

News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2014 More

Congratulations to this year’s French prize winners

The French & Francophone program has just awarded three graduation prizes:


The St.Onge prize is awarded annually to the student in French & Francophone Studies who shows the most promise for graduate-level work. It was established in May 2010 to honor Professor St.Onge’s forty years of dedication to the College. This year the St. Onge prize goes to Preston Heinlein (’14).
The Pierre Oustinoff prize for excellence in research goes to Elena Santini (’14).
The Modern Languages & Literatures book award for outstanding students who have distinguished themselves in French & Francophone Studies goes to Laura Bolger (’14). 


News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2014 More

Congratulations to Elisabeth Bloxam, McCormack-Reboussin Scholar for 2014-2015


Congratulations to Elisabeth Bloxam (’15), the latest recipient of the McCormack-Reboussin scholarship in French & Francophone Studies! Starting this summer, Elisabeth Bloxam will research an honors thesis entitled “Le Mythe et la Mémoire : Les séquelles de la deuxième guerre mondiale en France à travers ses monuments nationaux.”

This research will focus on the lasting effects of the Resistance Myth, the romanticized idea of the French Resistance as a national movement that was perpetuated by French leaders at the end of the war in an attempt to unify a nation in crisis. More specifically, her research will examine the endurance, eventual discrediting, and current status of the Resistance Myth through a study of collective memory and museums. She will examine the complex mechanics of collective memory through a study of French museums dedicated to WWII. She hopes to draw a comparison between the breakdown of collective memory in France in the 1970s and the proliferation of WWII museums erected in the 1980s.



News News: French & Francophone Studies

Congratulations to our graduating seniors!


Congratulations to Preston Heinlein (’14) for his election to Phi Beta Kappa!


And congratulations to our many seniors who have been selected to teach English in France through the French Embassy’s TAPIF program:

Laura Bolger (’14) and Emily Eyestone (’14) have been placed in Bordeaux

Samantha Fansler (’14) will be going to Lille

Preston Heinlein (’14) will be going to Rennes

Emily Wolfteich (’14) will be teaching in Dijon

News News: French & Francophone Studies

2014 William & Mary French & Francophone Film Festival

The William and Mary French and Francophone Film Festival brings every year award-winning french language films. The program starts this year on Friday January 31 and will run until February 28. For more details about the program,  consult the festival website ( You can also watch the trailer:

News: French & Francophone Studies

French and Francophone Graduation Prizes announced.

Congratulation to the four students sho received a Graduation prize in French and Francophone Studies this year.


News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2013 More

Six William & Mary Students receive a Teaching Assistantship in France for 2013-2014!

Congratulation to our French and Francophone seniors! This year, 6 of you are heading to France to teach English!

Angela Hales, Rachel Eilbott, Kayla Grant, Jasmin Harper, Daniel Hodges and Alix Kashdan who received a French embassy Teaching Assistantship and will be teaching in France in 2013-2014. Rachel will be teaching in French Guyana, while Kayla will be near Versailles (where she will join Stephanie Kumah, W&M French & Francophone ’12), Angela in Franche Comte, Jasmin in Alsace, Daniel in Réunion (Indian Ocean) and Alix in Picardy.

teach in France

News: French & Francophone Studies

Giulia Pacini (French & Francophone) on “Invaluable Trees”


Invaluable Trees cultures of nature, 1660-1830  Giulia Pacini, Laura Auricchio and Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook
Invaluable Trees cultures of nature, 1660-1830 Giulia Pacini, Laura Auricchio and Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook

Associate Professor of French & Francophone Studies Giulia Pacini talks about her book on trees and eighteenth-century cultures of nature:


You just co-edited a volume entitled Invaluable Trees: cultures of nature, 1660-1830, published by the Voltaire Foundation in Oxford (2012). Why are you so interested in trees? Why were they important in the long eighteenth century?


Trees mattered a lot in early modern times, materially and therefore also symbolically. They offered food, medicinal ingredients, shelter for humans and animals, materials for heating, for construction (both civil and military), and manufacturing. So in the eighteenth century the legitimacy of a sovereign was often linked to the strategic management of the country’s forests. Trees were also precious objects of commercial and diplomatic exchanges, and the focus of extensive scientific study. And at the same time, in this period an increasing number of people developed emotional relationships to trees. Trees helped them define themselves. You can see this in paintings of gentlemen who chose to be portrayed alongside their favorite plants, or in the words of writers such as François-René de Chateaubriand, who liked to say about his saplings: “I know them all by name, as my children: they are my family; I don’t have any other.”


