On the African side of the Atlantic, my first major publication, African Novels and the Question of Orality (1992), focused on the relationship between so-called “indigenous” or “local” African resources, such as oral traditions, and contemporary, seemingly “global” forms such as the novel.  

The intellectual significance of Paris (and more generally of travel) for black identities is also an interest.  I teach a course on this theme which straddles all of the units I call home (Comparative Literature, French & Italian, African American & African Diaspora Studies, and African Studies). African American Artists in Paris focuses not only on Josephine Baker, Richard Wright, James Baldwin and other US nationals, but on Claude McKay, Léopold Senghor, Aimé Césaire, Jean Paul Sartre, and Jean Genêt. 

Gender, as it relates to diaspora longing, national identity, and narrative form, is yet another strand in my work. 

Areas: Postcolonial studies; the African novel and oral traditions; gender and diaspoar, national identiy, and narrative form; focus on Senegal and West Africa.


  • France
  • Literature
Past Affiliations
European Studies, Literature, Italian, Middle Eastern Studies, Chicano/a Studies, French, African Studies
PhD, University of Wisconsin, French Literature and African Studies, 1978
MA, University of Wisconsin, French Literature, 1970
BA, Xavier University of Louisiana, French Education, 1969