Faculty and Staff

Cathy Yandell: Chair, 507-222-4245, cyandell@carleton.edu

Mary Tatge: Administrative Assistant, 507-222-4252, mtatge@carleton.edu

General contact


Scott Carpenter
Scott Carpenter Profile
Professor of French
Director of Cross Cultural Studies
Off Campus: Spring 2016

Spring 2016
Paris Program

Scott Carpenter (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison) teaches courses on the representation of “otherness,” nineteenth- and twentieth-century poetry, the aesthetics of falseness, and literary theory. He has published extensively (sometimes with students) on such authors as Charles Baudelaire, George Sand, Honoré de Balzac, and Prosper Mérimée. In addition to Acts of Fiction (1996, on political representations in nineteenth-century literature) and Reading Lessons (2000, an introduction to literary theory), he has co-edited an intermediate French reader (Vagabondages littéraires). His most recent book focuses on literary and cultural mystifications: Aesthetics of Fraudulence in Nineteenth-Century France: Frauds, Hoaxes and Counterfeits (2009). He also writes fiction, and when he has free time he can often be found on rural roads astride his bike.

Chérif Keïta
Cherif Keita Profile
William H. Laird Professor of French and the Liberal Arts

Spring 2016
Office Hours: T, Th 10:30-12:00noon
FREN 208: Coffee and News W 3:10-4:20; FREN 308: France and the African Imagination MWF 12:30-1:40

Chérif Keïta (Ph.D., University of Georgia) teaches Francophone literature of Africa and the Caribbean, as well as advanced languages courses. A native of Mali, he has published books and articles on both social and literary problems in contemporary Africa. His special interests include the novel and social evolution in Mali, oral tradition, and the relationship between music, literature and culture in Africa. He is the author of Massa Makan Diabaté (L'Harmattan, 1995) and Salif Keïta: L'oiseau sur le fromager (Le Figuier, 2001). He has completed a documentary film entitled "Oberlin-Inanda: The Life and Times of John L. Dube" (Special Mention at 2005 FESPACO) about the life of the first president of the African National Congress of South Africa and his education in the U.S. at the end of the nineteenth century. He has a number of concurrent film projects on American missionaries and missionary education in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Professor Keïta also leads the Carleton Francophone Off-Campus Studies Program in Mali. He navigated midlife pretty well by taking up documentary film-making in South Africa instead of buying his dream Harley Davidson.

Christine Lac
Christine Lac Profile
Senior Lecturer in French

Spring 2016
Office Hours: M 11:00-12 and by appointment
Classes: FREN 309: Beyond Words: The Fine Art of Writing in French,  1:50-3:00

A native of France, Christine Lac (Ph.D., University of Nebraska) teaches language courses, stylistics, and culture. She coordinates the French language sequence at Carleton, managing the Tuesday-Thursday classes as well as training and supervising the Teaching Assistants. She has published articles on contemporary French women writers, nineteenth-century writers of children’s literature, and pedagogy. The Department's representative to the American Association of Teachers of French and the ACTFL, she also supervises Carleton students interested in becoming licensed to teach French.  She has served as the national Treasurer of Women in French as well as Program Reviewer for National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Éva Pósfay
Eva Posfay Profile
Director of French and Francophone Studies
Professor of French

Spring 2016
Office Hours: W 2-3 pm or by appointment

Class: Non-teaching term

Éva Pósfay (Ph.D., Princeton University) teaches on the French Classical tradition, French and Swiss Francophone cultures, and global journeys of self-discovery.  Her publications include work on seventeenth-century women writers such as Madame de Lafayette and Mademoiselle de Montpensier, as well as on intercultural theory and practice.  Born in Venezuela of Hungarian parents, and a so-called “global nomad,” she has also been active in the cross-cultural studies program.  Her current research focuses on bilingualism and multilingualism in literature, Swiss Francophone identity, and intercultural studies.  In 2007-2011 she served as Associate Dean of the College. In her spare time, she might be chasing after voracious groundhogs in her garden or dreaming about her next travel adventures.

Dana Strand
Dana Strand Profile
Andrew W. Mellon Professor of French and the Humanities
Off Campus: Spring 2016

Spring 2016
Office Hours:
by appointment
Classes: Non-teaching term

Dana Strand’s (Ph.D., Vanderbilt University) teaching interests include contemporary French literature, French film, and the culture and literature of North Africa. Most recently, her research has focused on questions of national identity in French and Francophone literature and film. Dana has published a book on the short stories of the twentieth-century writer, Colette, and co-edited a volume of essays entitled, “French Cultural Studies: Criticism at the Crossroads” (SUNY Press). She is currently working on a postcolonial study of the newly constructed Musée du quai Branly. Committed to interdisciplinary research and teaching, she has served as Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program as well as Director of European Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys theater, biking, and hiking, particularly along any available coastline.

