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Personal profile

Biography

Dr Bénédicte André is a Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies, and the Director of Learning and Teaching in the Department of International Studies. Originally from Reunion Island, she completed her PhD at The University of Western Australia in 2014. Her first monograph, Iléité. Perspectives littéraires sur le vécu insulaire [Islandness. Literary Perspectives on Lived Insularity] was published in 2016 with Les Editions Pétra. Seeking to conceptualise the island space as a lived experience in the historical context of former French colonies, it foregrounds new literary perspectives on islands as ‘real-and-imagined’ spaces.

Dr André’s research interests lie in the contemporary literary and cultural expressions of French-speaking islands spanning across the Caribbean, the Mascarene and the Pacific regions. Drawing on literary and cultural theory in particular Deconstruction and Postcolonial Critical Theory, her work examines how contemporary narratives from these regions respond to the shared experience of ongoing manifestations of colonial legacy, including those at play in the overrepresentation of islands in the collective imagination. Dr André has a particular interest in how dynamics of space and time are deployed in this response.

Her current collaborative project with Prof Srilata Ravi (Director of the IMELDA Institute on heritage and international francophonies at the University of Alberta, Canada) focuses on Tahitian literary and cultural expressions to examine how the intersection of heritage studies, and literary and cultural studies can shed new lights on a territory marked by colonialism, nuclear imperialism and ongoing uneasy political ties with mainland France.

Research interests

  • Comparative Island Francophonies
  • Contemporary literature in French
  • Islands, oceans and archipelagos
  • Border crossing, mobility and liminality
  • Literary and visual cultures
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Heritage Studies

Research student supervision

  • Francophone Literatures and Cultures
  • Cultural productions from French-speaking islands
  • Identity construction processes
  • Creole societies
  • Francophone Postcolonial Studies

Past supervisions include:

“Leila Alaoui’s Les Marocains (2010-2014) as Photographie Engagée: Exploring the Place of the Other in the Contemporary French Cultural Imagination”.

  • Keywords: Ideological construction of Otherness; contemporary French cultural imagination; established modes of representation; gallery space; photography.

« La Fragmentation de l’identité québécoise dans À toi, pour toujours, ta Marie-Lou (1971) de Michel Tremblay ».

  • Keywords: Representations and negotiations of memory, history and identity; Québécois theatre.

Teaching

Integration and internationalisation have always been two cornerstones of Dr André's teaching. To ensure transferability beyond the Australian context, she actively continues to:

  • develop research-informed curricula inclusive of the various voices of the French-speaking world;
  • integrate employability and transferable skills into her curriculum and assessment design;
  • foster exchange opportunities in collaboration with external partners (France, Wallis and Futuna, French Polynesia),
  • prepare students to sit internationally recognised language examinations (DALF C1).

Dr André currently convenes:

  • FREN3010/2210 – French Studies 5
  • FREN3020/2220 – French Studies 6
  • INTS3010 (co-convener) - International Studies Project - DALF C1 Preparation

Teaching and curriculum development includes:

  • FREN1010 - French Studies 1
  • FREN1210/FREN2010 - French Studies 3
  • FREN1220/FREN2020 - French Studies 4
  • FREN2210/FREN3010 - French Studies 5
  • FREN2220/3020 - French Studies 6
  • FREN1310/3210 - French Studies 7
  • FREN3073 - Topics in French Cultures
  • INTS1000 - Language and Communication: Cultural Contexts
  • INTS3030 - Visualising Cultures
  • INTS7000 - Critique in Language, Literature and Culture Studies

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