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Maya Angela Eipe Smith (she/her/hers)

Associate Professor of French
headshot of Maya Angela Smith

Contact Information

PDL C-257
Office Hours: 
12:30-2:30 on Mondays and by appt.

Summary

PhD, Romance Languages and Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley, 2013

Maya Smith completed her undergraduate and master’s degree at New York University in the joint MA/BA program with the Institute of French Studies. She received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in Romance Languages and Linguistics. Her scholarship broadly focuses on the intersection of racial and linguistic identity formations among marginalized groups in the African diaspora, particularly in the postcolonial francophone world. Her book, Senegal Abroad: Linguistic Borders, Racial Formations, and Diasporic Imaginaries, was published with the University of Wisconsin Press in January 2019. Through a critical examination of language and multilingual practices in qualitative, ethnographic data, Senegal Abroad shows how language is key in understanding the formation of national, transnational, postcolonial, racial, and migrant identities among Senegalese in Paris, Rome, and New York. This is a book about language attitudes, how they influence people’s local and global interactions with the world, how they change through the experience of migration, and how in turn they affect migrants’ language use. Senegal Abroad received the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Studies at the MLA 2021

In addition to the Senegalese Diaspora, Maya focuses on how blackness is constructed in the French Caribbean:  “Negotiating Martinican Identity amid French Universalism: Racial and Linguistic Considerations" (Francosphères 2018, 7:1, 49-69)

Maya is also interested in language pedagogy: "French Heritage Language Learning: a Site of Community Building, Cultural Exploration and Self-reflection" (Critical Multilingualism Studies 2017, 5:2, 10-38)

She is also devoting time to public scholarship seen in her recent publication in Yes! Magazine“Enunciating Power: Amanda Gorman and My Battle to Claim My Voice.”

Maya has been the recipient of various grants including the Camargo Foundation's Author-in-Residence Fellowship, the Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty, the UW Research Royalty Fund Fellowship, the Simpson Center Society of Scholars.

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