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Patricia-Pia Célérier Professor of French and Francophone Studies

Patricia-Pia Célérier is Professor of French and Francophone Studies, affiliated with the Africana Studies and International Studies programs at Vassar College. In FFS, she teaches language and French and Francophone literatures at all levels as well as courses on contemporary France, bandes dessinées, the documentary, and courses pertaining to francophone aesthetics and politics. She has chaired FFS and directed the Vassar Wesleyan Program in Paris, for three years respectively. She enjoys advising first-year students as well as students “correlating” and majoring in FFS, AS, and IS, and JYA candidates. She currently serves on the Committee on Curricular Policies (CCP) as well as the Africana Studies and the International Studies steering committees.

Her research focuses on contemporary African literatures and cultures, literatures of the Indian Ocean, their diasporas, and the francophone documentary. She has written on a range of authors including Mongo Beti, Sony Labou Tansi, Emmanuel Dongala, Aminata Sow Fall, Tierno Monenembo, Alain Mabanckou, Michèle Rakotoson, Raharimanana, and Bessora. Her publications include “Le Sanglot de l’homme noir (2012) d’Alain Mabanckou: une nouvelle lecture de l’Atlantique Noire?”, “Raharimanana: Dialogues entre l’écrit et le visuel,” “Bessora: De la gaulologie contre l’impéritie,” as well as interviews of such intellectuals as Henri Alleg. She co-authored Contemporary Francophone African Writers and The Burden of Commitment (Virginia University Press, 2011) with Odile Cazenave (Boston University). Her recent work includes a co-edition of, and critical introduction to “Vingt ans après le génocide des Tutsi au Rwanda: regards sur la production artistique” (Présence Francophone 85, 2015), also with O. Cazenave. Her latest projects include several articles, at different stages of publication and writing: “Ecopoétiques malgaches: Michèle Rakotoson et Raharimanana”, “Les Limites du transnational chez Nathacha Appanah”, “Diasporic Wanderings: The Poetics of Tierno Monenembo,” “La Question documentaire: Même pas mal (2012) de Nadia El Fani,” “The Documentary as Epistemology: Jean-Pierre Bekolo’s Les Mots et les choses de Mudimbe (2014)” as well as a book manuscript on the contemporary conceptualizations of francophone African diasporic literatures.

  • DiplM, Universitaires Générales; PhD, Université de Paris-Sorbonne
  • At Vassar since 1984


Research and Academic Interests

  • African Literatures and Cultures


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Photo: Karl Rabe / Vassar College