I came to Westminster in 2011 and thus far have taught Elementary and Intermediate level French classes. In the spring of 2013, I will offer a 400-level course: Introduction to Francophone Literature and Film. This course will introduce students to literary, cinematic, and theoretical texts from diverse countries and regions of the Francophone world, including West Africa, the Caribbean, and Belgium.
I am the faculty adviser to the French Club and am also the chair of Westminster's Tournées French Film Festival Organizing Committee. We submitted a successful grant proposal in 2011, which enabled Westminster to hold its first French film festival in spring 2012. We recently submitted another proposal and hope to be able to organize another festival in spring 2013.
My philosophy as a French instructor is not only to effectively teach the French language and aspects of French and Francophone cultures, but ultimately to instill a sense of excitement in my students that will motivate them to work hard, to improve their French and cultural knowledge both inside and outside of the classroom, and to take pride in their work. I endeavor to bring energy and enthusiasm to all of my classes, incorporating my own interests in French and Francophone film and literature into the study of language. I think that it is important to encourage students to develop their ideas, work on expressing them clearly and concisely, and use their creativity. As students develop a firm foundation in the French language and begin working more closely with content-based material, I stress the importance of questioning and reflecting upon the works they study in order to develop their own critical voice. I prepare my classes with a twofold purpose in mind: I want my students to actively engage with the course materials and learn the French language while also thinking critically about other cultures, considering different perspectives and points of view, and looking at their own cultures and identities from other perspectives.
In addition, I strongly believe that effective teachers are also active outside of the classroom, in their field of research as well as in their departments and on campus. I consider research and teaching to be complementary; an active research agenda provides a springboard for the creation of new courses.
My research focuses on cinematic representations of North African immigrant women in France and my broader research interests include representations of women and minorities in contemporary Francophone literature and film. Recent publications include:
“‘Elle et moi, on est comme des sœurs’: the dynamics of intercultural female friendship in Philippe Faucon’s Dans la vie (2007).” Expressions maghrébines
11.1. (Summer 2012) p. 205-16.
“Un nouveau regard cinématographique sur les femmes maghrébines en France,” in
Femme en Francophonie (Volume 2).
Ed. Anne Pauzet and Sophie Roch-Veiras.
Paris: L’Harmattan, 2012. p. 59-71.
“‘Raconter leur histoire, c’est faire entendre leurs voix’: Un Entretien avec Fatiha Benatsou.” The French Review.
Vol. 85.3. (February 2012) p. 78-87.
“Les voix des femmes maghrébines en France dans les court-métrages: Le rôle des
37, special issue entitled “Images et représentations des Maghrébins dans le cinéma en France.” (2011) p. 33-37.
“Veiled Voices in the Films of Yamina Benguigui.” Studies in French Cinema
with Alec G. Hargreaves, “Back to the Future? Language Use in Films by Second-
Generation North Africans in France,” in Polyglot Cinema: Migration and Transcultural Narration in France, Italy, Portugal and Spai
n. Ed. Verena Berger and Miya Komori. Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2010. p. 75-87.
Ph.D. French, Florida State University
M.A., French Literature with a specialization in Francophone Studies, FSU
B.A., French and Political Science, University of Notre Dame