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How Boot Camp Jumpstarted My Book

You guessed it, I’m not exactly talking about a hardcore workout boot camp, but I am talking about this “Dissertation-to-Book Boot Camp” to get you on your way to writing on your book and hit major milestones in the revising process!

Why enroll in this Dissertation-to-Book Boot Camp?

Let me lead with this:

  • Have you ever felt like you do not know where to even start writing your first academic book?
  • Have you read all the books about turning your dissertation into a book and still had questions?
  • That you just want to toss your old dissertation out of the window, but wait, you can’t because you need that tenure book?

Yes, to all of these feelings and more probably, am I right? All of these I felt when I started my appointment as an assistant professor started at NCSU. I was thrilled to have had a tenure-track job at such a reputable institution and yet, I was having such issues trying to even get anything done.

 

After Boot Camp, I had a clear vision on what the book was going to do and how it was going to do it. I found out how to craft my narrative arch and foreground my voice. I discovered my claims and how each chapter will serve this overall claim. I figured out who my audience was, which model books to try and emulate.

 

All of this changed, when I found out that Katelyn Knox, PhD was offering a boot camp called “Dissertation-to-Book Boot Camp”. I knew of Katelyn first from her outstanding research and her first book Race on Display. While looking her up, I found out that she designed these boot camps for junior faculty. I signed up and I have not looked back since!

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Directing your M.A. Thesis

This post is for students who are seeking me to be their chairs for their M.A. thesis or Culminating Projects as we call them at NCSU.

First and foremost, I am so glad that you are considering working with me! It truly is an honor and I look forward to seeing where this goes. I must disclose that I am only able to supervise one to two students per cohort. If I ever have to choose, I will choose to supervise students whose research interests are closely aligned with mine. Before I can commit to direct your M.A thesis, do two things:

  1. Review my expectations for students I accept to supervise;
  2. Review my research interests and how do these interests could serve you.

As a junior faculty member, I am often juggling many different projects and for me to insure that I am doing a good job on yours, I want to make sure interests align.

Take a look at this curated list of topics I can now supervise for an M.A. thesis or Culminating project:

  • Women magazines in Pre and Post Colonial Francophone Africa;
  • Graphic novels and Representation of Women;
  • Black Fashion and Artistry;
  • Translation projects related to Gender and/or Francophonie;
  • Digital Mapping;
  • Teaching Portfolio;
  • ••• etc

Current M.A. Theses or Culminating Projects I am directing:

  • “Empowering Women through Sex Ed: A Literary Analysis of French Graphic Novels “(Lyndsay Lowdermilk, 2020)
  • “L’aventure personnelle d’Alain Mabanckou et la Françafrique” (Philippe Mvula, 2020)

That being said, at the moment I am currently unable to supervise topics that are outside of these topics. If you think your topic somewhat fits in the list but isn’t listed, shoot me an email and let’s discuss further!

Looking forward to working together! 🙂

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Contemplating an Independent Study?

This post is for students who are seeking to do an independent study with me.

First and foremost, I am so glad that you are considering working with me, however, I am not currently available to offer independent studies. As a junior faculty member, I am often juggling many different tasks and am not able to dedicate more time to independent studies. However, I would be happy to offer you a basic reading list if our research interests intersect. Read about my current research interests and see how they could serve you for crafting a reading list.

Past reading lists I have already crafted from which you could pick:

  • Veil in France: Theory, Literature and Culture;
  • Eco-feminisms: French and Anglophone Perspectives in Literature;
  • Transnational Feminisms in French;
  • Gender and Banlieue in Contemporary France;
  • The portrayal of the Relationship between France and Algeria in Literature, History and Art.

That being said,  I am currently unable to provide you a reading list outside of these topics. If you think your topic somewhat fits in the list but isn’t listed, shoot me an email and let’s discuss further!

Looking forward to working together! 🙂

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Colloque des Féminismes Noirs à Paris

 

C’était l’un des meilleurs colloques auquel j’ai assisté! La bienveillance était l’un des mots d’ordre venant non seulement des organisatrices, mais aussi de la part des intervenant•e•s et des participant•e•s. Ce colloque est historique car c’est la première fois, en France, que l’on organise une conférence où on analyse le genre au prisme de la race. Toutes les interventions étaient fabuleuses et nous avons terminé le colloque sur plusieurs mots d’ordre, celui de l’action et celui de notre positionnement. En tant qu’universitaires, à qui écrivons-nous? Comment est-ce que nos écrits permettent de changer les conditions des femmes noires en France? Je retiens surtout le mot de la fin de l’activiste, auteure et afroféministe Fania Nöel qui nous invite à faire de la guérilla académique, c’est-à-dire d’utiliser notre statut privilégié d’universitaires pour valoriser des femmes noires françaises, universitaires ou non.

