Jonathon Repinecz

Jonathon Repinecz

Jonathon Repinecz

Assistant Professor

French: Modern African literatures and cultures; Modern francophone literatures and cultures; Folklore and oral literature; Intersections of literature and anthropology; Postcolonial theory; Wolof language

Jonathon Repinecz specializes in francophone literatures of West Africa.  While he has a particular expertise in Senegal, he regularly teaches texts and traditions from around the subregion and continent.  His work focuses on crossing language lines (i.e. French-Wolof, francophone-anglophone) and is deeply engaged with West Africanist and trans-Africanist conversations in the humanities and social sciences. 

Repinecz has published articles on African literature and cinema in several journals and blogs, and has a book project in progress. He has translated a number of scholarly articles on Africanist anthropology.  In addition to regular courses on African and francophone cultural production within the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, he collaborates closely with Mason's Global Affairs Program to enhance offerings in African Studies for the wider campus community.

Selected Publications

Book Project:

Subversive Traditions: Reinventing the West African Epic.  In progress.


“‘The Facets of our Diglossia’: Native Speakers as Multilingual Storytellers.” Critical Multilingualism Studies 5.2 (2017): 178–207. Part of a special issue entitled “Legitimate Speakers in Contested Spaces,” co-edited with Livi Yoshioka-Maxwell.

“‘This is Not a Pipe’?: Reflexivity, Fictionality, and Dialogism in Sembène’s Films.” Journal of African Cinemas 8.2 (2016): 181-197.

The Tales of Tomorrow: Toward a Futurist Vision of Wolof Tradition.”  Journal of African Cultural Studies 15.1 (2015): 56-70. Part of a special issue dedicated to literatures in African languages. 

Book Reviews:

 “Maryse Condé Speaks: The Death of Negritude and Other Life Lessons.” Review of Françoise Pfaff, Nouveaux Entretiens avec Maryse Condésx salon 28 (an online platform of the Caribbeanist journal Small Axe). June 2018.

Patrick Voisin (dir.), Ahmadou Kourouma, entre poétique romanesque et littérature politique.  La Plume francophone.  14 April 2017.

Dominic Thomas, Africa and France: Postcolonial Cultures, Migration, and RacismInternational Journal of African Historical Studies 47.3 (2014): 510-511.

Grants and Fellowships

Fulbright Research Grantee / Visiting Scholar, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium (2018-2019) 

  • Project Title: “Ethnographic Authority and Law in the Congo: The Case of Léon Guébels”

Fulbright-Hays Seminar Abroad: Religion and Diversity in West Africa (5-week funded seminar in Dakar, Senegal) (Summer 2016) (declined)

Courses Taught

Global African Identities

Theories of Tradition and Modernity in African Literature

Sub-Saharan Writers in Translation

Writing the Caribbean

Francophone Identities

Organizer, “Hip Hop and Democracy Activism in Senegal,” with invited guests Xuman and Keyti, GMU (October 2016)

Organizer, “Hip Hop and Democracy Activism in Senegal,” with invited guest Thiat, Reed College (October 2013)


Ph.D, UC Berkeley, 2013

B.A., Washington University in St. Louis, 2005

Recent Presentations

“Is Negritude Dead? Reflections on Black Panther and Maryse Condé.”  Dakar Institute for African Studies, Dakar, Senegal.  July 6, 2018.

 “Race and Genre Nonfiction: The Senegalese-American Celebrity Memoir.” American Comparative Literature Association, University of California, Los Angeles, April 1, 2018.

 Roundtable with Boubacar Boris Diop: “Que dit Cheikh Anta Diop aux écrivains africains?”  (Chair.)  African Literature Association, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.  June 17, 2017. 

 “‘This Time for Africa’: Shakira and Afro-Modernity.”  African Literature Association, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.  June 16, 2017. 

“The Art and Farce of Racial Hatred: Ouologuem’s Afro-Jews.”  Twentieth and Twenty-First Century French and Francophone Studies Conference, Indiana University, Bloomington.  April 6, 2017.

“‘This Half-Black Iliad’: African Epic and the Politics of Comparison.” Conseil international d’études francophones, Saly-Portudal, Senegal.  May 25, 2016.

  “A Utopian Sport? Nostalgia and Precarity in Senegalese Wrestling.”  African Studies Association, Indianapolis, Indiana.  November 22, 2014.

In the Media

Excerpt from an interview with the Baobab Talk Show (community/student radio in Dakar). July 9, 2018.