When did you start working on this project?


To some extent this work started fifteen years ago, when I took a couple of courses in the history of landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. More specifically, though, this project emerged out of conference discussions between colleagues who had long been studying gardens and landscapes as culturally constructed sites, and who now wanted to focus on trees specifically. I was fortunate to find two wonderful co-editors, Laura Auricchio and Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook, who not only shared my interests, but also contributed different cultural and disciplinary perspectives (the former is a professor of French art history; the latter a professor of British literature and cultural studies). Co-writing the introduction to this volume was particularly exciting, as we tried to map out together what an interdisciplinary field of tree studies might look like.


Your book is an edited volume. Who else participated in this conversation about trees?


Invaluable Trees is an international project, with contributions from scholars in Europe, North America, and Australia. It is amazing how well and how easily one can work with colleagues at a distance, now that we have the technology to share and write on the same documents. The volume includes essays in fields as diverse as environmental and forest history, social history, cultural geography, the history of medicine, eco-musicology, anthropology, art history, and literary studies.


The volume includes an essay of yours. What is it about?


I analyze some bizarre landscaping projects that represent tree-planting as an instrument for reform. I found a few texts by French authors Jacques Delille and Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint Pierre, which suggested that in the late eighteenth-century imaginary trees may have been perceived as transformative agents, rather than as exclusively passive objects of human handling. Both authors had similar ideas about the ways in which people might have “arboreal habits” which shaped their identity and attached them to a place. And both authors ultimately asked whether the transplantation of trees could serve a political purpose, strategically facilitating the naturalization of foreigners on French soil.


What did you and your co-editors ultimately discover through this research?


We were struck first of all by the diversity of (often competing) discourses and practices that characterized this period — some rather traditional, others quite innovative. We also realized how much these discourses and practices were caught up in shifting conceptions of nature, physical health, moral wellbeing, and social identity. We found a widespread awareness throughout the eighteenth century that human and arboreal lives were intimately connected. Above all, however, we found a growing concern about the consequences of deforestation, and therefore a strong interest in sustainable forestry across the European continent. So in the end our essays put current ecological thought in a broader historical context, while also allowing us to engage ongoing critical debates about the character of the Enlightenment and its relationship to nature. Although we certainly found evidence of a growing appreciation of the material value and utility of trees, we also discovered a plurality of voices that spoke to trees’ extra- or non-economic importance, as well as to their intrinsic vitality and deep-rooted and organic connections to other forms of life.


How do you interact with trees in your private life?


I have to confess that I really enjoy pruning, even though I know that this act was often constructed in the late eighteenth century as the repressive expression of an absolutist will (the French were particularly hit by this politically motivated criticism, as they were known for extreme forms of topiary at the royal palace and gardens of Versailles). Every time I pull out my pruning shears, the voices of Horace Walpole and of other eighteenth-century writers start nagging me, telling me that I should allow my hedges to grow and to express themselves as freely as they wish!

News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2013

Fête de la Recherche

An annual “Fête de la Recherche” (faites de la recherche!) features the student research that takes place at the core of the French & Francophone Studies program. Students often present projects from their studies abroad in Montpellier, France, as well as longer papers written in association with I.F.E internships in Paris, Bruxelles, and Strasbourg. Other talks frequently showcase independent Monroe projects and senior honors theses.

Here are short video clips from our 2012 Fête de la Recherche:

The full conference programs can be found here


Fall 2012 News News: French & Francophone Studies

French and Francophone: Students scholars tackling the world. How the McCormack-Reboussin scholarship is transforming the lives of French and Francophone Students.

Marcel Reboussin and Mark McCormack

Research is at the center of the French & Francophone Studies program. Students are able to conduct research projects in many different ways, as the annual Fête de la Recherche demonstrates: short projects done while studying in Montpellier; longer projects conducted while studying and doing an internship through the I.F.E program in Paris, Strasbourg, or BruxellesMonroe projects; and honors theses. Some of our most exciting projects have been made possible by the McCormack-Reboussin scholarship. Last May, I sat with Bridget Carr, one of our most recent McCormack-Reboussin scholars to discuss her research and the incredible opportunity this scholarship has been for her. So what is this scholarship, and what do our students do with it?

