Deputy Chair, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies and International Affairs, Director of French Literature
Kathryn Kleppinger's research and teaching center on the related fields of French cultural studies and contemporary French and Francophone Literature. The foundational goal driving her work is to question the construction of literary labels and the social power dynamics inherent to cultural production. Her first book, Branding the Beur Author: Minority Writing and the Media in France, 1983-2013 (Liverpool UP, 2015), focuses on the mainstream media promotion of literature written by the descendants of North African immigrants to France (often called beurs). Her current book project, tentatively titled Double Decentering: Contemporary Representations of Migration in Marseille, takes an interdisciplinary approach to studying the historical, cultural, and sociological patterns shaping the populations of Marseille, France's second-largest city and oldest continuously operating port. She is also co-editing a volume, The Marseille Mosaic, bringing together scholars from various disciplines to analyze current debates about space and place in contemporary Marseille. Her research aims to propose alternative ways of thinking about France’s (and Europe’s, more generally) immigration debates, as Marseille has the longest history of any major European city in eventually integrating new arrivals from throughout the world. In addition to these projects, she has published articles on Francophone literature from several regions, including Algeria, Morocco, Congo, and Cameroon.