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Students

Kameron Ackerman
B.M. Musical Theatre, University of Central Oklahoma
B.A. French, Spanish, and German, University of Central Oklahoma
M.S. Public Relations and Corporate Communications, New York University
M.F.A Screenwriting, University of California, Los Angeles
 
Languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian
 
Kameron is a fourth-year Ph.D. student interested in sub-Saharan African literature, 19th and 20th century literature, the history of the novel, narrative theory, and second language acquisition.  He is also interested in gender studies and immigration in the postcolonial French-speaking world.


Angélique Aristondo
BA in Philosophy – Université François Rabelais, Tours
MA in Media Studies – Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, Lyon
PhD in French, CUNY - The Graduate Center (Expected in May 2021)

Research Interests: 

  • Romantic love, consent, and gender violence in 20th- and 21st-century French popular culture and literature.
  • French and Francophone literature and culture, gender studies, women’s writing, visual studies, the history of emotions, the First World War.
  • Language Pedagogy

Angélique Aristondo received her academic training in France, where she also worked as a journalist and a web editor. She started teaching French in 2012. She taught at Saint John’s University, Fordham University and Columbia University. She is now a Graduate Teaching Fellow at Hunter College. Her interests include WWI and WWII postwar cultural history, surrealism and second-language acquisition pedagogy.

Chandra Balkaran
B.A., French, SUNY at Stonybrook
M.A., French, SUNY at Stonybrook

I am currently writing my PhD dissertation, “The Invisible ‘Third World’ woman remakes visible space: woman-authored cinema from France, India and the Maghreb’. Originating from an Indo-Caribbean diaspora, where Hindi was frequently spoken among adults at home, but only British English taught in schools, I learnt that our life’s experiences are first gathered from relationships to the Other. My education and experiences in Trinidad, New York & Paris took my learning beyond relationships & the classroom, putting me at the crossroads of questioning the way people are represented, especially those not having the power or means to represent. All questions of identity - subalternity, exclusion, caste-ism, displacement, deterritorialization, assimilation and silence - provide fertile ground for crossing frontiers in Indo-Franco-Maghrebi realms of cinema, but particularly from the POV of the Third worlded woman. “Third-World” women have long been excluded from center screen and space, and positioned in liminal, coded spaces — harems, brothels, ashrams, zawiyas, convents, or domestic space. Since spatial organization is integral to the production of the social, my thesis examines how spaces, from the domestic to the virtual, are reclaimed, redefined, and reformulated by women in politically engaged films made by “Third-World” women directors focused on “Third World” women. Please join me at my BlogSpot for more on such subjects at www.crossingfrontieres.wordpress.com
trinitude13@gmail.com
cbalkaran@gc.cuny.edu
cbalkara@hunter.cuny.edu
www.crossingfrontieres.wordpress.com
www.linkedin.com/in/chandrabalkaran
https://gc-cuny.academia.edu/ChandraBalkaran


Éric Benchemhoun
Langues Orientales, Sorbonne-Paris IV
B.A., Judaic Studies, Brooklyn College
M.A., French, Brooklyn College

Languages: French, Hebrew, and Yiddish

Areas of Interest: Renaissance and 20th century literature and culture; linguistic and cultural aspects of exile, especially how memories of native tongues and cultures are incorporated into new and/or adopted identities; also, the music of Éric Satie and the writings of Albert Camus, Gaston Blanchard, and Paul Ricoeur.

Born in Oran, Algeria, Éric grew up in Lyon, France, and studied in Montreux, Switzerland before embarking on the study of oriental languages at Paris IV Sorbonne. He came to New York with a JOINT scholarship awarded for his translation into French of a scholarly work on ancient architectural monuments. Éric earned a degree in Judaic studies at Brooklyn College and studied at a famous rabbinical school in New York. He has taught Hebrew, English, and French at different schools and organizations in New York and currently teaches French at Brooklyn College as a Graduate Teaching Fellow. Beyond university settings, Éric works as a rabbinical consultant in food production and completed an internship at Brooklyn Botanic Garden that led to a series of public presentations on multicultural incenses and fragrances.