In 1995, Mark McCormack, a distinguished alumnus and generous benefactor of the College, created a merit-based scholarship to support financially an outstanding French major during his or her third and fourth years at the College.  The scholarship was originally named in honor of Marcel Reboussin, a longtime member of the faculty in French at the College, and Mr. McCormack’s favorite professor from his days as a French major.  The scholarship now also bears the name of Mr. McCormack in honor of his many professional accomplishments, his unflagging devotion to his alma mater, and his inspired support for student research in the field of French & Francophone Studies. With the generous support of Mr. McCormack’s daughter, Mrs. Leslie McCormack-Gathy, the terms of the scholarship were changed in 2008 in order to benefit more students.

The scholarship is now awarded on an annual basis to a rising senior French and Francophone Studies major, and is worth a total of $12,000:  up to $4,000 to support research to be conducted in a French-speaking country or region during the summer between the junior and senior years, with the remainder ($8,000 or more) to be applied toward tuition and fees for the senior year.  The McCormack-Reboussin scholars’ research treat an intellectually relevant topic related to the French language, French/Francophone literature, or the culture of a French-speaking country or region.

In the past few years, McCormack-Reboussin scholars have been conducting research in France, as well as in Belgium and Senegal. Not only is the geographical scope of these students’ investigations broad; the field of their inquiries is also very diverse. The scholars work very closely with their honors thesis advisors to develop their research projects.

In 2012-13, Daniel Hodges is working with professor Leruth on a project on French involvement in the political life of Congo/ Zaire/ RDC from the 1880s to the present. This summer, Daniel was able to travel to Bruxelles and Paris to conduct his research. He will present a first iteration of his ongoing work on Saturday 10th at the Fete de la Recherche.

In 2011-12, Bridget Carr spent a month doing archival work and conducting interviews in Dakar. She eventually completed an her honors thesis on  “Franco-Senegalese Relations through the Lens of Development Aid (1895-2012)“ (Highest Honors/Professor Médevielle, advisor ).

In 2010-11, Philippe Halbert researched the image of the monster in French Enlightenment culture, and this project took him to Paris and Versailles. His honors thesis ultimately bore the title: ‘Heretofore Considered Legendary’: The Harpy of 1784 and the Making of Monsters in Eighteenth-Century France.“ (High Honors/ Professor Pacini, advisor)

Eve Grice (2009) also worked in Paris, and wrote a thesis entitled “What She Said: Gender, Race, and Discourses on Difference at the Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration” (Highest Honors/Professor Fauvel, advisor).

If you are interested in learning more about past recipients of this scholarship, their projects, or if you wish to know more about the application process, please visit our website.

Fall 2012 More News: French & Francophone Studies

French & Francophone: ” Faites/Fete de la recherche” Come meet us for the Third French and Francophone Fete de la recherche, November 10th


Every year the French & Francophone Studies program organizes a lively conference to showcase student research. The Fête de la Recherche is both a moment of intellectual exchange, and a sociable event with music, fun stories, and good food. The students deliver presentations entirely in French, and answer questions about the process of doing research abroad and in a foreign language. They often present drafts of an ongoing honors thesis, as well as papers written in connection with recent internships in Paris or Bruxelles. Others share the independent research they did while studying abroad in Montpellier. For the first time, the 2012 Fête de la Recherche will also feature a conversation with recent alumnae who will talk about the value of the French & Francophone Studies major even after graduation. The third annual “Fête de la recherche” in French and Francophone Studies will take place on Saturday, November 10th. Come meet Students   who will share information about their past or ongoing research projects in French and Francophone Studies, and learn about the challenges and rewards which come with such projects.

This year:

alumnae Eve Grice (McCormack-Reboussin 2009),  and Laura Wagstaff (McCormack-Reboussin 2007-09) will come to discuss how  the skills they acquired as French and Francophone majors/minors help them in their professional lives.

McCormack-Reboussin 2012-13’ scholar Daniel Hodges will talk about his ongoing honor’s thesis which examines French involvement in Congo from the 1880s to today.

Catherine Lipper, who studied with IFE in the Spring will talk about “Bruxelles: une ville au centre des relations internationales”

Kayla Grant, will present her research on French nineteenth century literature: “L’être dans la lettre: l’épistolaire et le roman psychologique à  la fin du 19eme siècle”

Elisabeth Bloxam, will share her personal research about her French grandmother :”La Deuxième Guerre Mondiale: l’histoire de ma grand-mère”

Emma Dammon, who did the Summer Montpellier program will present her work on string instrument craftsmanship in the city: “Les Luthiers à Montpellier”

and Elizabeth Gohn will also present the research project she conducted in Montpellier this past summer: “Arènes de Nîmes: contemporanéité d’un monument antique.”


