Julie Van Dam

Associate Professor (Teaching) of French

Contact Information
E-mail: julie.vandam@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-3700
Office: THH 155G

Curriculum Vitae

Biographical Sketch

Julie Van Dam (Nack Ngue) is Associate Professor of French (teaching) in the Department of French and Italian. She received her PhD in French and Francophone Studies from UCLA in 2007 and Maitrise in Lettres modernes from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal in 2001. Her book, Critical Conditions: Illness and Disability in Francophone African and Caribbean Women's Writing, published in 2012, engages with the fields of postcolonial studies, feminist theory, disability studies, and the history of medicine to argue for a new critical reading of health and bodily difference in Francophone literature by women. Her current research project focuses on visual representations of disability and queerness in African film, literature, and music. She teaches basic language courses as well as literature and film courses on disability, narratives of illness, bodily difference, gender, and sexuality in African and French contexts. 


  • B.A. French, University of San Francisco, 5/1997
  • M.A. French Studies, Cheikh Anta Diop University, 10/2001
  • Ph.D. French and Francophone Studies, UCLA, 9/2007

  • Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

    Non-Tenure Track Appointments
    • Assistant Professor of French (teaching), USC, 07/01/2010-  
    • Lecturer, USC, 08/15/2007-07/01/2010  
    Visiting and Temporary Appointments
    • Research Scholar, UCLA Center for the Study of Women, 06/2008-  

    Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    Her research focuses on representations of illness and disability in Francophone African and Caribbean literature and cinema.
    Research Specialties
    Disability in literature; Francophone women's literature; sub-Saharan African literature; the history of medicine; colonial medicine; 19th century literature
    Detailed Statement of Research Interests
    Her research focuses on representations of illness and disability in Francophone African and Caribbean literature and cinema. Her research takes account not only of the systems of race, class, gender, and sexuality, but also those of embodiment and health by introducing disability as a category of analysis. Disability reveals material inequalities while simultaneously allowing for visions of illness and disability that dwell outside the constitutive paradigms of cure and normative bodily and psychic health. Research & Teaching interests include: Health, illness, and disability in 19th and 20th century French and Francophone writings and cinema; Gender, sexuality, and the body in 20th and 21st century French and Francophone writings and cinema; Disability and nation-building in Francophone writings and cinema.

    Funded Research

    Contracts and Grants Awarded
    • Critical Conditions: Refiguring Bodies of Illness and Disability in Francophone African and Caribbea (UCLA Center for the Study of Women), Julie Nack Ngue, $750, 2008-2009   
    USC Funding
    • NTT Faculty Development Grant. eBook to accompany Albert Camus' L'Etranger: This grant helped fund a collaborative initiative authoring an electronic book, an e-book, to accompany the novel read by all students in French 220, Albert Camus’ L’Etranger. , $1,500, 2012-2013   
    • College NTT Faculty Development Grant. French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium: "The Aesthetics of Dis/ability in Ousmane Sembène's 'Xala'": This project explores the place of postcolonial Francophone African literature and cinema in the refiguring of sociocultural norms of health and the body that undergird ideas of the nation. , $500, 2010-2011   
    • USC College 20/20 Research Cluster: Course Development Grant. Remembering Loss, Writing Memory: A cross-cultural study of literature, cinema, and testimonies from France, Algeria, and Rwanda that provide unique perspectives on trauma, survival, and narrative. , $1,000, Spring 2011   

