About Me

Katelyn Knox

I’m an Assistant Professor of French at the University of Central Arkansas, where I specialize in 20th- and 21st-century French and Francophone literature, music, and culture.

My first book, Race on Display in 20th- and 21st-Century France, came out in 2016 with Liverpool University press. I’m now working on my second book, tentatively titled Mediating Francophone Afropea, which will examine how ultracontemporary Afropean authors and artists blur boundaries between literature and music.

I also enjoy helping other junior humanities scholars–especially those at teaching institutions–navigate the tenure-track and the process of publishing their first academic book. I share advice on the academic book publishing process, establishing sustainable routines, and how to find more time for the things that matter most to you on my blog.

Humanities First Book Author Inner Circle

Writing your first academic book in a humanities or qualitative social science discipline? Wondering how to manage such a large project? You don't have to struggle alone! Sign up, and I'll send you resources and advice to help you get a handle on your manuscript, find the best publisher, and develop productivity habits to get the book done.

I won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Race on Display in 20th- and 21st-Century France

Citation: Race on Display in 20th- and 21st-Century France, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2016.

Listen to my interview on the New Books in French Studies Podcast!

Race on Display in 20th- and 21st- Century France addresses a central tension in contemporary France: the relationship between race, ethnicity, immigration, and national identity. The project turns the tables on the rhetoric of “internal otherness,” asking its reader not to spot those deemed France’s so-called “others” but rather to deconstruct the very gazing impulses that produce them. This book is about how postcolonial Francophone immigrants and their descendants are made—and make themselves—visible in contemporary France’s socio-political, historical, and above all cultural realms. It understands “race” broadly, and, as such, places whiteness under scrutiny alongside racial and ethnic minorities.

This book draws from a diverse and engaging corpus of 20th- and 21st-century French and Francophone literature, fashion, dance, performance art, children’s comics, and popular music.

Read more about it on LUP’s website, or visit the book’s webpage to interact with the objects it studies.

Humanities First Book Author Inner Circle

Writing your first academic book in a humanities or qualitative social science discipline? Wondering how to manage such a large project? You don't have to struggle alone! Sign up, and I'll send you resources and advice to help you get a handle on your manuscript, find the best publisher, and develop productivity habits to get the book done.

I won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Published Journal Articles

Tributary Histories Flowing into National Waterways: European Rivers in sub-Saharan African Immigration Literature

Citation: “Tributary Histories Flowing into National Waterways: European Rivers in sub-Saharan African Immigration Literature.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 23 no. 2 (Spring 2016): 201-19.

Abstract: In this essay, I turn to colonial and postcolonial works that position Francophone immigration as a continuation of much larger transnational processes. Their protagonists’ seemingly “wasted lives,” are products of the violence colonialism inflicted on both African lands and their inhabitants. The texts selected for study here—Ousmane Socé’s Mirages de Paris [Mirages of Paris] (1937), Donato Ndongo- Bidyogo’s short story “El Sueño” (1973) [“The Dream”], and J. R. Essomba’s novel Le paradis du nord [The Northern Paradise] (1996)—remap imperial violence onto the hydrography of colonial and postcolonial immigration. Unlike the Francophone crossing narratives that came later in the twenty-first century, which privilege marine environments (particularly the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean), the earlier works studied in this essay give primacy to European riverine spaces–both those that serve as borders between nations, as well as the river running through the heart of France’s capital, the Seine. By connecting transnational marinescapes to European rivers, the texts reinscribe what are often considered “tributary histories” (Chambers) onto the former colonial power, ultimately suggesting that the “wasted lives”–both those that arrived in the colonial and early postcolonial periods, as well as those that continue to arrive in the 21st century, such as those affected by the 2013 Lampedusa disaster–that end up in the former métropoles are, in fact, a direct product of colonial violence.

