Profile for Anna Keefe

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Anna Keefe

Associate Professor
Global Cultures & Languages
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

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Specialty area(s)

Contemporary French and Francophone cultures, film studies, postcolonial studies, African studies, disability studies

Brief biography

I teach all levels of French, from language courses to upper-level courses focusing on film and literature, culture and civilization, and phonetics. I aim to draw students' attention to diverse communities and cultural productions from beyond the Hexagon, including Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, and the French Caribbean. I am the faculty advisor for our French major/minor/certificate and study abroad programs. Come see me! I love meeting with students and am excited to talk with you about your study of French.

I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. Specializing in Film Studies and Francophone Studies, my dissertation, Self-Conscious Francophone Sub-Saharan African Cinema, argues that French-language West African filmmakers have been "thinking cinema," both aesthetically and historically, since its very beginnings. My current research projects focus on Franco-Senegalese directors Alain Gomis and Mati Diop. 

When I'm not engaged in teaching or research, you can find me hiking in the bluffs with my son and dogs, watching movies, and eating pain au chocolat. 

Current courses at UWL

FRE 101: French in a Global Society I

FRE 201: French Language and Cultures in Action I - taught through the UW Collaborative Language Program (CLP)

FRE 300: Visual Encounters

FRE 395: French Literary Voices in English


Ph.D., French, University of Virginia

M.A., French Literature, Boston College 

Pensionnaire Étrangère, École Normale Supérieure de Paris 

B.A., French, University of Minnesota, Morris 


Teaching history

FRE 101: French in a Global Society I

FRE 201: French Language and Cultures in Action I

FRE 300: Visual Encounters

FRE 301: Sound, Speech, and Proficiency

FRE 305: Exploring the Story

FRE 395: French Literary Voices in English, a GenEd (GE07) film and literature course in translation, taught as "Voices from the Margins"

FRE 322: French without Borders

FRE 351: French Cinema

FRE 403: Studies in French and Francophone Literature, "Voix de femmes"  

FRE 430: French Connections (capstone course)

Research and publishing


"The Unspoken Languages of Alain Gomis's Cinéma-Monde: Space, Sound, and the Body," Contemporary French Civilization, 47.1 (2022), 67-88.

"African cinema and its 'ancestor': local encounters in Jean-Marie Teno's Lieux Saints," Contemporary French Civilization 43.1 (2018), 91-108.

(Forthcoming) "Alain Gomis: A global auteur," in Portraits de cinéastes, ed. by Michel Abecassis 


(42nd) Cincinnati Conference on Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures, 7-9 April 2022. Roundtable on New Directions in Cinéma-Monde. 

CFC Intersections Inaugural Conference, 24-25 September 2021. "Screening Possibility: Disability in Djibril Diop Mambéty's La petite vendeuse de soleil"

Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Seattle, WA6-9 January 2020. "The auteur cinéma-monde of Alain Gomis: focus on Félicité (2017)"

African Studies Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL,16-19 November 2017. "Screening the Text: Creation and Resistance in Juju Factory"

World Cinema and Television in French, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 9-10 September 2016. "Questioning African Cinema: Jean-Marie Teno's Lieux Saints"

African Literature Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, 6-9 April 2016. "Chaplin and Silent Comedy in Francophone Sub-Saharan African Film"

Conseil International d'Études Francophones, San Francisco, CA29June-5 July 2014. "Vers un nouveau mode de production filmique: l'allégorie cinématographique dans Les Saignantes de Jean-Pierre Bekolo"

Book Reviews

Review of Franco-America in the Making: The Creole Nation Within, by Jonathan Gosnell. Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature. Vol. 44 (2020) No. 1.

Review of Cultural Diversity in the French Film Industry: Defending the Cultural Exception in a Digital Age, by Sarah Walkley. Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature. Vol. 43 (2019) No. 2.



Anna Keefe, Global Cultures & Languages, presented "Decentering French Cinema: Viewing Mati Diop's Atlantique (2019) in Senegal and Beyond" at Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association on Oct. 13 in Albuquerque.

Submitted on: Oct. 18, 2022



Anna Keefe, Global Cultures & Languages, authored the article "The unspoken languages of Alain Gomis's cinema: space, sound, and the body" in Contemporary French Civilization published on March 1 by Liverpool University Press. This article on the Franco-Senegalese director's films appears in a special issue devoted to global filmmaking in French.

Submitted on: April 25, 2022



Anna Keefe, Global Cultures & Languages, presented "Screening Possibility: Disability in Djibril Diop Mambéty's La petite vendeuse de soleil (1999)" at CFC Intersections on Sept. 24 online. This international conference inaugurates a new journal, CFC Intersections, which aims to provide a new publishing outlet for scholarship related to intersectionality and the broader associated notion of intersections in French and Francophone studies. Keefe's paper adopts an intersectional approach to the representations of disability in Senegalese film.

Submitted on: Sept. 25, 2021