A memorable international experience at Georgia was conducting research in Aix-en-Provence, France. I had the opportunity to access French colonial empire documents as well as post-imperial documents thanks to the Willson Center's Graduate Research Award. I also really enjoyed honing my teaching skills working as a TA on study abroad with UGA en France. Studying language, literature, and culture at Georgia prepared me to ask better questions about contemporary global issues. I encourage students at Georgia today to apply to as many research opportunities or grants as possible, read widely, and enjoy every second!
Johanna, a native of France, received her License (B.A.) and Maîtrise (M.A) in American Civilization and with a focus on African-American Studies from Université Jean Monnet in Saint-Etienne. During her time at UGA, Johanna was the recipient of the Graduate School Dean's Award and the Willson Center Graduate Research Award to conduct dissertation research in Montréal, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence in the spring and summer 2017. She was also awarded the People's Choice award for presenting her research during the UGA campus-wide 3 Minute-Thesis competition. Johanna also served as the Resident Language Coordinator at Mary Lyndon Hall, an on-campus immersive French program for undergraduate students. She also took part in the departmental study abroad program UGA en France in Montpellier in 2015 and, in 2016 and 2017, she also served as the Assistant Director for the study abroad program. Johanna was also involved with the Graduate Student Organization for three years where she was the External Outreach Coordinator, a member of the Colloquium Committee and a core-member of Crossroads Graduate Conference organizing committee for February 2017.
Johanna is currently at work on her sole-authored book project tentatively titled Afro-Feminist Creative Praxis in France, which a continuation of her PhD dissertation and co-chaired by supported by by Dr. Rachel Gabara and Dr. Emily Sahakian. Her book project is supported by the Faculty Research and Professional Development Grant at NCSU 2019 and the Camargo Foundation Fellowship which she was awarded for the Spring of 2022. Responding to the demands of the current moment, in which focusing on Black histories, experiences and contributions is of critical importance, Afro-Feminist Creative Praxis explores and theorizes how Afro-feminism operates in contemporary French cultural production. Bringing together a select group of Black actresses, authors, and filmmakers, as well as their subjects and characters, Afro-Feminist Creative Praxis shows how Black women’s creative work reclaims a powerful type of agency and illustrates the obstacles that Black French women confront in articulating their national identity, gender, and race.
- Montlouis-Gabriel, Johanna. “Interview with Amandine Gay on “Ouvrir la voix”: Visibility and Representation in Afro-Feminine Landscape of France,” The French Review, 92(3), (March 2019): 180-189.
- Montlouis-Gabriel, Johanna. “Reading “Hairstories” and “Hairitages’” in Léonora Miano and Rokhaya Diallo’s Works,” ELA, Etudes Littéraires Africaines, no. 47, (August 2019): 85-99. (Link)
- Montlouis-Gabriel, Johanna. “Ouvrir la voix (Amandine Gay): Opening One’s Eyes to Today’s Afropeans,” Essays in French Literature and Culture, (October 2019): 109-125.
- Montlouis-Gabriel, Johanna. “The Dismantling of Afropean Families in Léonora Miano’s Afropean Soul”, in edited volume Transnational Fictions: Contemporary Africana Women’s Narratives. Routledge Press, (September 2021): 188-201.