Chris Brandon 
B.A., French and Comparative Literature, Illinois State University
M.A., French Literature, Tulane University
M.Phil., French, CUNY Graduate Center

Interests: 19th-21st century literature,visual/media poetics, games studies.

After doing some archival research in Paris, Chris is hard at work on his dissertation project that explores links between Stéphane Mallarmé’s object poetry and contemporary new media poetry. He has given papers on Mallarmé, kinetic poetry, and hysteria in early cinema among others. This year at the national MLA convention, he will participate in a roundtable on literary change and New Media. He holds the competitive Dissertation Year Fellowship, allowing him to focus on his research and writing. He has taught at Fordham University, Lehman College, and participated in an Instructional Technology Fellowship through Macaulay Honors College.
Website:  chrisbrandonjr.net

Iziar de Miguel
Iziar De Miguel studied Foreign Applied Languages and Translation at the École Supérieure de Traduction, Sorbonne-Nouvelle (MA). She is trilingual and worked as a professional editor and translator in Paris for 18 years. Iziar has been teaching French (and Spanish) since 2011 and currently teaches at Bernard Baruch College. She is currently working on the last chapters of her dissertation entitled “Detecting Texts in France and the Maghreb” where she explores the evolution of the detective novel, from 19 th century’s melodramas and feuilletons to contemporary adaptations of the genre by authors like Didier Daeninckx, Jean-Claude Izzo, Driss Chraïbi, Andrée Chédid, Virginie Despentes, Hannelore Cayre. Her last conference presentations include “ From feuilletons to romans policiers and to TV series: Forgotten Connections in Popular Culture ”, Maynooth University 2019) and “Du rap au roman policier : « Je suis français »” (Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, Oct. 2020.) Iziar’s interests include bilingual and transnational writers, post-colonial publishing, connections between food, the city and literature, cities in noir fiction, and women in crime fiction. She is a member of the International Crime Fiction Research Group.


Shweta Deshpande
B.A. French literature, University of Pune, Pune
M.A. Translation and Interpretation, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
M.Phil. Translation Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Shweta worked as a translator for several years before entering the Ph.D. program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her research interests include Francophonie, and the Indian Diaspora and Migration in 21st century France.

She has taught at the Alliance Française, and currently teaches French at Hunter College and at the Language Reading Program at the Graduate Center, CUNY.


Ryan J. Evelyn
PhD Candidate, French
M.Phil., French
M.A., French & Francophone Studies, University of Connecticut
B.A., French & English, University of New Hampshire
 
Primary Research: textual materialism in witchcraft treatises of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries (Boguet, de Lancre, Bodin, Rémy) and the imaginative construction of the Witch’s Sabbath; witchcraft, magic, and demonology in the early modern period.
 
Secondary Research Interests: perception of women in 1960s and 1970s French mass media, especially magazines (Elle, Salut les copains, and Mademoiselle Âge Tendre).
 

Fali Hasan Fezea Al Sudani
M.A. French Modern Criticism, University of Baghdad, College of Languages, Iraq, 1991
B.A. French Literature, University of Baghdad, College of Languages, Iraq, 2001

Falih has an interdisciplinary interest ranging from US-France knowledge transfer, Cultural studies, interdisciplinary studies, history of ideas, modern French criticism, to Iraqi intellectual history, ancient Arab history, modern Arab politics and journalism. Falih has worked as a journalist and was editor-in- chief of literary journals and daily newspapers in Baghdad, Iraq. He has translated a handful of books, published articles about Arab- West cultural and intellectual influences and Iraqi political and social contemporary scene. He published papers on the intellectual role of the French and western Christian missionaries to Iraq during the 17th and 19th century; and the intellectual transition stage after the 2003 US intervention in Iraq. He has received a fellowship of The American Academic Research Institute in Iraq, TAARII, 2012, and was a Visiting Scholar, Aramex grant for travel to the 2010 Middle East Studies Association annual meeting held in San Diego, USA. With GC fellowship, Falih hopes to improve his skills and to be an active member in the intellectual life in US.