Selling (out) on the Black Market: Black Bazar‘s Literary Sape

Citation: “Selling (out) on the Black Market: Black Bazar‘s Literary Sape.” Research in African Literatures 46 no. 2 (Summer 2015): 52−69.

Abstract: This article develops a framework drawing from Congolese sape fashion practices to read Alain Mabanckou’s 2009 novel Black bazar. In sape—an acronym for La Société des ambianceurs et des personnes élégantes (the Society of Ambiencers and Persons of Elegance)—sapeurs “sappers” perform danses des griffes “dances of designer labels” during which they brandish their clothing items’ designer brands. In my reading of Black bazar as an example of “literary sape,” I argue that the narrator-author’s references to cultural works from a variety of national and historical contexts can productively be read as a literary danse des griffes—a performance that interrogates the reading strategies to which the novel itself will be subjected. Ultimately, through its content and form, Black bazar contests the very notion of authenticity that undergirds how francophone cultural works and their authors are packaged and circulated within larger global cultural economies.

Rapping Postmemory, Sampling the Archive: Reimagining 17 October 1961

Citation: “Rapping Postmemory, Sampling the Archive: Reimagining October 17, 1961.” Modern & Contemporary France 22 no. 3 (2014): 381−97.

Abstract: Over 50 years have passed since the 17 October 1961 massacre and, though the event has gained wider recognition, it still occupies a tenuous place in French history. Scholars have turned to fictional literary and filmic representations of the massacre that have appeared since the 1980s, but have largely overlooked its commemoration in music. In this essay, the author analyses two works: French rapper Médine’s song ‘17 octobre’ (2006), which reimagines the massacre from the perspective of a witness who dies, and an Internet montage video (2008) which sets Médine’s song to archival and non-archival video clips. Both the song and montage highlight the limits of official historical discourse through a variety of practices, including manipulating perspective, sampling and putting 17 October into dialogue with other obscured histories. The historical and historiographical work these texts accomplish illustrates the potential of such media to construct a postmemorial archive that blurs boundaries between archive and fiction, creative works and history.

Humanities First Book Author Inner Circle

Writing your first academic book in a humanities or qualitative social science discipline? Wondering how to manage such a large project? You don't have to struggle alone! Sign up, and I'll send you resources and advice to help you get a handle on your manuscript, find the best publisher, and develop productivity habits to get the book done.

I won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Emdash–Blog

Humanities First Book Author Inner Circle

Writing your first academic book in a humanities or qualitative social science discipline? Wondering how to manage such a large project? You don't have to struggle alone! Sign up, and I'll send you resources and advice to help you get a handle on your manuscript, find the best publisher, and develop productivity habits to get the book done.

I won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Review & Revise Your Container Routine with These Questions

If you’re following along with my “Finding the Time To Write Your Academic Book Series,” you’ve now had a few weeks to develop and practice implementing your Container Routine. (Don’t know what a Container Routine is? Read my article on why you should use a Container Routine. Then read Container Routine 101, which helps you put …

3 Ways to Engineer Your Book Writing Environment

If you’re like many of the junior scholars I coach, you desperately want to find time to write your academic book. But during the semester, it doesn’t feel possible. You might have developed your first container routine. And you’ve taken to trying to implement it each week. You set product-focused weekly goals. But then it’s …

Teaching

I teach courses on French language, literature and culture as well as cultural studies courses on issues of identity in contemporary France, West Africa, and in the Francophone world more generally. Regardless of content, however, each course I teach is designed to meet my three core goals:

  • Develop student’s metacognitive abilities
  • Forge connections beyond the classroom walls
  • Equip students to carefully analyze the range of media to which they are exposed daily

Check out some of the recent literature, film, and culture courses I’ve taught:

Humanities First Book Author Inner Circle

Writing your first academic book in a humanities or qualitative social science discipline? Wondering how to manage such a large project? You don't have to struggle alone! Sign up, and I'll send you resources and advice to help you get a handle on your manuscript, find the best publisher, and develop productivity habits to get the book done.

I won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit