Prof. Valérie M. Dionne

Colby College

Valérie M. Dionne is professor of French and was director of the Oak Institute for Human Rights (2018-2023) at Colby College. After studying in Montreal, London, Paris, and Fribourg, she earned her PhD from Princeton University. Her research examines the correlation of politics, rights, and ethics in Early Modern French Literature. Recently she has turned her focus to decolonizing the western philosophical tradition.

Her multidisciplinary approach to the early modern period allows her to explore topics that range from gender theory to political philosophy. Her major publications include: Montaigne, écrivain de la conciliation (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2014); Staging Justice in Early Modern France, a volume she co-edited with Michael Meere for the journal Early Modern French Studies, 2020; and another volume Revelations of Character: Ethos, Rhetoric and Moral Philosophy in Montaigne (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007). She has also authored numerous articles, including “Justice and Law” in the Oxford Handbook to Montaigne (2016), and on the rights of intersex people in France from antiquity to the present. Her current book project, Justice and Sacrifice in the Early Modern French Imaginary, focuses on the myths of Iphigenia, Antigone, and Medea, and figures of revolt as reinterpreted in French tragedies. She is also co-editing a volume, Montaigne Décolonial, with Ali Benmakhlouf (Professor and Director of the Center for African Studies at Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Morocco).

February 7, 2024

Flipside: The inadvertent Archive, by Kim Gurney

Architectural plans of a former house inspire the narrative structure of a new book by Kim Gurney, called Flipside: The inadvertent Archive, which takes the reader on a thematic journey from room to room as it follows the trail of specific archival artefacts lodged in the building’s attic.

January 11, 2024

Charlotte Maxeke-Mary Robinson Research Chair

The Charlotte Maxeke-Mary Robinson Research Chair emerges out of a longstanding collaboration between the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) at UWC and the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute (TLRH) at Trinity College Dublin that has focused on colonialism, partition, postcoloniality and race. Relationships and networks forged through these institutions’ fellowship programmes have laid the groundwork for the establishment of this research chair.
November 1, 2023

ACIP: Call for workshop proposals and for Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Award Applications.

The CHR is pleased to announce that applications for the 2025 African Critical Inquiry Programme (ACIP) workshop and Doctoral Research awards are now open. ACIP invites proposals from scholars and/or practitioners in South Africa to organise a workshop that will take place in 2025, as well as for Ivan Karp doctoral research awards for African students enrolled in South African Ph.D. programmes.
September 21, 2023

Publication announcement: Dr Kim Gurney, ‘Epistemic Disobedience’.

Institution-building as artistic practice is the topic of a paper published by the CHR’s Dr Kim Gurney, as part of artistic research conference proceedings. 'Epistemic Disobedience’ posits Nafasi Art Space in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as a paradigmatic example of independent art spaces in Africa and their key working principles.
July 19, 2023

Visual History and Theory Workshop
Power Remaking selves, archives, environments

This year’s NRF SARChI Chair in Visual History and Theory Workshop will take place between 27-28 July. It coalesces around the title, ‘Power: Remaking selves, archives, environments’, and will include a keynote by Leigh Raiford who is Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies, University of California, Berkeley.