Micaela Healy
B.A. Politics, Marymount University, summa cum laude
Research Interests: Politics, theatre & performance art, translation, gender, and francophone literature
 
Micaela Healy received her B.A. in Politics from Marymount University with minors in French, International Studies, and Gender Studies. Micaela’s undergraduate thesis, “Thinking in Epigrams: Wicked and Western Political Philosophy” was awarded departmental honors and her undergraduate sociological study, “Tactical Submission in Lean In For Graduates,” was published in Magnificat and won her the Robert Reed Prize for nonfiction writing. She presented “Tactical Submission” as part of a panel on pop feminism at the Virginia Association of Communication Arts and Studies’ 2018 conference and also served as a panel moderator at the 2018 World Affairs Council national conference. In 2019 she worked with the Embassy Adoption Program in Washington, D.C. to promote cultural exchange and learning in elementary school students, partnering with over 80 embassies. Her current research highlights modern theatre, the political quality of art, and intercultural exchange.

Claudine E. Jean-Baptiste
M.A., French, Princeton University
Bryn Mawr’s Institut d’études d’Avignon
B.A., French and Italian, Hunter College

Claudine has a background in education. Her interests include quest of identity and bâtardise in Francophone literature, melodrama, specifically the representation of slavery and abolitionist discourse in nineteenth century popular theatre, French culture and civilization, particularly eighteenth century ideologies in regards to slavery and colonialism, as well as literary translation. She started teaching French as a graduate fellow in Princeton in 2002. Since Princeton, she has been working at Queensborough Community College (CUNY) as a lecturer for the past ten years and more recently at Nassau Community College (SUNY). She held previous teaching positions at St John’s University and Molloy College. Besides teaching, Claudine enjoys writing. She is currently working on two memoirs.

Simon Kostelanetz
B.A. French and Physiological Sciences, Marquette University (2017)
Areas of Interest: Francophone postcolonial literature and theory

Simon is a third-year student in the French Department, specializing in Sub-Saharan postcolonial literature and theory.  He pursued a B.A. in French from Marquette University, earning it in 2017. He then taught for a year on La Réunion as part of the TAPIF program through the French Embassy. 

Simon has presented conference papers at the CUNY Department of Comparative Literature, the University of Kansas, as well at SUNY Albany.  He currently teaches at Baruch and City College.


Elizaveta Lyulekina
B.A., Philosophy, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia
M.A., French, Brooklyn College, CUNY
Languages: English, French, Russian

Elizaveta Lyulekina is a PhD candidate in French. Her dissertation studies the influence of the Lyonnais poet Maurice Scève, active between 1535 and 1562, on the formation of literary genres and the development of French Renaissance poetry. It also explores the poet’s considerable contribution to the creation of French linguistic and cultural identity. Her general research interests include French Renaissance poetry, intertextuality in French Renaissance literature, Renaissance literary genres, Petrarch’s Latin writings and their reception in Renaissance France. Elizaveta has published articles and encyclopedia entries on Maurice Scève, François Rabelais, and Pernette Du Guillet. She has given talks and presented papers on Renaissance literature at several conferences including the Atelier franco-américain at Sorbonne University, the RSA Conference, the Sixteenth Century Society Conference and the ACMRS Conference. She currently teaches at Baruch College and NYU.


Amy Martin
B.A., French, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH
M.A., French, Hunter College, New York, NY
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Areas of Specialization: 17th Century, 20th/21st Century, Women's Studies, Children's Literature, Narratology, Adaptations

Amy is currently working on her dissertation, titled "Unnatural Issue: Gendered Adaptations of 'Peau d’âne' in Contemporary French and English Texts," which incorporates the study of fairy tales, adaptation, and incest narratives, among other subjects. Amy recently began working in academic publishing, serving as editorial assistant for the Literary Studies and Music & Sound Studies editors at Bloomsbury Academic in New York, NY.

Ivana Prelevic
B.A., French Language and Literature, University of Montenegro, Faculty of Philology, Montenegro, 2014
Spec. Degree, French Language and Literature, University of Montenegro, Faculty of Philology, Montenegro, 2015
Certificate, La Découverte de l’Art Moderne et Contemporain à Paris, CEMÉA, Paris, France, 2015
M.A., French, Hunter College CUNY, New York, NY, 2018
Languages: Serbian, French, English, Spanish, Russian, Modern Greek, Latin, Finnish
Areas of Interest: Roman gothique; Gothic & Horror Literature; 19 th Century; Romanticism;
Symbolism; Décadence; Poetry (especially 19 th Century); Medieval; Theater of Tragedy;
Philosophy; 20 th Century; Comparative Literature (French-English-Yugoslav)

In 2014/2015, Ivana earned her B.A. in French Language and Literature from the University of Montenegro (Faculty of Philology) in Niksic, Montenegro. Her thesis, entitled “La Dualité Dieu / Satan dans l’œuvre de Charles Baudelaire”, is one of her many contributions to the 19 th century romantic and symbolic thought, yet examined here from a philosophical aspect. In 2014, her poem “Mon Théâtre“ won the first-prize on a literary contest - Dix mots de la Francophonie, and a scholarship to attend a cultural program in Paris.
In 2016, she came to New York to pursue a M.A. in French. She finished her master studies in 2018 at Hunter College where she also won the Distinction in Graduate Studies Award, for excellence in the study of French. Some of her research papers are: “Le baiser de la mort : l’amour et la mort dans L’Heptaméron“ ; “Le Bestiaire dans Les Lais de Marie de France“ ; “La représentation du Temps dans Le Spleen de Paris“ ; “Mémoire (In)volontaire: Where Are the Memory Triggers in Baudelaire?“ ; “À rebours : Dandysme postromantique ou virilité décadente“ etc. She worked as a private French and Serbian Tutor, French Translations Editor in a major translation company and as a French Teacher at a private language center.  Working in a translation and localization industry instilled in her the desire to, one day, run her own translation business.
Ivana is excited to embark on a doctoral journey at the Graduate Center. She continues to write and research about roman gothique in French literature and 19th century literature, which are her main areas of interest. She currently teaches French at Hunter College. She also writes, mostly poetry, in all the languages that she speaks.

Rebecca Raitses
M.A., Hunter College
B.A., The Evergreen State College

Rebecca Raitses is currently working on her dissertation proposal, the working title of which is Beyond the Familial: A New Approach to the Filiation Narrative in the Works of Dalila Kerchouche, Colombe Schneck and Martine Storti. She has presented on Franco-Ontarian poet Patrice Desbiens (“Life in Subtitles: The Poetry of Patrice Desbiens,” Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Nov. 2017) and written on Tony Gatlif for an anthology of French filmmakers (“Tony Gatlif doesn’t sit still for a portrait”). Rebecca currently teaches French at Hunter College.



 

Carlos Ríos
B.A, French & Francophone Studies, University of Scranton
MS Ed., Bilingual Education, The City College of New York 

Carlos obtained a degree in French and Francophone culture at the University of Scranton. During his undergraduate studies, he also discovered his passion for teaching. Upon completing his studies at Scranton, Carlos entered the New York City Teaching Fellows and completed a Masters Degree in Bilingual Education while teaching full time. Carlos is now in his 5th year of teaching as the fourth grade, French teacher in a dual-language program. His research interests include the presence of death and dying in literature, le Roman d'Analyse, Psychoanalytic literary criticism, and 20th Century literature, theatre, and film. 

Sara Rychtarik
Sara Rychtarik is specializing in medieval French literature. She graduated from Barnard College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English and French Studies.  She has also studied at the International Center of Photography and the Center for Book Arts.

Sara has worked extensively in film, music, and photographic production, producing several short films, as well as a television series.  During her career in production she managed the production office of renowned musician and artist, John Lurie, as well as the photography studio of fashion photographer and music video director Stéphane Sednaoui.
Sara is also a fine art and documentary photographer.  She has photographed for such publications as Details and Black Book, and her work has been included in several solo and group exhibitions, including the “Queens International 2006” at the Queens Museum of Art. Sara was awarded a grant from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Queens Council on the Arts for her series Queens Plaza.
Sara has presented papers at various conferences including the 32nd Annual Illinois Medieval Association Conference, The Henri Peyre French Institute Food Seminar: SALT and SUGAR/SALT or SUGAR? (Graduate Center, CUNY), and the 51st Annual Congress on Medieval Studies.
She currently teaches French at City College.

