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Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

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Ashley Williard

Title: Assistant Professor of French
Department: Languages, Literatures and Cultures
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: J. Welsh Humanities Bldg, 811
Resources: Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Ashley Williard


Ashley Williard's research examines gender, race, and dis/ability in the early-modern French-speaking world. Her first book, entitled Engendering Islands: Sexuality, Reproduction, and Violence in the Early French Caribbean (under contract with the Women and Gender in the Early Modern World series at University of Nebraska Press), argues that early Caribbean reconstructions of masculinity and femininity upheld slavery and nascent ideas of race. Through close readings of archival and narrative texts, she examines the words, images, and perspectives that reflected and produced new conceptions of human difference. She was recently awarded two grants (Office of the Vice President for Research ASPIRE-I.1; College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Research Travel Initiative) toward research on her second book project, entitled Disruptive Minds: Madness in the Early French Atlantic. She argues that the mediated voices of the "mad" can expose unique sites of subjectivity that interrogate colonial power structures and archival silences. Her research has appeared in Biblio17, Cahiers d'Histoire de l'Amérique Coloniale, The French Review, and Early Modern Black Diaspora Studies (eds. Smith, Jones, Grier, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).
Dr. Williard teaches classes on the French language and the French-speaking world, including interdisciplinary courses she has created on the topics of Atlantic slavery, early modern gender, and travel literature. She was recently awarded an LLC Teaching Development Award for a new class on disability in the francophone world to be cross-listed with Global Studies. Before coming to South Carolina, she taught French and contributed to writing pedagogy and digital learning initiatives on several campuses of the City University of New York. 

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