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four symposium participants

On Friday, April 26, 2024, the Department of French and Francophone Studies co-hosted a symposium on Teaching French and Francophone Studies Today. This symposium was co-organized with the Department of Romance, German, and Slavic Languages and Literatures at The George Washington University with the support of the Centre d’Excellence of the Embassy of France in the United States.

about 20 people sitting around a conference table

The symposium included discussions on Teaching Gender and Identity in Film and Literature of the French-Speaking World, Rethinking Period and Geographical Boundaries in French, Teaching African Cinema, and Incorporating Slang in the Upper-Level French Classroom, among many others.

woman speaking and gesturing at a conference table while other people watch and listen

Jennifer Boum Make and students

On Wednesday, April 24, 2024, students from the French course “Activist Women’s Fiction” (taught by Professor Jennifer Boum Make this spring) presented their research in the context of a one-day undergraduate conference. They explored a wide range of issues related to nuclear colonialism, gender-based violence, ecological catastrophes, and literature’s role in radical resistance. The keynote lecture was delivered by Professor Anaïs Maurer (Rutgers University).

Anais Maurer
Prof. Anaïs Maurer

This conference was sponsored by The French Embassy’s Empowering French and Francophone Studies Grant, the Doyle Engaging Difference Program, Gender+ Justice Initiative, and the Department of French and Francophone Studies. This conference was a success in large part thanks to the students’ intellectual curiosity and integrity, as well as their deep sense of caring.

The Department of French and Francophone Students wants to express their deep gratitude for our students’ brilliance. Thank you to Fiona Cleaves, Lina Doherty, Caroline Ericsson, Mayah Grandison, and Charlotte Messaris.

The Department of French and Francophone Studies, in cooperation with the Georgetown Humanities Initiative, welcomed author Karima Lazali on Monday, March 21, 2022, in a conversation on her recent book Le trauma colonial (Colonial Trauma).

image of Jack Murphy

In November 2021, Georgetown alumnus and French major Jack Murphy led us in a discussion about the frozen food industry in France. Dr. Murphy holds a joint PhD in French studies and anthropology from New York University and is an Associate Professor of French at Gettysburg College. His book Yearning to Labor: Youth, Unemployment, and Social Destiny in Urban France (U. Nebraska Press, 2017) is based on a year of ethnographic field research in the outer-city housing projects of Limoges, France, and chronicles the everyday struggle of a group of young people as they confront more than triple the national unemployment rate. His next research project focuses on the unexpected success of Picard Surgelés in France, a country more frequently associated with fine dining and artisanal fare than industrially produced frozen food. With this project, Jack aims to illuminate how culinary, and at times moral, value gets assigned to particular kinds of food and manners of food processing.

Cover of Hochelaga: Land of Souls film

The Department of French and Francophone Studies of Georgetown University College of Arts & Sciences, the Québec Government Office in Washington, and the Alliance Française of Washington, DC presented four different films and one panel discussion during the month of October 2021 in this virtual Québec Film Festival. The films included Hochelaga, terre des âmes (Québec, 2017), Kuessipan (Québec, 2019), La femme de mon frère (Québec, 2019), and Les affamés (Québec, 2017) with a roundtable discussion of Les affamés.

poster from Urbis et Orbis

To commemorate the signing of an interdepartmental exchange agreement with McGill University, Georgetown College and the Department of French and Francophone Studies presented a one day collaborative symposium, Urbis et Orbis, with colleagues from McGill’s Département des littératures de langue française, de traduction et de création. The symposium will showcased six presentations in French and was organized by Professor Miléna Santoro and Professor Anne O’Neil-Henry.

September 2018

Kim Thúy was born in Vietnam and is now a writer in Québec. Thúy has degrees in translation and linguistics from Université de Montréal. 

September 2015

A lecture by Professor Georgia Cowart of Case Western Reserve University. 

Professor Dudley Andrew, R. Selden Rose Professor of Film and Comparative Literature at Yale University

April 2015

Dr. Warren Motte, Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Colorado-Boulder

December 2014

Dr. Valeria Siniscalchi
Professor, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Centre Norbert Elias – Marseille  

November 2014

Inspired by Jazz and its place in French Culture. 

October 2014

Diana Sorensen is Dean of the Arts and Humanities, and James F. Rothemberg Professor of Romance Languages & Literatures and of Comparative Literatures. She is a specialist in nineteenth and twentieth-century Latin American literature, and in comparative literature.

