Jocelyn A. Frelier

IMG_3894I am a researcher in the fields of French & Francophone literary and cultural studies, gender studies, and family studies.

I recently accepted a position at Texas A&M University, where I will hold an appointment as Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of International Studies beginning in the fall of 2020.

My first book-length monograph, Transforming Family: North Africa, the Francophone Diaspora and Kinship in the 21st Centuryexamines a selection of novels penned by Francophone authors who depict the struggles confronted by transnationally-positioned families. The families in these texts have been split by the Mediterranean Sea due to globalization and migration and the authors who imagine offer new theories of what it means to be family.

I have grounded this project in queer theory and recent pivotal scholarship in the social sciences that attends to the roles of affect, support, and obligation as they inform the transnational family. While anthropologists, sociologists and psychologists have made headway in accounting for new paradigms related to “the transnational family,” turning to cultural production as the locus of this conversation creates space for contemplating the aspirational arguments of members of these communities. This work is of critical importance as scholars develop frameworks for understanding what has been called today’s global “migrant crisis.” Two article-length essays, which will inform the book, have appeared in The Journal of North African Studies and Contemporary French and Francophone Studies.

An off-shoot of my primary research interests, which focused on Moroccan filmmaker Farida Benlyazid’s La vida perra de Juanita Narboni, was recently published in Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures. I am also very interested in the work of authors Kim Thúy, Thi Bui and Laila Lalami (essays forthcoming)  and discourses of migration as they appear in popular culture.

Education and Background

I received a B.A. in Romance Languages & Literatures from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in Romance Languages & Literatures from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. While at Michigan, I also completed a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies and a Graduate Teacher Certificate with the Center for Research on Learning and Training. I also held a lecturer appointment in the Université de Paris VII, Diderot’s UFR Études Anglophones during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Prior to arriving at Texas A&M, I held a position as an Assistant Professor of French in the Department of World Languages & Cultures at Sam Houston State University from the fall of 2018 until the spring of 2020. At SHSU, I taught both French language and upper-division courses.