Research

Baobab tree.
Baobab at the cemetery in Fadiouth, Senegal.

Dr. Stern regularly presents and publishes on contemporary francophone literature, sociology of the author, and performative authorship.

Selected recent research presentations and publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters:
“Can you go home again? Teaching narratives of return in francophone literatures.” Modern Language Association Volume on Teaching Migration in Literature, Film, and Media. Edited by Masha Salazkina and Yumna Siddiqi. Forthcoming; abstract for chapter in edited volume accepted.

“Digital Obsolescence? The Abandoned Blogs of Miano, Mabanckou, and Bessora in the Francophone Literary Field.” Article submitted to special issue of Postcolonial Text, “Digital Africas,” edited by Stephanie Santana, Shola Adenekan, and Wabena Opoku-Agyemang.

“Disidentifying African Authors at a French Writers’ Festival: Mabanckou and Miano at Étonnants Voyageurs.Research in African Literatures. Volume 50 Number 2 (2019). 49-67.

“Between France and Me: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Alain Mabanckou, and Transatlantic Mis-Readings of Race.” JALA: The Journal of the African Literature Association. Volume 13 Issue 2 (2019). 201-17.

“Performing the Immigrant: The Works of Calixthe Beyala and Fatou Diome.” Paroles gelées. Volume 28 Number 1 (2014). 79-96.

Presentations:

Northeast Modern Language Association, Philadelphia, PA/Remote; 11-14 March 2021
Panel: Francophone African Literatures Outside the Book. Presenter, and Chair; Paper to be read: “Gendered spaces: literary podcasts in/about francophone African literature.”
Roundtable: Réseaux: Strengthening Connections in French and Francophone Studies in Times of Crisis. Presenter, and Co-chair with Adeline Soldin, (Dickinson College)

African Literature Association, Washington, D.C.; 27 May-1 June 2020. “Institutional prizes, plagiarism sanctions, and suppressed speech in anglophone and francophone African literatures.” Postponed due to pandemic.

Northeast Modern Language Association, Boston, MA, 5-8 March 2020. Roundtable Co-chair with Adeline Soldin: Early Career Scholars in French and Francophone Studies.

African Literature Association, Columbus, OH, 15-18 May 2019. “Theorizing Francophone Book Festivals on the African Continent.”

Modern Language Association Convention, Chicago, IL, 3-6 January 2019. “The Performative Authorship of Alain Mabanckou: Universality and Commitment,” paper on the Francophone LLC panel “The Strange Fate of the African Writer: On the Work of Alain Mabanckou.”

Conseil international d’études francophones, La Rochelle, France, 4-9 June 2018. “Une sororité littéraire : Miano et Étoké entre critique et creation.”

 African Studies Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, 16-18 November 2017.“Francophone Visibility and Book Festivals on the African Continent.”

Digital Africas Symposium, Amherst College, Amherst, MA, 12-14 October 2017. “Digital Obsolescence? Abandoned Blogs in the Francophone Literary Field”

Conseil international d’études francophones, Université des Antilles, Martinique, 26 June-2 July 2017. “Complicités littéraires dans le champ littéraire francophone contemporain: Sami Tchak et Anada Devi.”

African Literature Association, Yale University. 14-17 June 2017. “Between France and Me: Ta-Nehisi Coates and Alain Mabanckou.”

The Performance of Pan-Africanism: From Colonial Exhibitions to Black and African Cultural Festivals, Winthrop-King Institute for Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, Florida State University, 20-22 October 2016. “Disidentifying African Authors at French Literary Festivals.”

Conseil international d’études francophones, Saly-Portudal, Sénégal; 23-29 May 2016. “Un retour aux sources? Les imaginaires géographiques d’Alain Mabanckou dans Lumières de Pointe-Noire et Petit Piment.”

Haitian Studies Association, Montreal, QC; 22-25 October 2015. “Troubling Identities: The Performative Authorship of Dany Laferrière.”

 African Studies Association Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, IN; 20-23 November 2014. “Authentic Performances: Léonora Miano’s Reconstruction of the Past in La saison de l’ombre.

Modern Language Association Convention, Chicago, IL; 9-12 January 2014. “Critic, Creator, Curator: Three Francophone African Writers and Authorial Presence on the Web.”

African Studies Association Annual Meeting , Philadelphia, PA; 29 November 2012. Panel Chair: “Blurred Lines: Permeable Frontiers in Francophone African Literature, Film, and Music. Title of Paper: “Writing at the Borders of the Text: The Performative Authority of Alain Mabanckou.”

Book Reviews:
Review of Branding the Beur Author: Minority Writing and the Media in France, 1983-2013, by Kathryn A. Kleppinger. H-France Review. Vol. 17 (July 2017), No. 114.

Review of Je suis la fille du baobab brûlé, by Rodney Saint-Éloi. Littérature canadienne/Canadian Literature. No. 226 (Autumn 2015). 155-56.

Review of Dance Circles: Movement, Morality, and Self-Fashioning in Urban Senegal, by Hélène Neveu Kringelbach. Études littéraires africaines. No. 40 (2015). 240.