Cathy Yandell
Cathy Yandell Profile
Chair of French and Francophone Studies
W. I. and Hulda F. Daniell Professor of French Literature, Language & Culture

Spring 2016
Office Hours:
  by appointment
Class: Chair

Cathy Yandell (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley) teaches courses in French Renaissance literature and culture, autobiography, contemporary cultural and political issues in France, comparative literature, and the French language. Her research focuses on the body, temporality, poetics, and gender in Renaissance France. Having published articles on writers from Marguerite de Navarre to Montaigne, she has also authored, edited, and co-edited several books including Carpe Corpus: Time and Gender in Early Modern France (2000) and Vieillir à la Renaissance (2009). Her current project explores the relationship between the body and knowledge, or "ways of knowing," from Rabelais to Descartes. When not buried in books, she loves dance, yoga, and flying trapeze. She also has a passion for climbing things (mountains, trees . . . and someday, if all goes well, Carleton's water tower).

Stephanie Cox
Stephanie Cox Profile
Lecturer in French

Spring 2016
Office Hours:  M W 2:00-3:00 and by appointment
FREN 103: Intermediate French, MW 9:50-11:00; FREN 103: Intermediate French 12:30-1:40

Stephanie Cox has taught a variety of courses: language, literature and cultures of French-speaking North America, focusing in Quebec, Acadia and Louisiana through themes of marginality and hybridity. Her courses explores questions of identity and the process of cultural survival of métissage which provides both a difficult place in society and a creative outlet to define oneself autonomously. Most recently, she has enjoyed teaching CCST 100 "Growing Up Cross Culturally" and in FREN 100 "I Love You. Me Neither: The Franco-American Courtship," a new A&I seminar on the history and evolution of Franco-American relations. Born in France of American parents and educated in Quebec and Louisiana, she uses her double perspective to encourage global insight in her courses on language, culture and literature. The analysis of graphic novels are present in most of her classes. Stephanie's past publications have focused on women writers, immigrant writers and marginality in French Literature and Quebec Literature.

Sandra Rousseau Profile
Assistant Professor of French

Sprin 2016
Office Hours: T 9:00-11:00; W 1:00-2:00 and by appointment
Classes:  FREN 103: Intermediate French 8:30-9:40; FREN 244: Contemporary France and Humor, 11:10-12:20

Sandra Rousseau (Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University) teaches courses in contemporary French and Francophone culture, history, and memory. She is developing classes focused on visual media and more particularly on bandes dessinées. Her research interests include stand-up comedy as memory, humor and trauma, politics and ethics, and contemporary French pop culture. Her current project investigates the intersection of humor and memory in the context of Franco-Algerian relations. When she is not reading or writing, she is cooking for friends while listening to This American Life.

Emeriti Faculty

Charles Messner
Charles Messner Profile
Professor of French, Emeritus


Cynthia Shearer
Cynthia Shearer Profile
Director of the Language Center
Senior Lecturer in French

Winter/Spring 2015
Office Hours: Check in the Language Center

 Cynthia Shearer (A.B., Brown University, M.A., University of California, Los Angeles) is a former Woodrow Wilson Fellow who specializes in French language and contemporary culture. She directs the Language Center, teaches French language, and has a special interest in computer-assisted language learning. She has been active in the formulation of several Mellon grant proposals to enhance language learning at Carleton through technology, has participated in numerous conferences, and held administrative positions in both the Midwest Association of Language Learning Technologies and the International Association of Language Learning Technologies. Cynthia also advises students and faculty on self-access language learning. In her free time she pursues a passion for origami, yoga, and garment construction.

Mary Tatge
Mary Tatge Profile
Administrative Assistant in German and Russian
Administrative Assistant in Spanish
Administrative Assistant in French

Mary Tatge has been an administrative assistant in the departments of French and Francophone Studies, German and Russian, and Spanish, for 20 years. She manages departmental budgets, student workers, and unruly faculty members. When not working in the LDC, Mary is a swimming and lifeguard instructor, a pool manager, and a beloved (albeit challenging!) teacher of water aerobics.

French Language Associate
Alex Or Saku Saku Bafuanga
French Language Associate

Office Hours:  le lundi de 20-22h, mercredi (petite modification) de 19-21h et le jeudi de 20-21h.  Les heures de bureau dans le library.