Faculty Spotlight

New Faculty Members - Fall 2014

Dr. Salwa Ben ZahraDr. Jean-François Fournier

Salwa comes to us from Tunisia. She has worked and traveled back and forth between Tunisia and the United States for many years. At the University of Minnesota, she completed her graduate studies in English. After returning again to Tunisia and teaching English language and literature, she came back to the University of Minnesota to complete her doctoral program, specializing in representations of disability in post-colonial Arab and Islamic cultures and literatures. She returned once more to Tunisia and taught English again, but found herself missing her study of Arab and Islamic cultures and languages and wishing to teach Arabic language and literatures in English translation. She made the move again to return to the US and teach at the University of Minnesota. When the Arabic language, literatures and cultures position came open in our department, she joined us in pursuit of the opportunity to teach about Arab world literatures and cultures, including Tunisia. Once she is settled into the department with her teaching responsibilities here, she looks forward to returning to her study of representations of disability in post-colonial Arab and Islamic cultures and literatures. Specifically, she is very interested in including new films and other multimodal representations in her work.

Dr. Jean-François FournierJean-François joins us at Appalachian State to share with students his interest in Literature and Film as productive of landscapes in which we can dwell and spend time examining the flavor of what lies before and around us. Meeting with texts and films is similar to an exploration in which students develop their oral and written language skills in parallel with the discovery of how various structural and thematic landmarks interact with one another. He appreciates getting to see that sudden glance of pleasure in his students, when a text starts making sense in spite of its challenging composition. His research interests lie in the philosophical description of comedy and humor and the way texts and films illustrate those notions and processes. He is very interested in the central question, “Why do people laugh?” Laughter and humor in relation to aspects, which are not traditionally funny, such as cruelty and trauma is a complex issue that he continues to study and try to understand. He is also interested in comparative cultural approaches to social and historical phenomena and products in countries such as France, the US, and Germany. For example, do we laugh at the same things from one culture to another? What does it show about a culture when certain choices are made for various representations?
Dr. Darci L. Gardner 

Darci came to Appalachian from California, where she taught French at Stanford for a year after completeing her PhD there. Having grown up in Raleigh, she is happy to be returning to her home state of North Carolina. She discovered her passion for world literatures in college and is eager to replicate that experience for her students. In research and teaching alike, she is fascinated by how carefully engaging with literature can influence the way we interact with the world. She is always looking to highlight the ways that great works of art renew our vision and experience of everyday life, and she very much enjoys observing the way that French art, literature, and culture occasionally startles students into reevaluating the way they interpret the world.



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placement testing

Every fall the department co-hosts the Latin American Film Series. An event open to students, faculty and the public in general. Admission is free. Schedule information of the films is posted on the first week of August.


Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures
Sanford Hall
225 Locust Street
ASU Box 32063
Boone, NC 28608-2063
(828) 262-3095 (office)
(828) 262-7079 (fax)

DLLC Department Chair 
Dr. James Fogelquist
520 Sanford Hall
(828) 262-3096 

DLLC Assistant Chair
Dr. Catherine Fountain
529 Sanford Hall
(828) 262-2308 

DLLC Administrative Assistant
Ms. Cindy Trivette
521 Sanford Hall
(828) 262-3095 

LARC Director
Dr. Paul Sebastian
524 Sanford Hall
(828) 262-2932

UNC World Language Exchange

The World Language exchange was created in 2013 to manage the sharing of less commonly taught languages across the UNC system. This exchange offers access to a variety of languages such as Persian, Cherokee and Ancient Greek as well as courses that explore culture.

QEP Global Learning