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Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken

Faculty and Staff Profiles

Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken

Assistant Professor

School/Division
Office
25 Broadway 7-46
Phone Number: 
(212) 925-6625 x207
Fax: 
(212) 925-0963
Email: 
abenedicty@ccny.cuny.edu
Benedicty-Kokken Alessandra
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Profile
Description: 

Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken is Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, with an appointment also in French at The Graduate Center (CUNY). Her research deals with three topics:

The role that the “culture industry” plays in forming the general public’s ideas about cosmopolitanism;

Literature and philosophy from Haiti, as well as the relationship among the Black Atlantic, Europe, and North America; and,

The relationship between Jewish and Africana intellectualisms, as well as Arabic and Critical Islamic Studies.

She is author of Spirit Possession in French, Haitian, and Vodou Thought: An Intellectual History (Lexington Books, 2015). She is co-editor of Revisiting Marie Vieux Chauvet: Paradoxes of the Postcolonial Feminine (2016), a special issue of Yale French Studies; and, co-editor of The Haiti Exception: Anthropology and the Predicament of Narrative, with Liverpool University Press (2016).

Open access articles include: 

"A Polyvalent Mediterranean, or the trope of nomadism in the literary oeuvre of Igiaba Scego and Abdourahman A. Waberi." RELIEF - REVUE ÉLECTRONIQUE DE LITTÉRATURE FRANÇAISE. 11(2), 103-22. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/relief.970 and 

“The Questions We Are Asking: Hegel, Agamben, Dayan, Trouillot, Mbembe, and Haitian Studies.” Journal of Haitian Studies.19.1 (Fall/Winter 2013 -2014): 6-60.

 

She is currently Series Editor for Brill's Caribbean Series.

She served for four academic years as Director of the MA in the Study of the Americas at the City College of New York (CUNY), a 30-credit MA and also BA/MA program. 

For 2013-2014, as co-advisor, she helped to launch the Human Rights Forum  at the City College of New York.  In 2016, she helped organize the first annual Showcasing Student Research at the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies.

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). 

Teaching and Service Awards

Outstanding College-Wide Service Award, Office of the President, City College of New York (Awarded in May 2017).

Provost’s Prize for Pedagogical and Curricular Innovation (Awarded in May 2014).

Outstanding Faculty Award, The City College of New York Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the City College of New York (Awarded in August 2010).

Featured Fellow, Twentieth Anniversary Letters and Science Teaching Fellow Symposium, University of Wisconsin, Madison, (November 4-5, 2010).

Teaching Award, UW Madison: Departmental Award (Awarded in May1998).

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Education
Description: 

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

 

Other programs:

Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap, Dutch Goverment Language Program through Top Taal Language School, Het Staatsexamen NT2-I for the Dutch language

7th Annual Summer School on Black Europe

Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, Schoelcher, Martinique, Certificat de Créole martiniquais

Haitian Studies Institute (Florida International University)

Bryn Mawr Summer Program

Middlebury College, Intensive Language Study in Arabic

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Courses Taught
Description: 

 

Pre-Requisites Regularly Taught:

Writing Across the Disciplines, I & II

Research Methods

The Essay

Inventing the Americas

New Undergraduate Courses Developed:

Witches, Masons, Slaves and Revolutionaries: Summer 2010, Summer 2014 (Online), Spring 2016

Human Rights Forum: Special Topic for Lecture Series: Spring 2014

Interdisciplinary Contexts for the ‘Arab World’ Today: Fall 2013, Summer 2016 (Online)

Home and Away: The Literature of Immigration: Summer 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2012

Masculine/ Feminine: Success, Failure, Gender and Race: Summer 2011

The Global Citizen: Globalization and Identity: Fall 2008

Defining ‘the Caribbean’: Literature, History and Politics: Spring 2009

Canada: the Neighbor to North: Summer 2009

Book Talk Lecture Series: Aesthetic and Cultural Expressions of African-Derived Religions: Fall 2011

Book Talk Lecture Series: Public Intellectuals: Fall 2010

New Graduate or BA/MA Courses Developed

Crime Narratives of the Americas: Fall 2016

Capstone Seminar on ‘Poverty’: Spring 2013

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Research Interests
Description: 

Most recently, for the 2016-17 year, she was awarded a grant to pursue her new research titled Cosmopolitanism, the Culture Industry, and Competitive Suffering.

Previous research fundingIn 2010, with Jerry W. Carlson she received a City Seeds Award to organize a series of lectures 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.'

 

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Selected Publications
Description: 

Research related to most recent research:

"A Polyvalent Mediterranean, or the trope of nomadism in the literary oeuvre of Igiaba Scego and Abdourahman A. Waberi." RELIEF - REVUE ÉLECTRONIQUE DE LITTÉRATURE FRANÇAISE. 11(2), 103-22. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/relief.970 

“Ananda Devi and Dany Laferrière: The Culture Industry, Poverty Discourse, and Postcolonial Literatures in French.” Frame: Tijdschrift 28.2 “The Postcolonial Cultural Industry.” (Fall/Winter 2015): 31-50.

