Joanna Merkel

Joanna Merkel, PhD

Assistant Professor, Coordinator, French
Office: L278
Phone: 780-479-9363


Teaching (Winter 2016)

  • French 102 (Beginners’ French)
  • French 212 (Intermediate French)


PhD in French and Francophone studies, University of Tennessee at Knoxville (2016)

MA in history, Université de Strasbourg (2010)

BA in history, Université d’Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse (2008)

Research interests:

Joanna Merkel specializes in French literature, with a focus on women’s writing. Her dissertation, entitled “Repenser une double altérité: Expérience commune et trajectoires plurielles de la femme étrangère en France métropolitaine (XVIIIe-XXe siècle)” examines the figure of double alterity represented by foreign women living in Metropolitan France, from the end of the 18th to the 20th century. She is particularly interested in how these women negotiate the transition between their homeland and France, how their identity changes and how French society has perceived them over time. She has also interests in Francophone literature, especially from the Maghreb area, French early modern history, French cinema, and cultural studies. Before coming to CUE, Joanna was teaching French in the United Kingdom and in the United States, where she was the recipient of a Fulbright grant.


2017    Presenter at the University of Alabama Language Conference in Tuscaloosa, USA.

“Orality and creole voices from Guadeloupe in post WWII France: Maryse Condé and Tales from the Heart.”

2016    Presenter at the Society of Dix-neuviémistes Conference in Paris, France.

« Malade, moqué, érotisé et orientalisé: le corps problématique de la femme étrangère dans les Lettres d’une Péruvienne et Ourika. »

2015    Presenter at the Southeastern American Society for Eighteen-Century Studies Conference in Gainesville, USA.

« Complicated love affairs in 18th-century France: Zilia the Peruvian and Ourika the Senegalese. »

2014    Presenter at the Southeastern American Society for Eighteen-Century Studies Conference in Knoxville, USA.

« Si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait: Representations and Images of Youth and Old Age in Voltaire’s Candide ou l’optimisme. »


Merkel, J. (2016) "Les débuts du réalisateur Mathieu Kassovitz : problèmes sociaux et portrait des années 1990 dans la comédie romantique Métisse et le film de banlieue La Haine.,"Vernacular: New Connections in Language, Literature, & Culture: Vol. 1, Article 4. 

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