Oliver Sage
B.A., French, Hunter College
Interests: 20th Century, Contemporary, Queer Theory, Feminist Theory, Science Fiction, Translation.

Oliver Sage is working on a cluster of modern and contemporary figures ranging from Jean Genet to Virginie Despentes to Samuel R. Delany. They are particularly interested in looking at the ambiguous connections between violence and the erotic in queer modern and contemporary fiction, as well as the openings and slippages between the literary and the ‘paraliterary’ worlds of fantasy and (science) fiction. Other interests include queer potentialities and radical failures in translation studies. They are a 2018 Humanities Alliance Graduate Fellow.

 



Annie Schultz
Annie Schultz is currently a Ph.D. student in French Literature. She grew up in a small town in Kentucky but spent part of her childhood in Al Ain, U.A.E. After returning to the US, she received a B.A. in French Literature and Studio Art (Painting). In addition to teaching in Avignon, France with T.A.P.I.F, Annie completed a M.A. in French Language and Literature. Her research interests are varied, including 19th-century French painting and public sculpture, and questions of identity in Francophone literature of the Middle East. Annie is also taking the opportunity to study Arabic again after many years. She currently teaches French classes at Hunter College. 


Anna Soo-Hoo
M. Phil, French, Graduate Center CUNY
M.A., French Literature, Hunter College CUNY
B.A., English with a minor in French, City College CUNY

Anna’s dissertation concerns poetic exchanges in sixteenth-century France. For her master’s thesis, she wrote about the notion of female honor in the works of Madeleine des Roches. Anna wades into territories beyond the French Renaissance, however, such as when she presented a paper linking midrash to Zola’s novel L’Œuvre (spring 2015, Louisiana State University) and when she co-organized the 2018 CUNY PhD Program in French conference “Haunted History in France and America: When the Ghosts of Slavery Resurface.” As a research assistant for the Henri Peyre French Institute, Anna blogs about food in the French and Francophone worlds (https://henripeyrefi.ws.gc.cuny.edu/). She taught French at Hunter College as a Teaching Fellow and continues to work there as an adjunct lecturer. She hopes to resume writing poems in English, eventually compiling enough of them to make a book.


Melissa Trujillo
B.A. Sociology, Minor in French, Marymount Manhattan College
M.A. Global French Studies, Columbia University

Melissa Trujillo received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Marymount Manhattan College with a focus on the sociology of the body. Her final thesis was an ethnographic study of ballerinas and their relationship to pain. Melissa went on to complete a master’s degree in Global French Studies at Columbia University’s Paris campus. Her master’s thesis treated hysteria in 18th-century medical texts, and deviant female corporeality. Melissa is continuing her research on the body while shifting her focus towards francophone productions from the Mashreq. 
 

Marguerite Van Cook
M. Phil, French, Graduate Center
M.A., Modern European Studies, Columbia University, 2011
B.A., Magna cum Laude, English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, 2008
A.A. (Hons), English, Borough of Manhattan Community College, 2006
Newcastle upon Tyne Polytechnic, Fine Art, 1975-1977
Portsmouth College of Art and Design, Foundation Studies, 1973-1974

Areas of Specialization: History of Political Economics; Romanticism; Aesthetics; Eighteenth & Nineteenth Century Literature; Comics; Film; Theatre & Performance; GLBTQ Studies.

Marguerite Van Cook is a Ph.D candidate whose recent work looks at the intersection of political economics, aesthetics and literature, and the politics of gender. She is an assistant to the Henri Peyre French Institute. Van Cook came to New York with her punk band The Innocents after touring with The Clash. She stayed, opened the gallery Ground Zero and curated numerous events and shows. Her own work as an artist and filmmaker placed her in many museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, and the Schwartz Art Collection at Harvard. Her other credits include poet (she was awarded the Van Rensselear Prize while at Columbia), writer, critic, comic book artist, and actor. Her graphic novel a generational biography, "The Late Child and Other Animals," with James Romberger was nominated for an Ignatz Award and was published in France as "L'Enfant Inattendue". Her collaborative project with David Wojnarowicz and James Romberger, “Seven Miles a Second,” a graphic memoir of Wojnarowicz’s life and death, was published in France in 2012 and is in its second edition in America. In 2006, Van Cook became the creative and managing director of the Howl! Arts Festival, an annual, all-ages, multicultural, LGBT-friendly arts festival, which led in 2009 to the establishment of Howl HELP, a free emergency health and care service for downtown artists. She teaches French 101, 102 & 201 at Hunter College, CUNY and  Fench 106 at BMCC, CUNY.


