French & Francophone Studies Program Director, Associate Professor of French & Francophone Studies
Office: Washington Hall 204
Phone: (757) 221-1721
Magali Compan, Associate Professor, received her Ph.D. in French from the University of Michigan and holds a DEA in English from the Université de Montpellier. She specializes in Francophone literature and culture and her current research focus is on the Francophone Indian Ocean. She has published articles on founding (post)colonial literary figures of Madagascar Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo and Jacques Rabemananjara and on the contemporary postcolonial, postnational, writings of Francophone writers such as Jean-Luc Raharimanana, Ananda Devi, Shenaz Patel, Natasha Appanah, and Nassuf Djailani. She is the co-editor of Land and Landscapes in Francographic Literature (2007) and the editor of Visualizing Violence in Francophone Cultures (2015).
She recently published a book entitled Iles Intimes: Expression de l’iléité dans l’océan Indien Francophone (2020). She is currently working on an edited volume entitled “Convergences Océanes” which will be published with the Presses Universitaires Indianocéaniques in 2023.
She teaches courses on Francophone literature and culture including "Dreaming of Islands," "Cannibalism and the Construction of Identity," “Rage against the Machine,” and “Cross Cultural Perspectives in the Francophone World.”
Iles Intimes: Expression de l’Ileite dans l’ocean Indien francophone (2020):
Comment l'espace insulaire est-il imaginé et représenté par les artistes insulaires de l’océan Indien ? Quels rapports de pouvoirs l’analyse de leurs représentations paysagères révèle-t-elle ? Le but de cette étude est de décontinentaliser – et décoloniser – le discours afin de rendre l’ile aux insulaires et d’examiner cette mise en parole car, plus que tout autre espace, l’ile n’existe qu’en tant que représentation de l’ile. Ce travail aborde non seulement les questions propres à la spécificité géographique, mais également celles relatives au passé colonial, au néocolonialisme et à la globalisation. Dépassant les frontières nationales, il donne à penser un espace alternatif qui ne se conçoit pas à travers les épistémologies exclusives et extranéisantes européennes, mais à travers les notions de connectivités, de territoire, et de réseaux établissant ainsi de nouvelles généalogies et cosmogonies qui s’étendent au-delà de l’espace insulaire.
Visualizing Violence in Francophone Cultures (2015):
Visualizing Violence in Francophone Cultures brings together two complex and powerful loci of meaning: violence and the visual. As such, it offers a comprehensive overview from which one can gain a better understanding of the complexity of the visual rhetoric of violence. The visual representations of violence explored in this volume include both fictional works, including, for example, narrative films, graphic novels, and theatre, and non-fictional genres, such as news media and cultural artifacts. This volume’s strength is also grounded in its interdisciplinary approach; by bringing together scholars from a variety of academic fields to examine a broad range of visual artifacts, such as photography, graphic novel, films, paintings, objects, the book offers a substantive corpus focusing on the rhetoric of violence. The essays collected in this volume explore the ways in which visual expressions of violence have infiltrated diverse narrative forms, and, as such, how they both construct and challenge general understandings of contemporary violence. They all chart, with cultural and historical specificity, the way in which images of violence shape the visual imaginary of ethical worlds.
Land and Landscape in Francographic Literature (2007):
The literary production of landscape in the French-writing world, whether in Quebec, Morocco or Mauritius, is not new, but over the past fifty years it has developed added significance. As the dynamics of globalization continue to displace bodies around the world and deterritorialize its subjects, the relevance of land and landscape as a potent source for cultural identity, nationalist aspirations, and alternative post-nationalist subjectivities continues to grow. The essays in this collection examine contemporary literature in French from and in multiple spaces around the world, and consider the ways the vernacular and the local-as well as the virtual and transnational-re-claim, re-map and re-fashion post-colonial, national, cultural and ethnic landscapes while also questioning both the limits and challenges to this imagination. Contributors address landscape as an imaginary, constructed, and negotiated literary space rather than an unproblematic transcription of an external geographic reality, and through this prism explore images of dispossession, resistance, and re-appropriation. These essays link the literary conquest of nature to the process of writing/righting a history of imperialism and neocolonialism, locate in nature the rhythms of a material identity and metaphysical reality beyond urban and industrial capitalism, use landscape to explore the psychic disturbances of displacement, and call for a reinvention of places of memory. The collection aims to illuminate what can best be described as a Francographie that traces in multiple hands tenuous if not altogether uncertain geographies and unfinished maps. Cover image courtesy of Jennyfer Machuca.