Our program is thrilled to present our new Lecturer of French & Francophone Studies: Prof. Deborah Lee-Ferrand. This title is new, but in reality generations of W&M students and faculty have had the pleasure of working with Prof. Lee-Ferrand ever since she first arrived on campus in 2008 to serve as French House Tutor on an exchange program from the Université Montpellier III Paul Valéry. After that, she went on to do graduate work at the University of Minnesota, ultimately earning a Ph.D. in French Studies. She then returned to W&M as visiting faculty in 2017. Ever since, she has been teaching language classes as well as more advanced seminars on French and Francophone culture. We are delighted to know that she will be staying with us for the long-term.
Prof. Lee-Ferrand’s research interests are incredibly diverse, ranging from food studies to Franco-African women’s literature to issues in gender and sexuality to contemporary cinema. She is currently working on two articles. The first focuses on the relevance of the Michelin guide, and the second one delves into the rise of West-African cuisines in France.
When asked what students should know about her, she said: "I really strive to make learning engaging, and as such, I want students to gain life skills that they can use beyond the classroom setting. I often use non-traditional assignments like podcasts or video projects, which can ultimately be shared with the community, but also teach students valuable skills. Ultimately, I want to rethink and expand the way I evaluate knowledge and progress in the classroom by experimenting with more creative and wider projects. For example, I am interested in developing more community engagement projects."
Prof. Lee-Ferrand brings wonderful new energy to our program. She is a beloved teacher and a delightful colleague, and we could not be happier to know that she is now calling Williamsburg home.