Nina Verneret
B.A. Major Philosophy and Minor History, Lyon III
M.A. Philosophy and Critical Theory, Paris 8

Nina Verneret graduated in continental philosophy in Paris. She wrote her master’s thesis on the roots of the Baroque period in Europe and its reception in the Latin world.She is a contributor and editor for the social science books review website Nonfiction.fr. She writes about independent cinema, contemporary art, and literature. Nina also edits video content (narrative and documentary).


Alicen Weida
B.A., French Literature, Hunter College; l’Université de Paris IV – La Sorbonne 

Alicen Weida received her B.A. in French Literature from Hunter College, where she also began graduate study in 2014. Before beginning graduate work, Alicen interned at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy’s Département du livre, most notably helping to organize the ‘2014: A Year with Proust’ centennial festival. 
In 2016, she was an organizer for the French program’s annual graduate student conference, “Mapping Memory,” which welcomed graduate students from the U.S., Canada, France, and Morocco. Her academic interests include 20th Century and contemporary literature, Translation studies, and Women’s and Gender studies. She is currently pursuing a certificate in the Women’s Studies program.

George Westby
M.A., French, Bryn Mawr College (2010)
M.D., Albany Medical College (1970)
B.S., Union College (1966)

Subsequent to his postgraduate medical training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, George practiced nephrology in suburban Philadelphia for 30 years, which he continues to do on a part-time basis. Within French Studies, he is interested in the 20th Century, and especially Albert Camus. In Comparative Literature, W.G. Sebald intrigues him as well.

Patricia Winter
B.A. French and Anthropology, Hunter College

Patricia Anne Winter, a native New Yorker, is a  doctoral candidate in French. A dancer, choreographerand former trapezist, Ms. Winter was part of la nouvelle dance française movement in Paris in the 1980s and early 1990s, and the New York avant-garde dance scene in the 1990s. In France, she taught dance in several conservatories, as body awareness workshops to medical students at the Faculté de Médecine in Paris. In 1994, she had a residency at the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, where she created two choreographies after having done research on women artists working in Mexico, such as Frida Kahlo, Remedios Varo, and Tina Modotti. Concurrently she conducted dance workshops in the Escuela Nacional de Ciegos (National School of the Blind). She is currently working on a dance theater piece to be presented in Copenhagen.

Ms. Winter earned her BA in Anthropology, Special Honors, and French from Hunter College in 2010. In 2011 she was a guest lecturer in Hunter College's Arts Across the Curriculum Program and spoke about contemporary dance in America. In 2013 she participated in a panel discussion on dance and the body politic for the graduate program in anthropology at Hunter College. Ms. Winter has a special interest in the performing body and dance in 17th and 18th C. France, and 19th C. French literature. Her dissertation research focuses on the le ballet de cour and le ballet d’action, addressing questions of the body, spectacle, and gender in 17th and 18th C. French dance. She teaches French at Fordham University and Hunter College, and is a Writing Fellow at John Jay College.


Sarah Yahyaoui 
M.A. French and Gender Studies, McGill
B.A. French Literature, Université de Montréal

Sarah Yahyaoui is an fifth year PhD student in French at the Graduate Center. Her current research focus on identity in Quebec through the representations of Scandinavia and the idea of nordicity. That interest for Québécois identities translated in her feminist reading of Nicole Brossard’s Le centre blanc in her Master's thesis and in her direction of an upcoming journal number on Québec rap. She has taught French, French Literature and Women and Gender Studies at The City College of New York and Barnard. She has published in @nalyses, with the feminist collective Les bêtes d’hier, and with the editing house Triptyque.