Come have breakfast with, listen to music and have some interesting discussions with our students.

When? : Saturday November 10th. 9am-12pm.

Where? : Room 101, Andrews Hall    605 Jamestown Rd  Williamsburg, VA    23185

News: French & Francophone Studies

The deadline for the 2013-14 McCormack-Reboussin scholarship is now November 26th 2012. Have you applied yet?



The McCormack-Reboussin scholarship is awarded on an annual basis to a rising senior (= current junior) French and Francophone major at the College. It is worth a total of $12,000: up to $4,000 to support research to be conducted in a French-speaking country or region during the summer between the junior and senior years, with the remainder ($8,000 or more) to be applied toward tuition and fees for the senior year.

The research must treat an intellectually relevant topic related to the French language, to French/Francophone literature, or to the culture of a French-speaking country or region.

The scholarship recipient is subject to review by the French & Francophone Studies faculty of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and must remain in very good academic standing during the junior year in order to remain eligible for the summer research grant and the tuition grant for the senior year. If awarded the scholarship, detailed plans for the use of the summer research grant (i.e., a detailed written proposal outlining the definitive topic, the type of research to be conducted, the projected itinerary, and the projected budget) must be prepared under the supervision of a faculty research adviser in French and submitted for the approval of the French faculty prior to the end of the spring semester of the recipient’s junior year. The on-site research funded by the Mc-Cormack Reboussin Scholarship shall be conducted during the summer between the junior and senior years only and shall serve as the foundation for further study of the topic during the recipient’s senior year.  The tangible final result of the research has normally been an Honors Thesis, with accompanying defense.

For practical information about how to apply, please go to our webpage

This year the DEADLINE for the submission of all application materials is Monday, November 26, 2012 at 5:00 P.M.
Complete applications are to be submitted to Sharon Palma in the main office of the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures, located in 210 Washington Hall.

Finalists will be invited to an oral interview during the first weeks of December.

Please do not hesitate to contact any faculty member in French & Francophone Studies for further information about this wonderful opportunity. You really should consider applying!

Alumni Updates Alumni Updates: French & Francophone Studies News: French & Francophone Studies

Grice, Eve (class of 2011)

After graduating in May 2011 with a B.A. in French and Francophone Studies (Highest Honors/McCormack-Reboussin scholar) and Women’s Studies, Eve is now a Flagship Fellow starting her first year in the Women’s Studies Ph.D. Program at the University of Maryland, College Park. There, she will continue integrating her interests in French and Francophone studies and feminist analysis through her dissertation research on postcolonial queer citizenship in the Francophone Caribbean and U.S. South. “As an interdisciplinary scholar, I am very much indebted to the William & Mary French and Francophone studies department, who gave me the tools of cultural critique, independent research, critical analysis, and rigorous interdisciplinary scholarship with which to build my academic career. The tremendous support from the French faculty, who pushed me to do my best work and still inspire me to do original research, has shaped me into the scholar I am today. I am forever grateful, and I hope to continue making them proud.”

Alumni Updates Alumni Updates: French & Francophone Studies News: French & Francophone Studies

Lauer, Abby (Class of 2009)

After graduating from William and Mary in 2009 with a major in Biology and a minor in French, Abby attended Harvard Law School where she studied intellectual property  law. She is now an Associate in the intellectual property department at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in the law firm’s Washington, DC office. Studying French at William and Mary was an essential part of her undergraduate education and continues to have an impact on her life. Taking classes in the French Department and studying abroad in France gave her an appreciation for language, culture, and national identity different from what she has experienced in the United States. This appreciation fostered a sense of belonging to a global community that she carried with her to her graduate studies in law. As a result, Abby is especially interested in issues surrounding international intellectual property law, specifically cross-border enforcement of patents and copyrights. Her French minor serves as a constant reminder that the United States is merely one member of an international network of legal systems, each characterized by different but equally important values, purposes, and modes of operation.


