Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Romance Studies Professor of French

Odile Cazenave is Professor of French Studies in Romance Studies, African Studies, and the Center for the Study of Europe, and is an Associate Faculty of the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University.

Her research interests focus on the writing and reception of postcolonial literary and filmic narratives in French. Her publications include Femmes rebelles: naissance d’un nouveau roman africain au féminin (L’Harmattan, Paris 1996), Afrique sur Seine. Une nouvelle génération de romanciers africains à Paris (L’Harmattan, 2003)–both are available in translation (Rebellious Women (Lynne Rienner, 1999), and Afrique sur Seine A New Generation of African Writers in Paris; (Lexington Books, 2005)), and Contemporary Francophone African Writers and the Burden of Commitment (University of Virginia Press, 2011, co-written with Patricia Celerier, Vassar College). She has edited and co-edited a number of special issues for different journals: Présence Francophone 58, ‘Francophonies, Ecritures et Immigration;’ with writer and philosopher, Tanella Boni, Cultures Sud, 172 L’engagement au féminin; with Patricia Célérier, Présence Francophone «Vingt ans après le génocide des Tutsi du Rwanda : regards sur la production artistique», (PF 85, December 2015) and Nouvelles Etudes Francophones, (NEF33.1, 2018) on African and Afro-diasporic documentaries. She has written on a large number of Francophone writers and a wide range of topics related to gender and sexuality, post memory, the local and the global, art from trauma, the diaspora, as well as issues of displacement, migration, and citizenship in a global world. Her most recent publications include articles on Indian Ocean Literature, film, and globalization; on writers and filmmakers such as:  Assia Djebar,  Khady Sylla, Ananda Devi, Kivu Ruhorahoza, Fabienne and Veronique Kanor, Véronique Tadjo, Raharimanana and Sami Tchak.

She directed the Section African Literature for the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices (Editions des Femmes, 2013) and has been contributing to the series LittérAfrique (at Hachette International) geared to junior high and high school students in Francophone African countries, especially with an Anthology of the short story in African literature. She is one of the Editors of JALA, the Journal of the African Literature Association.

Odile Cazenave has held visiting appointments at Brown University, Harvard University, M.I.T., Wellesley College, and has taught in the Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies. She is a core faculty for the African Studies Center, the Center for the Study of Europe, and is part of World Languages and Literature, Middle Eastern and North African Studies, The Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Studies, and Cinema and Media Studies.

In 2018, Odile Cazenave was named a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, a high honor bestowed by the Prime Minister of France and the French Ministry of Education.

Selected Publications

Book Cover, Contemporary Francophone African Writers


Cazenave, O. (2011) Contemporary Francophone African Writers and the Burden of Commitment. University of Virginia Press.




Book Cover, Afrique sur Seine

Cazenave, O. (2007) Afrique Sur Seine. Lexington Books.




Book Cover, Femmes rebelles


Cazenave, O. (1996) Femmes rebelles Naissance d’un nouveau roman africain au fémininEditions L’Harmattan.