    Affiliations with Research Centers, Labs, and Other Institutions

    • UCLA Center for the Study of Women, Research Scholar, http://www.csw.ucla.edu/

    Conferences and Other Presentations

    Conference Presentations
    • "The Aesthetics of Dis/ability in Ousmane Sembène's "Xala"", French and Francophone Studies Annual International Colloquium, Talk/Oral Presentation, San Francisco, CA, USF, 03/31/2011-04/01/2011  
    • "Dis/abled Migrations: Negotiating Illness and Bodily Disorder in Contemporary France", International Contemporary Women's Writing Network , Talk/Oral Presentation, San Diego, CA, CSU San Diego, 07/07/2010-07/08/2010  
    • "Contemporary Senegalese Women's Writing: Towards a New Aesthetics of the Global", Modern Languages Association Annual Meeting, Talk/Oral Presentation, San Francisco, CA, 12/28/2008-12/30/2008  
    • "Against Quarantine: Foreign Bodies, Circulation, and Contact in/between Francophone Immigrant Literature and Disability Studies", ACLA Annual Meeting, Talk/Oral Presentation, Long Beach, CA, CSULB, 04/20/2008  
    • "Grotesque Femininity, Disability, and the Limits of Circulation in Ken Bugul’s Globalized Africa", 20th and 21st Century French and Francophone Studies Colloquium, Talk/Oral Presentation, Washington, DC, Georgetown University, Invited, 03/07/2008-03/09/2008  
    • "Disability in Globalized Africa: Grotesque Bodies and Global Hauntings in Fama Diagne Sène’s Le Chant des ténèbres", Society for Disability Studies Annual Meeting, Talk/Oral Presentation, Seattle, WA, Washington State University, 06/20/2007-06/23/2007  


    • Nack Ngue, J. (2011). Critical Conditions. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

    Book Chapter
    • Nack Ngue, J. C. (2009). The Body of Survival, the Body Composite: Testimony and the Problematics of Integral Healing in Ken Bugul’s Le Baobab fou. Lawrenceville, NJ: Africa World Press: Emergent Perspectives on Ken Bugul: From Alternative Choices to Oppositional Practices / Africa World Press.
    • Nack Ngue, J. C. (2008). Towards a New Aesthetics of the Global: Grotesque Bodies, Circulation, and Haunting in Contemporary Senegalese Women's Writing. Paris: Dominque Gueniot: Migrant Literature.

    Book Review
    • Nack Ngue, J. (2010). Aesthetic Nervousness: Disability and the Crisis of Representation by Ato Quayson. Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability. pp. 333-335.
    • Nack Ngue, J. (2010). Postcolonial Eyes: Intercontinental Travel in Francophone African Literature by Aedin Ni Loingsigh. Journal of Intercultural Studies.

    Encyclopedia Article
    • Nack Ngue, J. C. (2005). Ken Bugul. (Carole Boyce Davies & Babacar Mbow, Ed.). Miami, FL: Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora / African New World Studies.

    • Nack Ngue, J. C. (2006). Postcolonial Feminist Re-presentations of Disability Studies. Los Angeles, CA. UCLA Center for the Study of Women.

    Journal Article
    • Nack Ngue, J. C. (2007). Colonial Discourses of Disability and Normalization in Contemporary Francophone Immigrant Narratives: Bessora’s 53 cm and Fatou Diome’s Le Ventre de l’Atlantique. Wagadu, Journal of Transnational Women's and Gender Studies / Xlibris. Vol. 4 (Summer 2007)

    • Nack Ngue, J. C., Mellot, N. (2003). "Primitivism and Postcolonialism in the Arts" by Jean-Loup Amselle. Modern Language Notes.
    • Nack Ngue, J. C. (2002). "Des ténèbres à la lumière," Interview with Senegalese novelist Fama Diagne Sène. Mots Pluriels.

    Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works

    • Departmental Wiki, The Wiki is a collaborative online digital archive of music for in-class use and/or at-home assignments. Over 50 songs, arranged by level and by relevant linguistic and cultural points. Available links: information on the musician or group, song lyrics, song itself, music video, and instructor-prepared activities., 2008-2009   

    Service to the Profession

    Conferences Organized
    • Co-chair & Moderator, Gender, Sexuality, and Reproduction: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives, Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, Spring 2010   

    Professional Offices
    • Committee Member, Huntington Library Women's Studies Seminar Series, 2009-2010   

    Professional Memberships
    • American Comparative Literature Association, 01/01/2007-  
    • Society for Disability Studies, 01/01/2006-  
    • Modern Languages Association, 09/01/2003-  
    • African Literature Association, 01/01/2003-  
    • African Studies Association, 01/01/2003-  
    • Women in French, 01/01/2003-  
    • Conseil International d'Etudes Francophones, 01/01/2000-  

  • Department of French and Italian
  • Taper Hall 155 (THH 155)
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0359