Ce colloque n’aurait pas pu exister sans nos organisatrices de choc que je voudrais remercier (n’hésitez pas à cliquer sur leurs noms pour les connaître!):  Silyane Larcher, Jacqueline Couti, Rose Ndengue, Jennifer Boitin, Myriam Paris et Lucia Direnberger.

Pour plus de photos et d’articles à lire sur cette conférence, cliquez sur les liens dans les tweets!

It was one of the best conferences I have attended! It also was quite a historical conference for France! Benevolence surrounded each and everyone of us whether we were presenting or attending. It was one of the best conferences I have attended. This is a historical conference because it is the first time in France that we were able to analyse gender at the prism of race. All the panels were incredible and we wrapped up the conference on a few keywords: action and positioning. As academics, to whom are we speaking? How does our production improve Black French women’s conditions? I especially took to heart  Fania Nöel‘s (author, afrofeminist, activist) last words who invited us all practice what she called “academic guerrilla,” the act whereby one might use her privileged position in academia to empower other academic or non-academic Black women.

This conference could not have happened without the precious organizers that I would like to thank (please click on their names to check out their pages!):  Silyane Larcher, Jacqueline Couti, Rose Ndengue, Jennifer Boitin, Myriam Paris et Lucia Direnberger.

For more pictures and articles, please follow the links in the tweets below!

 

 

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Graduate Students, Let’s Work Together!

*I am indebted to Dr. Dana Bultman’s own guidelines*

I am always happy to talk to NCSU Graduate Students about their work. First year M.A. students especially should feel free to stop by and chat generally. All students are welcome to set up a meeting via email. I advise students whose interests overlap with any one my research or teaching fields. The advice below is for students who are considering working with me. The clearer we can be about our mutual expectations, the more successful and productive your studies and developing career will be.

What you can expect from me as your chair or committee member:

  • I’ll respect your ideas, goals, personal and academic background, which initially I will invest time in getting to know and understand—so I can better advise you.
  • I’ll provide practical training regarding oral defenses and presentations.
  • I’ll advise you in detail on the technical, methodological and theoretical aspects of your research projects.
  • I’ll give you a realistic and clear evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of your written work in a timely manner. If you are still waiting for feedback after two weeks, I may have been struck by lightning or simply juggling; do send me a clear reminder!
  • Note: if I am a committee member, I will not evaluate chapters of a thesis or culminating projects until your chair has first approved a working draft.
  • I’ll assist you in disseminating the results of your research. Together we can consider appropriate venues for presentations, conferences and publications, and I will review your submissions beforehand.
  • I’ll encourage your professional development by being on the lookout for special opportunities, such as grants, internal and external fellowships, and will support you in the application process.
  • I’ll be there for you to count on whenever you get stuck, but it is not good training for a chair to micromanage a student’s progress or be relied upon as the sole source of authoritative information or empowerment.

 What I expect from you as a master’s advisee:

  •  To keep on top of the deadlines and requirements of NCSU’s Graduate School and be familiar with the information posted on our Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, clarifying all questions you have about policies with me and the Graduate Coordinator as soon as they arise.
  • To take (or audit) the relevant courses offered by the people you want to work with. Professors don’t usually jump at the chance to participate in the committee of an unknown student, so planning ahead and taking the initiative to get to know your resources and possibilities in the program is important. It’s also good to employ thoughtful “upward management” skills.
  • To commit to regular meetings (twice monthly) and to develop a written “master plan” for your progress in which you list goals, deadlines for each goal, and steps for achieving each goal.
  • To manage our meeting time efficiently by preparing a list of questions for us to cover, formulated in advance. I prefer that you send these in an email before our meeting, as our agenda. We will then discuss accordingly. Our standing agenda item will always be to review where you are in your plan.
  • To be able to consider criticism, and to disagree with me and argue your points with confidence. This will allow us to not waste time with niceties and get to the substance of your work.
  • You are the author of your thesis or culminating project. With this in mind, I recommend that you keep a log of the results of our meetings. This can be done via email, sent to me afterwards as a brief recap. It will serve us both as a written record of our mutual agreements. Without it, we just have our wild and windy memories.
  • To be self-sufficient, finding out about and bravely exploring unfamiliar resources, information, and ways of working from peers, librarians and other mentors outside of classes or meetings with me. Strong efforts should come from the student to fill in gaps independently and in conjunction with the networks and contacts she or he is building.

