Brian Valente-Quinn
Associate Professor
French

HUMN 317
 

Biography

I am a specialist of Francophone African theater and literature. My research focuses on the interplay of theatrical performance with contemporary societal issues such as decoloniality, immigration, diversity, and the various threats of extremism found across a range of national contexts. I am particularly interested in the cultural politics of theatrical performance in West Africa and France.

My monograph, Senegalese Stagecraft: Decolonizing Theater-Making in Francophone Africa (Northwestern UP, 2021), explores the reworkings and innovations of stage spaces and performance practices in Senegal from the colonial era to the present day. I have also co-directed with Gino Canella of Emerson College a short documentary film entitled Bamba, the Taste of Knowledge, which examines the use of the popular stage space by the Murids of Senegal. My research has been supported by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, the Mellon Foundation, and a Fulbright grant. My work has appeared in a transdisciplinary selection of scholarly journals that includes Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, Research in African Literatures, Theatre Journal, and Politique Africaine.

My courses in the Department of French and Italian explore the literary and theatrical production of non-European Francophone artists as well as the societal debates at play in today’s multi-cultural France. I teach across a range of modalities, from online courses to immersive study abroad programs. I direct the CU global seminar “Cultures of Activism in Dakar, Senegal,” which takes students on an immersive experience in Dakar and includes a collaborative theatrical presentation with the forum theater company Kàddu Yaraax. I also co-direct with Professor Aimee Kilbane the CU global seminar “Underground Paris.”