People in French

Le voyage n'est nécessaire qu'aux imaginations courtes.


Debarati Sanyal

Professor and Head Graduate Adviser in French

  • Office Location: 4211 Dwinelle
  • Office Hours: Email for appointment

Critical refugee studies; aesthetics and biopolitics; human rights and humanitarianism; postwar French and Francophone culture; transcultural memory studies; Holocaust studies; 19th-century French literature.



Book manuscript in progress on aesthetic representations of the refugee ‘crisis’ in Europe.

Memory and Complicity: Migrations of Holocaust Remembrance (Fordham University Press, 2015).

Translated as MĂ©moire et ComplicitĂ©: au prisme de la Shoah (PUV, 2019) by Camille Perton with a preface by Éric Fassin.

The Violence of Modernity: Baudelaire, Irony and the Politics of Form (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).

Journal Issues:

Guest Editor, Time and Politics in Contemporary Critique: Entanglements and Aftermaths (Critical Times: Interventions in Global Critical Theory, 2:3, 2019): (open access).

Special Editor with Michael Rothberg and Max Silverman, Noeuds de mémoire: Multidirectional Memory in French and Francophone Culture (Yale French Studies 118/119, 2010).

Recent articles:

 “The Gender of Testimony,” in Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah and its Outtakes (forthcoming in April 2020).

“Humanitarian Detention and Figures of Persistence at the Border,” (Critical Times, 2:3, 2019).

“Calais’s ‘Jungle’: Refugees, Biopolitics, and the Arts of Resistance” (Representations, 139, 2017).

“The City as Heterotopia: Sylvain George’s Paris est une fĂȘte “(La Furia Umana no.31, 2017).

“A Tour through Baudelaire’s Fight Clubs,” in Approaches to Teaching Baudelaire’s Prose Poems (MLA Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, 2017)

“Modiano’s Memoryscapes” (Public Books, October 2015).

“Peindre non la chose mais l’effet qui l’a produite” in Lectures du Spleen de Paris(PUR, 2014).

“Reading Baudelaire in the Age of Terror” in Time for Baudelaire: Poetry, Theory, History, (Yale French Studies vols. 125-125, 2014).