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Valente-Quinn, Brian Dennis

Associate Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Brian Valente-Quinn (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles) specializes in the literature and drama of Sub-Saharan Africa with a research focus on Francophone African and contemporary French theater and performance.


  • French and francophone studies, African studies, performance studies, literary studies, Senegalese studies, francophone Africa, literary and cultural production of the francophone world


selected publications


courses taught

  • FREN 3100 - Introduction to Critical Reading and Writing in French Literature
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2022
    Study of French literature through close readings of representative examples of major literary forms (poetry, fiction, drama, essay) and through the composition of critical writings in French. Required for French majors.
  • FREN 3200 - Introduction to Literary Theory and Advanced Critical Analysis
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Fall 2021
    Introduces important aspects of both classical and modern literary theory as an aid to reading and understanding literary texts. Covers theoretical works by figures ranging from Plato and Aristotle to modern French critics such as Barthes, Foucault, and Derrida in conjunction with selected literary works. Offers students more sophisticated means of understanding issues like gender, ethnicity, the roles of both author and reader in constructing meaning, the nature and functions of signs, and the relationship between literature and the larger society. Conducted in English, though French majors are required to read the texts in the original language. Required for students taking honors in French or Italian.
  • FREN 3400 - Culture, Performance and Development in Dakar, Senegal
    Primary Instructor - Summer 2018 / Summer 2019 / Summer 2022
    Offers students an immersive experience in Dakar, Senegal, one of Africa's most historically rich and electrifying capitals. Introduces the history, culture and religious practices of a country at the crossroads of global notions of African, Francophone and Muslim identities. Includes a capstone public presentation in collaboration with a Senegalese activist theater company.
  • FREN 3450 - Underground Paris
    Primary Instructor - Summer 2023
    �Underground Paris� is a Global Seminar in Paris, France that provides students with an immersive exploration of the subterranean spaces, underground histories and subcultures of one of the world�s most famous cities. Through readings, films, excursions and immersive assignments, students will learn of the less commonly acknowledged spaces, populations and cultural movements that nonetheless constitute the life and past of this highly romanticized destination.
  • FREN 3800 - France and the Muslim World
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Fall 2020 / Summer 2021 / Spring 2022 / Summer 2022 / Spring 2023 / Summer 2023
    Introduces students to the polemic colonial, social, and cultural interactions of France and Islam. Close attention will be paid to paradigms of identities of one of the major European nations and the Islamic world. Readings and discussion topics for this course cover the social, cultural, and literary depictions of Islamic and French interactions, negotiations, and contradictions. Taught in English. Cannot be used for French major or minor credit.
  • FREN 4170 - Francophone Literature
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020
    Studies the literary expression of French-speaking peoples of Africa, the Caribbean, and French Canada. Gives special attention to oral tradition, identity question, and cultural conflict.
  • FREN 4990 - Senior Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Fall 2020
    Preparation of a 15-page research paper in French presented to two members of the department faculty and defended orally in class. Recommended prerequisite: at least one course numbered FREN 4100 or above and all third-year requirements and advisor consent.
  • FREN 5120 - French Special Topics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Different topics are offered and, in a number of cases, cross-listed with other departments. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours on different topics.
  • FREN 5170 - Francophone African Literature
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2021 / Spring 2023


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