Francophone Crossings:  Women in Transatlantic Conversations, Part I

Transcendances by Charline Effah

Francophone Crossings brings together the unique and creative voices of Fabienne Kanor (Martinique) and Charline Effah (Gabon) for a two-part program. The program will be moderated by Anny-Dominique Curtius (University of Iowa), Gladys Francis (Georgia State University) and Cheryl Toman (University of Alabama).

The first part of the program, entitled Transcendances, features an hour with Charline Effah. It is comprised a 20-minute video (Bruissement des ailes brisés) shot in her native Gabon. The video will be followed by her reading and discussion of excerpts of her novels N’être and La danse de Pilar which demonstrate that women’s words are tools of resilience and overcoming.

Please note that the second part of this program, entitled Corps à Coeur and featuring Fabienne Kanor, will take place November 3 at 12:00 p.m. Learn more

October 27 at 12:00 p.m.

This online event is free and open to the public.


  • Franco-Gabonese Charline Effah was born in Minvoul, Gabon, in 1977 and then lived in Libreville before settling in France twenty years ago, after completing her doctoral studies in African women’s writing at University Charles de Gaulle-Lille 3. She then began her journey as a creative writer, publishing several short stories and three novels to date: Percées et Chimères (2012), N’être (2014) and La danse de Pilar (2018). Effah’s fourth novel, to be published in Spring 2022, Les Flamboyantes, is inspired by her 2020 fieldwork with women of the Bidi Bidi Refugee Camp in the north of Uganda. Effah’s writing focuses on the condition of women and their place within the family and society, spaces riddled with contradictions. Through oral tradition passed down to her through her grandmother in complement with her studies of French and Francophone literature, Charline Effah’s own identity has been constructed at the crossroads of two worlds. Nominated for several literary prizes, her novel N’être has been celebrated by author Alain Mabanckou and also made The Huffington Post’s list of the ten must-read African novels of 2018.
  • Anny-Dominique Curtius is Associate Professor of Francophone Studies at the University of Iowa where she also serves as Co-Director of the working group “Museum Futures” at the Obermann Center for Advanced studies and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of French and Italian. Her research is interdisciplinary as it circulates at the crossroads of several areas of study including cultural theory, cinematic, visual and performing arts of the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa. She is notably the author of Suzanne Césaire. Archéologie littéraire et artistique d’une mémoire empêchée (2020) and Symbioses d’une mémoire: Manifestations religieuses et littératures de la Caraïbe (2006).
  • Dr. Gladys M. Francis is Associate Professor of Francophone studies, theory and cultural studies at Georgia State University. She explores issues of identify formation, race, gender-based violence, trauma, social cohesion, and intercultural immersion through the arts. Her transdisciplinary research involves Africana studies; postcolonial studies; visual and media studies; women, gender and sexuality studies. She currently serves as the Head of the French and Francophone Studies Program and the Director of Graduate Studies in her department. She counts over forty articles on her research interests. Her books include Odious Caribbean Women and the Palpable Aesthetics of Transgression (2017) and Amour, sexe, genre et trauma dans la Caraïbe francophone (2016).
  • Cheryl Toman is Professor of French and Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Classics at The University of Alabama. Toman’s interdisciplinary research focuses on Francophone women writers from Subsaharan Africa and specifically those from Cameroon, Gabon and Mali. She is the author of two books, Women Writers of Gabon: Literature and Herstory (2016) and Contemporary Matriarchies in Cameroonian Francophone Literature (2008). She is the translator of Justine Mintsa’s Awu’s Story (2018) and Thérèse Kuoh-Moukoury’s Essential Encounters (2002). In 2020, she was named Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques.


This event is organized by the University of Alabama, Georgia State University, the University of Iowa, and with the support of the Atlanta Office of the Cultural Services of the Embassy of France in the United States, FLAGS (Foreign Language Association of Graduate Students), The French Club @ Georgia State University and Engaging the Francophone World.