Alumni Updates Alumni Updates: French & Francophone Studies News: French & Francophone Studies

Wagstaff, Laura (Class of 2009)

Following graduation in 2009, Laura Wagstaff (McCormack-Reboussin Scholar 07-09) moved to Washington, DC to pursue a career in higher education and multicultural exchange. She has held positions in the Development & Special Events department of Washington National Opera and in Georgetown University’s Office of Advancement. Currently, Laura serves as the Assistant Director in the Georgetown Office of Fellowships, Awards, and Research, where she advises the students of the Carroll Fellows Initiative (a program similar to the Monroe Scholars Program) and assists with students’ independent research projects. The knowledge and skills that she built during her time at William & Mary have contributed significantly to her career – from discussing operatic history with a major donor to providing advice based on her own independent research, her W&M experience has played a vital role in her career path. Laura also continues to play the pipe organ (a love she developed thanks to W&M), and is earning her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies at Georgetown University.

Alumni Updates Alumni Updates: French & Francophone Studies News: French & Francophone Studies

Carr, Bridget (class of 2012)

Bridget, the 2011-12 Reboussin scholar write:  “I currently hold a term appointment (renewable for up to four years) at the U.S. Dept. of Justice Antitrust Division in Washington, D.C. as a “paralegal specialist.” In the Antitrust Division I have the opportunity to work side-by-side with the attorneys preparing for depositions, serving subpoenas, interviewing witnesses, and disseminating information about our work. The Antitrust Division’s goal is to manage mergers and acquisitions and enforce statutes that promote competition in the marketplace to benefit and protect the consumer. In the Ligitation III section, I assist the attorneys in civil cases in which the DOJ is the plaintiff. I learned about this opportunity through an interview fair organized by the Cohen Career Center. I hope to use this experience as a stepping stone in my pursuit of a dual MA/JD degree.”

News News: French & Francophone Studies

Bellini Colloquium Talk: Thursday 4th, October. 3.30pm. Washington 315. Pr.Giulia Pacini “Invaluable Trees, or how and why trees and wood mattered in the long eighteenth century.”

Thursday 4th, October at 3:30pm in Washington 315

Throughout the eighteenth century, trees stood at the intersection of numerous and often competing discourses of value. Across Europe and   North America, they were viewed both as precious commodities and as ‘the true monuments of nations’, as Bernardin de Saint-­Pierre noted in 1784,underscoring the imposing and inescapable materiality of these plants, their cultural significance, and their political value in the project of modern nation-­building.

Trees could also be appreciated as charismatic objects of personal desire and of intellectual fascination, just as they were at the heart of Enlightenment discussions on environmental management and sustainability.

News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2012

Student Profile: Bridget Carr ’12 (Video Feature)

Bridget Carr, one of our graduating seniors in French and Francophone Studies, was kind enough to sit down and talk with us right after she defended her Senior Honors Thesis on French relations in Senegal. Prof. Nicolas Medevielle and I talked to Bridget about her study abroad research, how she used that research to develop her honors project, and what her plans are after graduation.

Fall 2011 News News: French & Francophone Studies

Fostering Student Research in French & Francophone Studies

Students of French & Francophone studies have done original research for years. In order to recognize students who embarked in such projects and inspire other students to do the same, the French & Francophone studies section decided to create an annual Student research conference in 2010. In this video interview, Stephanie Kumah, a senior (French & Francophone/Government) who presented her ongoing Honor’s Thesis at the Fete speaks to Prof. Magali Compan about her project.

Our second annual French & Francophone Studies research conference took place on Saturday, Nov. 12, and featured five twenty-minute formal presentations and five poster sessions, all in French, by students who are doing, or who have just completed, original research on French and Francophone topics.

Some of the projects were honors theses in progress; others were research papers related to student internships in Paris; and the poster sessions were the result of our 2011 study abroad program in Montpellier, France. Our students enrolled in advanced French & Francophone classes were all in attendance, and the seniors did a great job introducing the speakers before each presentation.

The event also featured lots of good food and Francophone music, so that the atmosphere was festive and social. Our objective, after all, was for students to get to know each other, to share their experiences, and to learn from each other. The Fête was meant to be inspirational, and we certainly were impressed by the students’ projects and archival research, as well as by their exceptional confidence in speaking in a foreign language before such a large audience.

The event was kindly sponsored by the Charles Center and the Reves Center for International Studies.



News: French & Francophone Studies

Faculty Profile: Rob St. Clair (French & Francophone Studies)

In this video profile, one of the Department of Modern Languages’ newest faculty members, Rob St. Clair, sits down with me to discuss his research on the French poet, Arthur Rimbaud; some of his favorite topics to teach; and a reading recommendation, among other things.