Feel free to email me and/or stop by to further discuss!

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Amandine Gay à/in Montréal

J’ai eu la chance de me rendre à Montréal et de rencontrer Amandine Gay en Avril 2017. Cette longue conversation très passionnante m’a enrichi et m’a donné de belles pistes d’interprétation de son film Ouvrir la voix. Sorti en 2017, ce beau film relate l’expérience des femmes noires en France et en Belgique.

“Face à l’invisibilisation des médias et à la représentation stéréotypée des femmes noires dans les médias, j’ai voulu laisser la parole à celles qui, comme moi, se sont vu confisquer la parole” – Amandine Gay

Pendant notre conversation, on parle…

  • de représentation médiatique, d’imaginaire, d’universalité;
  • de racisme et de sexisme dans la société et dans le monde du cinéma;
  • de la réalisation du film, de sa réception de la part du public et des médias;
  • et surtout, du procédé artistique qu’Amandine utilise dans sa création.

Retrouvez mon article en entier publié dans The French Reviewsorti en Mars 2019. Pour le citer:

  • Format MLA: Montlouis-Gabriel, Johanna. “Entretien Avec Amandine Gay Sur Son Documentaire Afro-Féministe Ouvrir La Voix.” French Review: Journal of the American Association of Teachers of French, vol. 92, no. 3, Mar. 2019, pp. 180–189.
  • Format APA: Montlouis-Gabriel, J. (2019). Entretien avec Amandine Gay sur son documentaire afro-féministe Ouvrir la voix. French Review: Journal of the American Association of Teachers of French92(3), 180–189.
  • Format Chicago: Montlouis-Gabriel, Johanna. “Entretien Avec Amandine Gay Sur Son Documentaire Afro-Féministe Ouvrir La Voix.” French Review: Journal of the American Association of Teachers of French 92, no. 3 (March 2019): 180–89.

Lisez dès maintenant les premières deux pages de notre entretien ici: Premières pages de l’entretien, Montlouis-Gabriel

 

 

I had the chance to go to Montreal to meet Amandine Gay in April 2017. Our long and fascinating conversation enriched me and gave me beautiful pathways to interpret her movie Ouvrir la voix. In theaters in April 2017, this beautiful movie shows the experience of Black women in France and in Belgium.

“Confronted with invisbilization from the media and stereotypical representations of Black women in media, I wanted to give the floor to those who, like me, had their speech confiscated” – Amandine Gay

During our conversation, we talked about:

  • media representation, imaginaries, universality;
  • racism and sexism in the French society and the movie industry;
  • movie making, its reception from the public and the media;
  • and especially, Amandine’s creative process.

You can find the entire interview in the article I published (in French) in March 2019 in The French ReviewTo cite it:

  • MLA Format: Montlouis-Gabriel, Johanna. “Entretien Avec Amandine Gay Sur Son Documentaire Afro-Féministe Ouvrir La Voix.” French Review: Journal of the American Association of Teachers of French, vol. 92, no. 3, Mar. 2019, pp. 180–189.
  • APA Format: Montlouis-Gabriel, J. (2019). Entretien avec Amandine Gay sur son documentaire afro-féministe Ouvrir la voix. French Review: Journal of the American Association of Teachers of French92(3), 180–189.
  • Chicago Format: Montlouis-Gabriel, Johanna. “Entretien Avec Amandine Gay Sur Son Documentaire Afro-Féministe Ouvrir La Voix.” French Review: Journal of the American Association of Teachers of French 92, no. 3 (March 2019): 180–89.

You can read the first two pages of our interview right here, right now! : Premières pages de l’entretien, Montlouis-Gabriel

 

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I won the 3MT People’s Choice Award!

I recently just competed in the 3MT (Three Minute Thesis competition) at Ciné in Athens, GA to explain my research to a non-specialist audience. I won the People’s Choice Award, which is third place, and as opposed to first and second place, the award winner is chosen by the audience.

What an amazing and challenging experience! For me, it served as a reminder to ask myself: who is my audience? I have had to prepare and rehearse for this performance a lot. So much so that it had to be second nature to me!

It was such a great exercise that I will most likely incorporate to classes I teach in the near future.

Have you participated in a 3MT? Would you want to?