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Magali Compan

French and Francophone Studies Program Director, Associate Professor of French & Francophone Studies

Office: Washington Hall 204
Phone: (757) 221-1721
Email: [[mxcomp]]
Website: {{}}

Magali Compan, Associate Professor, received her Ph.D. in French from the University of Michigan and holds her DEA in English from the University of Montpellier. She specializes in Francophone literature and culture and her current research focus is on Madagascar and the Indian Ocean. Her current projects include a study of founding (post)colonial literary figures of Madagascar Jean Joseph Rabearivelo and Jacques Rabemananjara and the contemporary postcolonial, postnational writings of "New Generation" Francophone writers such as Jean-Luc Raharimanana, Michelle Rakotoson, Ananda Devi, Carl de Souza and Shenaz Patel. She is the co-author of a collection of essays entitled “Land and Landscapes in Francographic Literature” and has published articles on Ananda Devi, Shenaz Patel, Jacques Rabemananjara, Raharimanana and Leonora Miano.

She teaches language classes, "Introduction to French Cultural Studies," and courses on Francophone literature and culture including "Islands and Identities in Francophone Literature," "Cannibalism and the Construction of Identity," and "From Négritude to Créolité."


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. Katarzyna Pieprzak is a Professor at Williams College in the Department of Romance Languages and Program in Comparative Literature. Magali Compan is an Associate Professor at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, where she teaches Francophone Literatures and Cultures. Cover image courtesy of Jennyfer Machuca.