Hometowns: Brest, France and Fes, Morocco
Educational background: MA in African American and African Diaspora Studies and PhD in Comparative Literature and American Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington.
How did you get into your field of research?
As a student of English in France and a racial minority, African American literature offered me a window for the exploration of race matters.
What attracted you to UW-Madison?
I was attracted by a department with a great number of faculty who research race, ethnicity and postcolonialism. The fact that English was hiring four scholars of Global Black Studies was the biggest draw, since it demonstrated a clear vision to make a place for this field of study and an institutional commitment to this vision. Additionally, I could see myself collaborating with scholars in the departments of African American Studies and African Cultural Studies. Finally, alumni of Madison rave about their education experience at UW and the flourishing intellectual communities in which they took part.
What was your first visit to campus like?
I remember having wonderful conversations with a great number of people, which made me want to live here.
What’s one thing you hope students who take a class with you will come away with?
An itch to pursue a degree in English, preferably with an emphasis in Global Black Studies.
Do you feel your work relates in any way to the Wisconsin Idea? If so, please describe how.
My research concerns major contemporary social issues, particularly narratives about race and migration in Europe and the United States. As such, it is in synch with the Wisconsin idea that research should aim at better understanding and resolving social problems.
What’s something interesting about your area of expertise you can share that will make us sound smarter at parties?
The French team that recently won the World Cup is not an “immigrant team,” as a New York Times article proclaimed. Virtually all the players were born in France.
As a huge fan of Zumba, I am thrilled by the classes Madison has to offer, which thankfully allows me to continue exploring Madison’s wonderful foodscape.