News: French & Francophone Studies


We wish to extend a special tribute to the following students for their outstanding honors theses in French & Francophone Studies:

Eve Grice
Philippe Halbert
Macs Smith

And congratulations to the recipients of our graduation prizes in French & Francophone Studies:

This year’s St.Onge prize goes to Macs Smith

The Pierre Oustinoff prize goes to Ingrid Heiberg

The Modern Languages and Literatures / French & Francophone Studies book prize goes to Ashley Hoover

Congratulations to this year’s students elected to Phi Beta Kappa:

Eve Grice

Ingrid Heiberg

Ashley Hoover

Macs Smith

And of course congratulations to our recipients of a Teaching Assistantship in France (sponsored by the French Embassy) for 2011-2012:

Michael Connolly will be teaching English in Versailles

Amanda Guiliano will be teaching English in Clermont-Ferrand

Ingrid Heiberg will be teaching English in a secondary school in Montpellier

News News: French & Francophone Studies

Bellini Colloquium Talk: Vlad Dima

Thursday, April 21st, 4:00 PM, Washington 315

Sound Moves: Sonic Space in French and Senegalese Cinemas

This presentation explores the ways in which sound creates a new sense of spatiality in the films of Jean-Luc Godard and Djibril-Diop Mambety. Both directors challenge the primacy of the visual by foregrounding how aural planes affect and alter the economy of visual planes. As a result, I determine that new (aural) narrative plateaus surface from the plasticity of sound, which displaces and complicates filmic images. These planes, diegetic and extra-diegetic, reshape the current paradigm of the relationship between spectator and film. In other words, the sound manipulation techniques encountered in the films of the two directors generate a space continuum in which the audience becomes intimately involved with the projection on screen. I will discuss two such prevalent techniques (that I identify as the sonic jump-cut and the sonic rack-focus) which unfold aural planes in a way that suspends the visual-focused narration.

In general, the objectives answer the question of what should be done to achieve the goal.
News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2011

2000 attend the 2011 Tournées French & Francophone Film Festival

The 2011 Tournées French & Francophone Film Festival was attended by about 2000 people this year.

The 5th French & Francophone Film Festival took place from January 28th to February 25th at the Kimball Theater in Williamsburg.  Organized by prof. Magali Compan (MLL. French & Francophone) , the French & Francophone Film Festival was made possible this year again thanks to the funding of the Wendy and Emery Reves Center for International Studies, Literary and Cultural Studies program, Film Studies program, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture (CNC). Each film was free to the public.

This year films featured came from France, Belgium and Burkina Faso.  Each Friday night, for 5 weeks, we presented a different film. Two movies were presented during the weekend of the Global film festival (February 17-20).

The festival opened with a wine-and-cheese reception on Friday, 28th. The first movie featured was “Séraphine” a 2008 French-Belgian movie about Séraphine Louis (1864-1942), a French painter in the naïve style.  The movie reeceived the 2009 César for best film, while actress Yolande Moreau received the César for best actress that year. The movie was introduced by Prof. Catherine Levesque ( Dept. of Art and Art History).

On February 4th, we featured Le Silence de Lorna/Lorna’s silence by the critically acclaimed Dardenne’s brother. This 2008 social drama takes place in Charleroi, a declining industrial Belgian city and focuses on Lorna, a young woman who migrated to Belgium from Albania. The movie was presented by Prof. Gul Ozyegin (Dept. of Sociology).

On February 11th, Welcome (France, 2009), a movie featuring Vincent Lindon, was presented. Welcome takes place in Calais, Europe’s main gateway to Great Britain, were hundreds of illegal immigrants are trying to find an opportunity to cross. It documents the friendship between Simon Calmat (Lindon), a 40 years old swim coach, and a young Kurdish immigrant from Irak, Bilal. The movie was presented by Prof. Nicolas Medevielle (Dept. of MLL/ French & Francophone).

The next weekend, two movies were shown and included in the Global film festival’s program.

The landmark environmental film Home (France 2009) by world renowned areal photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand and narrated by Glenn Close ’74 was presented on February 18th. Prof. Maryse Fauvel (dept. of MLL/ French & Francophone Studies) . After her intervention, director Yann Arthus-Bertrand made a few comments about his movie via skype!

The next morning, “Panique au village/ A town called Panic” (Belgium 2009), an animation film by Stéphane Aubier & Vincent Patar, was presented.

This years’ edition came to a close on February 25th with Reves de poussiere (2006 France, Burkina Faso), a meditative movie that presents the dismal conditions of gold miners in Burkina Faso. The movie was presented by prof. Neil Norman (dept of anthropology).

