November 2010 Report
Affiliated Graduate Student, Lisa Connell, French Studies, Appointed to a Tenure-Track Position at University of West Georgia
By Lisa Connell
I had the good fortune to be affiliated with the Canadian Studies Center throughout my graduate studies at the University of Washington (UW). Not only did the Center offer crucial support for student research, it was also instrumental in providing opportunities for professional development. In Spring 2010, the Center gave me an unparalleled chance to merge my research and professional interests by funding a content-based French conversation class centered on contemporary Quebecois society, FRENCH 327: La Société québécoise contemporaine. This course not only introduced students to Québécois film, literature, and language politics, it allowed me to advance in my dissertation research on Francophone women’s autobiography. Because a significant portion of my thesis focuses on the French-language author Gabrielle Roy, this combination of teaching, researching and writing about Canada’s literary and cultural history was the ideal testing ground for my developing skills as an instructor as well as the chapter’s organization, arguments, and historical background.
The luck of this past spring has carried over into summer. Upon defending my dissertation in July, I was recently appointed a tenure-track position in French at the University of West Georgia, where I am surrounded by wonderful colleagues and bright, inquisitive students. In the introduction to literature course I am presently teaching, I will incorporate Canadian materials into the class in order to address questions about the role of language and identity and the vibrant culture differences that help make up the French-speaking world. In the future, I hope to take advantage of the department’s Francophone literature curriculum and offer a course on French-Canadian literature and culture. Moreover, I look forward to developing study abroad opportunities in which students of French would live and learn in Montreal for one or two weeks.
A huge gratitude of debt goes to Nadine Fabbi and the Canadian Studies Center for all of the help they have extended. Their energy and commitment to promoting Canadian content is not only infectious, it is inspiring.
Lisa Connell successfully defended her thesis, “Pedagogically Speaking: Francophone Women's Autobiography and the Learning Subject,” in July 2010. Richard Watts served as her chair. FRENCH 327: La Société québécoise contemporaine was funded by the Canadian Studies Center’s Title VI grant, U.S. Department of Education, Office of International Education Programs Service.
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