Robert Watson

Visiting Assistant Professor of World Languages and Cultures (French)
Director of the Language Commons

Robert Watson grew up on a pistachio farm in west Texas in the Rio Grande Valley. He has taught in France, both in the Alps and in Provence. His scholarly interests include contemporary French cinema, the aftereffects of the Holocaust in France and its former colonies, Queer Theory and the Francophone literary world, with a particular focus on the Mediterranean (North Africa and the Middle East). He serves on the gender studies steering committee and as a faculty advisor for Hatter Harvest, where he has the pleasure of helping grow organic vegetables in the heart of campus.


  • Ph.D., French literature and Jewish studies, Vanderbilt University
  • M.A., French and Francophone cultural studies, University of Leeds (UK)
  • B.A., French and international studies, Baylor University

Course Topics

  • All levels of French language
  • Contemporary French Cinema (Modern Anxieties and Postcolonial Nostalgia)
  • Introduction to Francophone Literature
  • Queer as France? Gender and Sexual Transgressions in Francophone Cinemas


  • "Voyage au bout de la mémoire judéo-marocaine: Parcourir la distance spatio-temporelle de l'exil dans Une femme, une mère" Edmond El Maleh: Art, Culture, Ecriture (edited conference proceedings, Université de Meknès, forthcoming 2012)
  • "Secondhand Memories: Tunisian Jewish Women's Writing in French and the Paradoxes of Return" Life Writing 9.4, special issue on "Women's Life Writing and Diaspora" (Winter 2012)
  • "Jewish Memories of Late Colonial Lingua Franca in Casablanca, Tunis and Alexandria," Expressions Maghrébines 11.2, special issue on "The Mediterranean Maghreb: Literature and Plurilingualism" (Winter 2012)
  • "Memories (out) of Place: Franco-Judeo-Algerian Autobiography, 1995-2010," Journal of North African Studies 17.1 (2012): 1-22.
  • Translation of Rokhya Diallo's "Guerlain, ou le racisme inodore" / "The Guerlain Affair: Odorless French Racism," Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender and the Black International 1.1 (Spring/Summer 2012)
  • Translation of Philippe Zard's "Les paradoxes du sionisme dans l'oeuvre d'Albert Cohen" / "The paradoxes of Zionism in the Work of Albert Cohen," Nathalie Debrauwere-Miller ed., The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in the Francophone World (Routledge, New York, 2009) 41-54.

Robert Watson

Faculty Expert

  • France
  • North Africa
  • International Film

Contact Information