October 2013

Around the Harlem Renaissance and the novel Banjo by Claude McKay

October 2013

April 2010

L’Acteur Sacrifiant (The Sacrificing Actor) and Le Monologue d’Adramélech

When: Monday and Tuesday, April 12 and 13, 2010 at 7 p.m.
Where: Georgetown University’s Davis Performing Arts Center, Devine Studio Theatre (3700 O St. NW, Washington, dc 20057)

Written, Conceived, and Directed by Valère Novarina. As part of a festival celebrating acclaimed avant-garde French playwright Valère Novarina, one of the most important visionaries in contemporary French theater, the Atlanta-based francophone theater company Le Théâtre du Rêve and Valery Warnotte give two performances at the Davis Center. They will perform the new work L’Acteur Sacrifiant (The Sacrificing Actor), which adapts the dramatic and theoretical writings of Novarina to create a montage that provokes and puts into question the audience’s very experience of theater. Novarina himself directs Le Monologue d’Adramélech, a monologue performed by Jean-Yves Michaux.

Both performances, subtitled in English, will be followed by Q & A sessions with Novarina.

“On the altar of the stage, first sacrificed is the character; second, the actor; and third, you, the spectator.” — Valère Novarina

Tickets available at or by calling (202) 687-ARTS (2787) M-F 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Novarina will also attend the opening for an exhibition of his artwork at Letelier Theater in Georgetown, followed by a free screening of, “What Cannot Be Spoken Is What Must Be Said”, a documentary (in French) based Valère Novarina’s approach to performance, language, and the visual arts.

When: April 14th, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Letelier Theater/ Georgetown Court, Inc. is located at 3251 Prospect St., NW in Washington, D.C.
Presented by The Alliance Française de Washington, The Délégation Générale de l’Alliance Française aux Etats-Unis, Georgetown University Department of French and Georgetown University Theater and Performance Studies Program.

March 2010

Onzième colloque du CIR 17
Centre International de Rencontres sur le XVIIe siècle
Le Rayonnement de la France à l’Âge classique

Georgetown University, Washington, DC (U.S.A.)
25-27 mars 2010
Direction du colloque : Guy Spielmann (Georgetown University) Georgetown College
The E. Joseph McCarthy Endowment Fund
The Department of French, Georgetown University
The Georgetown Jesuit Community

March 2009

Straight from Paris!
Elsa Solal: Playwright and Social Activist
Women and the Nature of Writing Causerie in French with English Translation Provided
Madame Elsa Solal, a professor at the world-known Institut d’Etudes Théâtrales of the Sorbonne Nouvelle (Université de Paris 111), has written many dramatic works, on a variety of themes, but especially on issues of great social import such as domestic violence across the board within French society and the alienation of women from immigrant populations (especially Muslim). Moreover, in recent years, she has worked collaboratively with these latter in order to facilitate the “insertion sociale” of marginalized groups by giving a “voix aux sans-voix”, a voice to the formerly voiceless. She has also written on Olympe de Gouges, a feminist heroine of the French Revolution.
When: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 7:00pm
Where: McShain Large, Georgetown University Main Campus
For Further Information: Contact Dr. Roger Bensky, French Department,

March 2009

A lecture by award-winning Mauritian author Ananda Devi

Sponsored by the French Department and the E. Joseph McCarthy Endowment

Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 4:00 PM
McShain Lounge, McCarthy Hall

Ananda Devi grew up in a multilingual, translational universe of Creole and Bhojpuri, English and French, Hindi and Mandarin. Does growing up multilingual better prepare one for a multicultural world? Or does it make one a jack-of-all-languages but master of none? How does one find a common cultural identity and understanding? These are the kinds of questions that Ananda Devi will elaborate on in her discussion of her own experience as a writer and citizen of the world.

The lecture will be in French, but the author will be willing to answer questions in English.

This tour is organized by the Délégation générale de l’Alliance Française aux États-Unis with the support of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie

October 2008

A lecture by Professor Jean-Max Guieu
Pour célébrer le centenaire de Zola au Pantheon
Les agressions criminelles de L’Affaire Dreyfus, ou “Quand des minables se prennent pour des justiciers”

Espace McCarthy, ICC 425
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

April 2008

Mise en scène : Baka Roklo
Jeu et chant : Nadège Dugravil Billy Midi Baka Roklo
Percussion : Claude Saturné
Direction du projet : Roger-Daniel Bensky

The performance : The´a^tre de mouvement. Du corps. Des rituels. Spectacle de tambours, de chants, de rythmes, de vie. Du mystère. De la magie. De l’irre´el. Du vaudou. Depuis la vie. De l’espoir, enfin, pour ce bout d’île, pour Ayiti.

A theater of bodies in movement. Rituals. A performance with drums, with songs, with the rhythms of what’s alive. Mystery. Magic. Beyond the real. Vodou. Spawned from life. Hope … yes … for this end of the island, this Haiti.

