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  • February, 2017: French and Francophone Studies sponsored a series on "Technology, Gender, and the New World," along with Medieval and Renaissance Studies, the departments of Classics, History, and Women and Gender Studies; the Humanities Center; the Global Engagement Initiative, and the Dean of the College. Lecturers included Martine Sauret (Macalester), Katie Chenoweth (Princeton), and Todd Reeser (University of Pittsburgh).

    • Chérif Keïta, William H. Laird Professor of French and the Liberal Arts, was invited to give a screening of his film, uKukhumbula uNokutela/Remembering Nokutela, and a talk at the Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary and to present a paper at the CIHA Blog Conference on Religion, Governance and Humanitarianism in Africa, October 19 through 21, in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Recently, Remembering Nokutela had its second broadcast this year on national South African television SABC3, at the opening of the 2016 Women's Month in the country. The Witness newspaper featured my research in an article titled, "A Forgotten Heroine Has Been Returned to her Rightful Place."

  • Cathy Yandell, W.I. and Hulda F. Daniell Professor of French Literature, Language, and Culture, has published an article in the online journal Arts and Savoirs, "The Dialogic Body and the Humanist Woman in the Self-Portraiture of Catherine des Roches." This volume of the journal is the English translation of a collection to be published in Paris by Éditions Garnier in 2017, Savoirs, identités et représentations des femmes à l’époque moderne, edited by Caroline Trotot.

  • Chérif Keïta, William H. Laird Professor of French and the Liberal Arts, gave a lecture on the late Nokutela Mdima Dube to the Bishops (Moderators) of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (Synod of South Africa) in Johannesburg on August 30. He was invited to participate in the preparation of the 50th Anniversary of UCCSA in 2017 by contributing his research on American Board missionaries, Reverend William Cullen Wilcox and Ida Belle Wilcox, two leaders who fostered the spirit of independence and self-affirmation within the Congregationalist movement for 38 years in South Africa and Mozambique.

  • Chérif KeïTA, William H. Laird Professor of French and the Liberal Arts, participated in the induction of the late Nokutela Mdima Dube into the Hall of Heroes and Heroines of the South African Liberation, and struggle for a multiracial democracy, at Freedom Park (Pretoria, South Africa), August 21 through 23. The event was widely covered by official government press releases and independent newspapers and radio stations.

  • Chérif Keïta, William H. Laird Professor of French and the Liberal Arts, performed two shows at the British Library in London on January 22 and 23 with Trio Da Kali from Mali. A review appeared in theguardian. He also presented a paper titled "The Sunjata Fasa (The Epic of Sundiata) as the Matrix of Mande Personhood" at the British Library one-day seminar on West African Literature and Thought in French: Translating Cultures. The Witness of Natal (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa) has called my work of resurrecting the forgotten pioneer Nokutela Dube on film as a "Great Historical Feat."
  • Chérif Keïta, William H. Laird Professor of French and the Liberal Arts, will be on stage with Trio Da Kali (Malian griot musicians), at the British Library in London, narrating "Sunjata: Glimpse of a Mande Epic," his rendition of the story of Mali's famous medieval ruler, Sunjata Keita. The two live performances are in addition to the film of an earlier performance at Cape Breton University (Nova Scotia) being featured in the four-month long British Library exhibition, titled "West Africa: Word, Symbol and Song" through February 16. Keïta has also been invited by the Literature section of the library to participate in a colloquium, "West African Literature and Thought in French: Translating Cultures, British Library Conference Centre, 22 January 2016."

  • Chérif Keïta

    William H. Laird Professor of French and the Liberal Arts, screened and discussed his documentary film,Remembering Nokutela, at the East Side Freedom Library of Saint Paul, on October 10. The film of his 2014 live performance of the Sunjata Epic at Cape Breton University in Canada with Malian griots, Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté (song) and Lassana Diabaté (balafon), is one of the main features of the newly opened British Library exhibit, "West Africa: Word, Symbol and Song", from October 16 through February 16, 2016.

  • Scott Carpenter, Professor of French, has published a short story entitled "Leviathan" in South Dakota Review. It tells the tale of a young minister entangled in her own crisis of faith.

  • Chérif Keïta had his film "Remembering Nokutela" screened by the Africana Studies program and the Department of Music at the University of Pennsylvania.

    He was featured for 30 minutes on JAZZ ON 2, a New Jersey public radio station, for a special program titled "The Making of Modern African Diaspora Jazz Music" with host Isa Blyden, speaking about traditional West African musical instruments in the context of the Medieval Empire of Mali.

    He had his first two documentary films, Oberlin-Inanda: The Life and Times of John L. Dube(2005, 54 min) and Cemetery Stories: A Rebel Missionary in South Africa (2009, 57 min), screened as part of the 2015 Oberlin College Commencement/Reunion Weekend. The films highlighted the role played by two Oberlin graduates and Northfield couple that helped plant the seeds of multiracial democracy in South Africa in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

    He was the guest of "L'Epopée des musiques noires" (The Epic of Black Diaspora Music), a weekly program of Radio France Internationale (RFI), Paris. Keïta spoke about the musical legacy of Nokutela Dube (1873-1917), a forgotten heroine of the South Liberation movement.

    He had his research on Nokutela Mdima Dube, the forgotten heroine of South Africa's Liberation movement, acknowledged in a recent book, Journey Through Johannesburg's Parks, Cemeteries and Zoo by Lucille Davie. A chapter titled "United In Death" shows the headstone Keïta helped raise for Nokutela in 2013, almost a century after her death, with an overview of her pioneering life and work in the U.S. and South Africa in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

  • Cathy Yandell recently gave a talk and led a discussion in the "Talking Terms" series sponsored by the Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World at the University of Minnesota. The seminar was titled "Sexuality in the 'New World,'" focusing on Jean de Léry's Histoire d'un voyage, which details the life and customs of the Tupinambá ethnic group in sixteenth-century Brazil.

    She also presented a lecture titled "Gesturing toward Peace: Three Catholic Voices on the Eve of the French Wars of Religion," at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The talk figured in a lecture series, "Conceiving Peace, Pacification and Conflict Resolution in the Early Modern Period.”

    She has recently published a chapter, "Le corps nu. Métaphore et cognition," in a collective volume edited by Xavier Bonnier and published by Éditions Garnier in Paris. The book is titled Le Parcours du comparant. Pour une histoire littéraire de la métaphore and includes a first chapter by the novelist Pascal Quignard.

    Finally, she gave a lecture at the Université de Paris-Est, "Corporalité et et dialogisme dans l'oeuvre de Catherine des Roches." Twenty of the twenty-five Carleton students on the 2015 Paris program also participated in the mini-conference, giving readings of the texts and engaging in discussion with both undergraduate and graduate students from Paris-Est.

  • Scott Carpenter has published a travel essay, "Danish as She is Spoke," in Lowestoft Chronicle, which has nominated this piece for a Pushcart Prize. The same issue includes an interview with the author. 

    He also presented a paper titled, "Être soi-même et autrui; l'altérité et Le Spleen de Paris" at a journée d'étude devoted to the work of Charles Baudelaire at the Université de Lille 3, France.

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