Anne Brancky completed a BA in French at DePaul University in Chicago, and went on to receive her MA and PhD in French literature at New York University. Her recent teaching and research have focused on literature and crime, visual cultures, autotheory and political self-writing, feminist theory and praxis, television, and the reciprocal relationship between French-language literature and the popular media in the 20th and 21st centuries. She also teaches in the Women’s Studies Program.
Her work has been published in Modern Language Studies, The French Review, Interférences Littéraires and the collected volumes Marguerite Duras et le fait divers (Minard, 2020) and French Cultural Studies for the Twenty-First Century (University of Delaware Press, 2017). Her book, The Crimes of Marguerite Duras: Literature and the Media in Twentieth-Century France, is now available from Cambridge University Press.
Anne Brancky completed a BA in French at DePaul University in Chicago and earned her MA and PhD in French literature at New York University. Her recent teaching and research have focused on literature and crime, visual cultures, autotheory and political self-writing, feminist theory and praxis, television, and the reciprocal relationship between French-language literature and the popular media in the 20th and 21st centuries. She also participates in the Women, Feminist and Queer Studies and Media Studies programs.
Her book, The Crimes of Marguerite Duras: Literature and the Media in 20th-Century France (2020, Cambridge University Press), offers an innovative framework for analyzing Duras’s literary works and journalism as they relate to the mass media and broader cultural debates. Anne Brancky reveals how Duras’s predilection for provocatively blurring the line between truth and fiction on various media platforms helped make her a best-selling author and a public intellectual ahead of her time. Exploring the movement between serious literature and public scandal, this book affirms literature’s abiding role in political debate and the public sphere.
Her work on Duras has been published in The French Review, Interférences Littéraires and the collected volumes Marguerite Duras et le fait divers suivi de Lectures de La Vie tranquille (Minard 2020), and French Cultural Studies for the Twenty-First Century (University of Delaware Press, 2017). Another essay on the prison as a mythological space in Duras is forthcoming in another Minard collection on Duras and myths edited by Simona Crippa.
A new book project on the Franco-Algerian “prison writer” Albertine Sarrazin studies kinship, family making, and reproduction in 20th-century France against a backdrop of coloniality and chronic institutionalization and incarceration. Sarrazin’s autofictional short stories and novels, along with scores of published journal pages and letters, collectively tell the story of life as a transnational adoptee rejected by her adoptive parents once brought to France, a criminal and then a convict living in women’s prisons and forging unconventional bonds while incarcerated, and a woman suffering from fertility issues. Each of these categories: adoption, same-sex kinship and chosen family, and fertility, serve not only as the biographical basis of her works, but also underpin Brancky’s theoretical approaches to her oeuvre. Furthermore, these three categories also tell a broader story of reproduction in 20th-century France as it is managed by institutions and as it is told through literary production. Albertine Sarrazin is therefore both a fascinating, understudied literary figure, and a writer through which to read largely untold stories of women and reproduction in the 20th century. An article related to this project called “Albertine Sarrazin’s Adoption” appears in The French Review (96.4).
With Youna Kwak (University of Redlands), Brancky is also editing a special issue of Women in French Studies (Summer 2024) called “Out of Confinement, Creativity in Constraint,” which explores work created by confined women and work that represents confined women, from the early modern period to the present-day. The special issue studies how the confinement of women as depicted in fictional and non-fictional texts (across media) informs, reflects, and interrogates gendered conditions of existence.
With Laura Hughes and Youna Kwak, Anne Brancky also co-edited a Special Cluster of articles for the journal Modern Language Studies on Disclosure (Summer 2020). Their co-written critical introduction investigates the political and epistemological stakes of disclosure in emergent narrative forms as they relate to community, selfhood, truth and fiction. The four included essays touch on a variety of contemporary concerns from the domains of media studies, cultural studies, critical theory, feminist theory, and literature. All speak to the necessity—and difficulty—of harnessing the momentum created by increasing awareness of pervasive sexual and racial violence to create new frameworks for accountability and collective healing.
Research and Academic Interests
20th- and 21st-century French and Francophone Literatures
Literature and the Media
The Fait Divers
Feminist Theory and Queer Theory
Departments and Programs
FFS 206 Intermediate French II
FFS 380 Adventures in Autofiction and Autotheory
Grants, Fellowships, Honors, Awards
Professor Brancky is the author of The Crimes of Marguerite Duras
Anne Brancky, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies, is the author of The Crimes of Marguerite Duras: Literature and Media in Twentieth-Century France, recently published by Cambridge University Press. This work explores a new framework for analyzing Duras’ literary works and journalism.
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