“On ‘being Jewish’, on ‘studying Haiti’… Herskovits, Métraux, Race, and Human Rights.” In Benedicty-Kokken, Alessandra, Kaiama L. Glover, Mark Schuller, Jhon Picard Byron, eds. The Haiti Exception: Anthropology and the Predicament of Narrative. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, Volume 7 (2016): 52-73.

BOOK

Spirit Possession in French, Haitian, and Vodou Thought – An Intellectual History. Lanham/London: Lexington Books, Lowman and Littlefield Publishing Group in “After the Empire: The Francophone World and Postcolonial France Series,” 2015. 419 pages.

EDITED VOLUMES

Co-edited with Kaiama L. Glover, Mark Schuller, Jhon Picard Byron, eds. The Haiti Exception: Anthropology and the Predicament of Narrative. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, Volume 7 (June 2016).

Co-edited with Glover Kaiama L.  Revisiting Marie Vieux Chauvet: Paradoxes of the Postcolonial Feminine. Yale French Studies. 128. 2015.

BOOK CHAPTERS

“On ‘being Jewish’, on ‘studying Haiti’… Herskovits, Métraux, Race, and Human Rights.” In Benedicty-Kokken, Alessandra, Kaiama L. Glover, Mark Schuller, Jhon Picard Byron, eds. The Haiti Exception: Anthropology and the Predicament of Narrative. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, Volume 7 (2016): 52-73.

“Lovers, Conversations, and the ‘Critical Use of Memory’: Raoul Peck’s Fatal Assistance (2013) and Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima, mon amour (1959).” Raoul Peck: Power, Politics and the Cinematic Imagination. In Toni Pressley-Sanon and Sophie Saint-Just, eds. (2015): 171-194.

“Procédés narratifs, discours d’émancipation: Les Affres d’un défi de Frankétienne.” TYPO/ TOPO/ POETHIQUE SUR FRANKETIENNE. In Jean Jonassaint, ed. Paris: Éditions l’Harmattan, 2008. 97-106.

JOURNAL ARTICLES

“Ananda Devi and Dany Laferrière: The Culture Industry, Poverty Discourse, and Postcolonial Literatures in French.” Frame: Tijdschrift 28.2 “The Postcolonial Cultural Industry.” (Fall/Winter 2015): 31-50.

“'The Origins of Totalitarianism': from Resistance to Human Rights in Marie Chauvet's Les Rapaces.” Glover, Kaiama L. and Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken, eds. Revisiting Marie Vieux Chauvet: Paradoxes of the Postcolonial Feminine. Yale French Studies. 128 (Spring 2015): 57-73.

“Living in Haiti: Space and the Urban Environment in Kettly Mars’s L’heure hybride and Aux frontières de la soif. “Haiti in a Globalized Frame.” Co-edited by Charles Forsdick and Martin Munro. Francosphères 4.1 (September 2015): 106-120.

“The Questions We Are Asking: Hegel, Agamben, Trouillot, Dayan, Mbembe, and Haitian Studies.” Journal of Haitian Studies.19.1 (Fall/Winter 2013 -2014): 6-60.

“Aesthetics of ‘Ex-centricity’ and Considerations of ‘Poverty.’” Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism. 39 (November 2012): 166-176.

"Towards an Intellectual History of Possession: Reading ‘la crise’ as a Textual Space in Vodou and André Breton’s Haitian Lectures and Nadja.Studies in Religion/ Sciences religieuses. 41.2 (June 2012): 280-305.

“Barthes, Genette, and Laferrière: Crafting and Commenting Writing in Dany Laferrière’s How to Make Love to a Negro.Contemporary French and Francophone Studies. 15.1 (January 2011): 89-97.

"Kerouac et la Francophonie des Amériques.” Québec français (Summer 2009) 154. 85.

“Narrational Devices, Discourses of Emanicipation: Frankétienne’s  Les Affres d’un défi.The Journal of Haitian Studies: Special Issue 14.1 (2008): 77-90.

“Le vaudou haïtien: revendication de l’humanité. Aube tranquille de Jean-Claude Fignolé.” Neue Romania 33 (2005): 91-103.

"La femme e(s)t la révolte". Francographies. Actes du cinquième colloque "Création et Réalité d'expression française”. Spécial 3 Nouvelle Série (2000): 395-402.

DICTIONARY ENTRIES

Benedicty, Alessandra. Contributor to Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography for entries for “Jacques Stéphen Alexis” and “Kettly Mars.” New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press (2016).

 

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