Richard Watts, Associate Professor of French and former Chair of the Department of French and Italian Studies (2012–2016), was appointed as the Director of the Canadian Studies Center in November. Rich researches and teaches the cultural and political networks of the francophone world, including Québec. He is the author of Packaging Post/Coloniality: The Manufacture of Literary Identity in the Francophone World (Lexington Books, 2005), which examines how literature in French from outside of Europe circulates along these networks. He has also written a series of articles on the intersections of francophone postcolonial studies and the environmental humanities (in Journal of Romance Studies, Pacific Coast Philology, Bulletin of Francophone Postcolonial Studies, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Atlantic Studies, French Forum, and Modern Language Notes).
Rich is currently completing a project tentatively titled Water Narratives: Global Environmental Change in the Francophone Postcolonial World, which considers how the pollution, privatization, and manufactured scarcity of water are rapidly altering its previously stable symbolic value in literature, cinema, and other forms of cultural production. A chapter of this volume is devoted to water and the intersection of francophone and Indigenous cultures in Québec.
The Pacific Northwest National Resource Center on Canada (Canadian Studies at UW and the Center for Canadian-American Studies at Western Washington University) is very pleased to welcome Rich to our team. We look forward to working with him to strengthen and enhance our work on Québec and Canadian French language training at the UW.