Baka Roklo (Guy Régis Jr.) : Author, videographer and stage artist. For the past ten years, he has been the dominant force inspiring Haitian theater. Through the exploratory work of NOUS, his company, he has launched a movement whose dynamism and influence has become an incontrovertible reference throughout the Caribbean.

Our sponsors : The French Department of Georgetown University wishes to gratefully acknowledge the welcome support of the following campus entities:

  • The Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action (IDEAA )
  • The Center for Latin-American Studies of the School of Foreign Service
  • The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs
  • The Americas Initiative of Georgetown College
  • The African Studies Program of the School of Foreign Service
  • The African-American Studies Program
  • The Center for Multicultural Equity and Access (CMEA)
  • The Minority Mentoring Program
  • The McCarthy Fund of the Department of French
  • The Department of Theology
  • The Anthropology Unit of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology

We also wish to especially recognize, along with Dr. Deborah Lesko Baker, Chairman of French and sterling supporter of cultural enrichment activity in French and Francophone Studies, Ms. Rosemary Kilkenny, VP for Institutional Diversity and Equity, for her generous enlightenment and early support, and Mr. George Corinaldi, a private donor, valued friend and former leader within the US Department of State.

April 2007

A Lecture in English by Alain Dubos, Former Vice-President of Doctors Without Borders (1999 Nobel Peace Prize)
Tuesday, April 10, 2008 3:15 p.m.
Espace McCarthy, ICC-425

How should we view emergency medical engagement in the early part of our new century?

More than 30 years after it was established, Doctors Without Borders continues its work in over 40 countries on five continents. From the secrecy of former times to the worldwide aura bestowed upon it by the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999, the organization has always had to adapt its original philosophy, “to go where others don’t go,” to the constraints of a world in upheaval after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Vice-President of Doctors Without Borders for a half-dozen years, Alain Dubos has completed numerous missions, often clandestine, in many countries at war, from Afghanistan to Lebanon and Kurdistan, to name a few. From these experiences, Dubos has produced a series of novels and non-fiction works and has since continued to work for population groups in danger. Thirty years after his early pioneering travels, his most recent mission was to Cambodia in March 2006.

March 2007

Pour commémorer le 250ème anniversaire du Marquis de Lafayette, le Département de Français de l’Université de Georgetown présente avec le concours de la Loge maçonnique Liberty N° 3 une conférence sur la Franc-maçonnerie française et francophone.

Please click here for information.

February 2007

The Department of French, with the Alliance Française of Washington, proudly presents a lecture in French Philippe Gumplowicz, Distinguished Lecturer in Musicology at the University of Bourgogne, Seminar Director at the Sorbonne & the Ecole des Hautes Etudes, and Musical Producter with France Culture and France Musique.

Monday, February 5, 2007
4:15 PM, ICC 103

Depuis le débarquement des troupes américaines en 1917, les musiciens de jazz américain n’ont cessé d’animer et de colorer la capitale française. Dans les premières grandes revues au Casino de Paris et les boîtes de nuit de Pigalle animées par la légendaire Bricktop, les Parisiens découvrent la musique américaine. A leurs côtés, les premiers musiciens de jazz français apprennent les rudiments de cette musique destinée à faire le tour du monde…

A World Premiere

Poster design by Pascal Mpeck

S’absenter pour être enfin là (Vanishing, to be there at last), a new Ivorian play by GU Professor of French and African Studies, Amadou Koné, directed in the Gonda Theatre of Georgetown’s new Davis Performing Arts Center by GU Professor of French and Theater Studies, Roger Bensky.

Amadou Koné’s major new work is a cautionary tale about a fictitious West African nation whose long-reigning leader has died and which we now find stuck in the impasse between mourning the past and bringing on the future. Why? Because a secret something called siguila, which we understand to be a sacred representation of the Origins according to several peoples of the region, and which is essential to the ritual bestowing of power on the new leader, has been inexplicably misplaced. Unless siguila, which we never actually see, and which even the official guardians of the traditions seem no longer able to fathom and describe correctly, can be found and restored to its rightful place in the rituals of transition, the society of this fictitious land will forever remain in socio-political limbo.

Performed in French with English Subtitles
November 30, December 1, and December 2 – 8:00pm
December 2 and December 3 – 2:00pm
Gonda Theatre Davis Performing Arts Center

April 2006

Poster Designed by Graphix Communications

The French Department presents UTOPIAS, APOCALYPSES and INVENTIONS: A Science Fiction Symposium

Georgetown University, Washington DC
Thursday April 6, 20069:00AM-5:00PM