We are already working on the 2012 French and Francophone Film Festival’s edition. Next year we will no longer have the support of the French embassy, as we did in the last 5 years, but we are confident the festival is here to stay!

News News: French & Francophone Studies

Bellini Colloquium Talk by Nicolas Medevielle

Location: Washington Hall 315
Wednesday, February 16, 4pm

The Bellini Colloquium in Modern Languages and Literatures
is pleased to invite you to a talk by

Nicolas Médevielle,
Assistant Professor of French & Francophone Studies

“Maps of Desire: French Renaissance colonial Ventures and Cartography”

Wednesday, February 16, Washington Hall 315, 4 pm

From the 1530s on, the city of Dieppe in Normandy became an important center of cartography and later on of hydrography. Dieppe was at the time one of the most important port for French international expeditions: the city sent commercial ships to Newfoundland, Brazil, the West African coast and as far east as Indonesia. The Dieppe maps of the mid-sixteenth century generally took the form of world atlases or of large world maps, all richly illustrated with lavish miniatures. These maps were hand drawn and painted; their large scales made them useless for navigational purposes. In this talk I propose to explore what we know about a set of Dieppe maps from the 1540s and 1550s: why were they created? What do we know about their circulation?  Where did the possible models for their illustrations come from? I will in particular explore the possible connections between the advent to the throne of Henri II in 1547 and the apparent increased production of such maps in the latter half of the 1540s.

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Alumni Updates Alumni Updates: French & Francophone Studies News News: French & Francophone Studies

Julia Zamecnik ‘11: from William and Mary to NATO

When I got to college, I’d completed my language proficiency requirement and was fully prepared to stop taking French, and in fact I didn’t take any French my first semester at William and Mary. However, I can honestly say that restarting French was one of the best decisions I’ve made since arriving on campus. I’ve learned first-hand that speaking French has wide-ranging benefits in many areas of study outside just grammar and literature.

By taking French at William and Mary I was able to apply to spend my sophomore year abroad in Lille, France, where I mostly studied European government and EU-US relations. This has provided me with an amazing ability to both greatly improve my French and to take a multitude of fascinating political science courses towards my government major.

I am convinced that it was largely thanks to my proficiency in French and my time abroad that I was selected for an internship with the U.S. Mission to NATO this summer in Brussels. I will be living in Belgium from May through most of August working full time in the Armaments Department of the U.S Mission to NATO, as one of about five undergraduate interns at the Mission. I will also be conducting my own research project on France and NATO while living in Brussels this summer.

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News: French & Francophone Studies

The 2011 Tournees Film Festival: A Town Called Panic

February 19, 2pm

All films will be shown at the Kimball Theater on Duke of Gloucester Street

For more information visit the Film Festival website here:

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News: French & Francophone Studies

The 2011 Tournees Film Festival: Home

February 18, 2011, 7pm

All films will be shown at the Kimball Theater on Duke of Gloucester Street

For more information visit the Film Festival website here:

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News: French & Francophone Studies

The 2011 Tournees Film Festival: Welcome

February 11, 2011, 7pm

All films will be shown at the Kimball Theater on Duke of Gloucester Street

For more information visit the Film Festival website here:

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News News: French & Francophone Studies

Fête de la Recherche

Our first annual French & Francophone Studies research conference took place on Saturday, Nov. 13, between 9am and 1pm, and it featured six twenty-minute formal presentations by students in our program. These talks featured: three ongoing honors theses projects; research done as part of a student internship in Paris; an original video produced in one of our classes; research conducted in a museum in Montpellier. More specifically:

* Philippe Halbert (’11) spoke of his research in the French national archives, and explained his thesis about the changing functions and popularity of monsters in the early modern imaginary

* Michael Smith (’11) presented his honors thesis on literary representations of Haussmanization and the anxieties it provoked

* Eve Grice (’11) described her honors thesis research on the tensions between colonialism and post-colonialism in the recently opened CNHI (Museum of Immigration) in Paris

* Bridget Carr (’12) critiqued development aid strategies in France’s former colonies

* Ashley Hoover (’11) and Sami Tabbara (’13) spoke of the intertextual references they built into their original video production

* Danny Yates (’13) discussed Said’s understanding of Orientalism in reference to paintings and writings by Delacroix

Six other students majoring in French & Francophone Studies introduced the speakers and prepared questions for our two general discussion periods.

