Alessandra Benedicty, Ph.D.
Center for Worker EducationDepartment Affiliated Departments
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Alessandra Benedicty is assistant professor of Caribbean and postcolonial literatures in French at the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the City College of New York. Benedicty's most recent publication is titled "The Questions We Are Asking: Hegel, Agamben, Trouillot, Mbembe, and Haitian Studies" (Journal of Haitian Studies, 2013). Other work has appeared in Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses, Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, and Contemporary French and Francophone Studies. Her book manuscript, French, Haitian, and Vodou Thought: An Intellectual and Literary History of Possession, under contract, is due to appear in early 2015. For academic years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, Benedicty served as director of the Master of Arts in the Study of the Americas at the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the City College of New York. For 2013-2014, as co-advisor, she helped to launch the Human Rights Forumat the City College of New York. The City College is one of the senior colleges and Manhattan-based campuses of the City University of New York (CUNY), as well as the first free public institution of higher education in the United States. Previously, she worked at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York as Director of Development (2007-2009) and at the Québec Government Office in New York as Attachée for Inter-Governmental and Academic Affairs (2004-2007).
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, French and Francophone Literatures
D.E.A., Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne, Comparative Literature
B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, French, Italian and Film Studies
Benedicty teaches courses on immigration, globalization, gender studies, Arabic literature in translation, Caribbean and Canadian studies, research methodologies, and has taught courses in English, French, and Italian.
Benedicty's current scholarship focuses on Haitian art, culture, and literature. Its methodology is interdisciplinary, drawing upon art history, literary theory, anthropology, religious studies, and political philosophy. In 2010, with Jerry W. Carlson she received President Lisa Staiano-Coico's City Seeds Award to organize a series of nine lecturesand to conduct research in African-derived religions; they have recently received a grant for a project titled "An Island and Two Metropoles: The Dominican Republic, Haiti, New York, Paris"; for 2011-2012, she received a grant to study manuscripts related to the Loudun possessions in France in the early seventeenth century; for 2012-2013, she was selected to participate in the Mellon Seminar on "Poverty" organized by the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center (CUNY); and for 2013-2014, she was awarded a grant to pursue her second project, which looks at how the notion of 'poverty' circulates in intellectual spheres and markets of the 'global north.' She examines how the 'global south' is taking on an ever-present 'marketability.'
In addition to her book manuscript, French, Haitian, and Vodou Thought: An Intellectual and Literary History of Possession (forthcoming early 2015), Benedicty is currently working on two edited volumes, both already commissioned by the respective journal and press: one related to Haitian literature and the other to the role that anthropological discourses have taken in shaping narratives of Haiti. For more details on publications, see "Profile" above.
Benedicty’s recent publications include: “Towards an Intellectual History of Possession: Reading ‘la crise’ as a Textual Space in Vodou and André Breton’s Haitian Lectures and Nadja” in Studies in Religion/ Sciences religieuses, “Barthes, Genette and Laferrière: Crafting and Commenting Writing in Dany Laferrière’s How to Make Love to a Negro” in Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, “Narrational Devices, Discourses of Emanicipation: Frankétienne’s Les Affres d’un défi” in The Journal of Haitian Studies, and “Aesthetics of ‘Ex-centricity’ and Considerations of ‘Poverty,’” an extended reflection inspired by Kaiama L. Glover’s recent research in Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, amongst others. She is currently finishing a book project French Theory and Spirit Possession: Haitian Literature and Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Thought. She is second editor on a volume titled Revisiting Marie Vieux Chauvet: Paradoxes of the Postcolonial Feminine.