This year’s program was sponsored by the Charles Center and by the Reves Center for International Studies.

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News News: French & Francophone Studies

Congratulations to our latest Phi Beta Kappa initiates!

Ashley Hoover, Ingrid Heiberg, and Michael (Macs) Smith have just been invited for induction.

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Congratulations to Professor St.Onge

To honor Professor Ronald  St.Onge’s forty years of dedication to the College of William & Mary, on the occasion of his retirement the Department of Modern Languages has established a fund for a prize to be awarded every year to the senior in French & Francophone Studies with the most promising plans for graduate work. The recipient of this prize will be announced every year at the departmental graduation ceremony.

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William and Mary Students in Paris

Two French and Francophone Studies majors are currently studying in Paris, France (at the I.F.E). Besides her classes on European and French politics and culture

  • Bridget Carr (’11) is doing an internship at a French think tank, IFRAP, and will conduct her research in public aid to development
  • Eve Grice (’10) is doing an internship at the feminist bookstore Violette & Co. and at Tjenbé Rèd, and association against racism and homophobia.

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French Studies alumna accepted in Ma/PhD program in Georgetown

Kathryn Ticknor, who majored in French Studies and Linguistics in 2007,, has been accepted in the Master’s and Phd Program in Linguistics at Georgetown University

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Prof. Fauvel receives 2010 Plumeri Award

Professor Maryse Fauvel (MLL Francophone studies) has won a 2010 Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence.

Created by alumnus and former Board of Visitor member Joseph J. Plumeri (’66), the Plumeri Awards are given annually and recognize faculty who demonstrate exceptional performance in research, teaching and service over a number of years.

Last year, Katherine Kulick, Associate Professor of French and Modern Languages, received the Thomas Jefferson Award.

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News News: Alumni News: French & Francophone Studies

Five French students receive teaching assistantships from the French government

Our warmest congratulations to Christine Bobal, Juliana Glassco, Katelyn Moscony, Michelle Thibault, and Kelsey Williamson, our graduating French majors (’08) who have been awarded teaching assistantship by the French Ministry of Education and the office of Cultural Services at the French Embassy. They will teach English and American culture to students in major French cities such as Lyon, Versailles, Rouen, and Rennes. Last year (2007) David Arndt, Maura DiRicco, Rachel Mathews, Mary Ogburn, Drew Schmidt, Kathryn Ticknor, and Amy Zerwick were chosen to teach in primary and secondary schools in Rouen, Lyon, Lille, Rouen and Nantes. These assistantships are quite an honor, especially for recent B.A. graduates, so we are extremely proud of all these nominees.

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News News: French & Francophone Studies

French student receives McCormack-Reboussin scholarship for research on 18th C. organs

CONGRATULATIONS TO LAURA WAGSTAFF, the recipient of the McCormack-Reboussin scholarship for 2007-09! Laura will travel to France in the summer of 2008 to do research for her honors thesis on the eighteenth-century French pipe organ. In addition to working at the Bibliothèque de la Musique in Paris, Laura plans to visit key organs built by Francois-Henri Clicquot in order to observe the technical and aesthetic qualities of his instruments. While in Paris, she will also discuss her project with several French organ historians, organists, and organ professors.

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French student receives Fulbright Teaching Assistantship

Ariel Hunsberger, a double-major in French and European Studies, just received a Fulbright Assistanship to teach English to high school students in the Principality of Andorra. During her stay there, she also plans to conduct a reading and discussion group with parents and children on the topic of fairy tales, and to study the intersections of linguistic and national identities in Andorra. Ariel wants to pursue graduate study in languages and cultural studies upon her return to the U.S.

News News: French & Francophone Studies

Five French students receive teaching assistantships from the French government

Our warmest congratulations to Christine Bobal, Juliana Glassco, Katelyn Moscony, Michelle Thibault, and Kelsey Williamson, our graduating French majors (’08) who have been awarded teaching assistantship by the French Ministry of Education and the office of Cultural Services at the French Embassy. They will teach English and American culture to students in major French cities such as Lyon, Versailles, Rouen, and Rennes. Last year (2007) David Arndt, Maura DiRicco, Rachel Mathews, Mary Ogburn, Drew Schmidt, Kathryn Ticknor, and Amy Zerwick were chosen to teach in primary and secondary schools in Rouen, Lyon, Lille, Rouen and Nantes. These assistantships are quite an honor, especially for recent B.A. graduates, so we are extremely proud of all these nominees.

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