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Kathryn M. Lachman

Associate Professor & Graduate Program Director of Comparative Literature

Kathryn Lachman

(413) 545-6703

319 Herter Hall

Professor Kathryn Lachman joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the fall of 2008, and teaches in both French and Francophone Studies and Comparative Literature. A native of South Africa, she holds a Ph.D. in French from Princeton University (2008). She earned simultaneous B.A. and M.A. degrees in French from Yale University (1998). Professor Lachman was the recipient of a George Lurcy Fellowship for research in Paris (2005-6); she also received the Henry Hart Rice Fellowship for research in Beirut, Lebanon (1998-2000), during which time she taught at the American Community School Beirut and wrote music criticism and features for the Dailystar. She studied music at the Conservatoire National de Région de Paris, where she earned the Premier Prix in violin performance and Premier Prix á l’unanimité for chamber music and history of music in 1995.  

Professor Lachman is the author of Borrowed Forms: The Music and Ethics of Transnational Fiction (Liverpool University Press, 2014). Her publications also include an edited volume on Maryse Condé entitled Feasting on Words: Maryse Condé, Cannibalism and the Caribbean Text (Princeton Latin American Studies, 2006), and numerous essays on Francophone literature and film. She has three children, Noah, Eli and Isla.

Research Areas

  • Contemporary African literature
  • Francophone literature and film from the Maghreb
  • Lebanon, West Africa, and the Caribbean
  • Critical theory;
  • Postcolonial opera
  • 20th-and 21st-century novel
  • Diaspora and migration studies
  • Crime fiction
  • Auto-fiction
  • Film studies
  • Music and literature


  • Borrowed Forms: The Music and Ethics of Transnational Fiction. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, June 2014.
  • Feasting on Words: Maryse Condé, Cannibalism and the Caribbean Text. Ed. Vera Broichhagen, Kathryn Lachman, and Nicole Simek. Princeton: Program in Latin American Studies, 2006.
  • “Expanding the Dialogue: Teaching Assia Djebar’s Multi-faceted Work in an Age of Fundamentalism.” In Teaching Approaches to Assia Djebar. Edited by Anne Donadey. Forthcoming, Modern Language Association (MLA) Press, 2014.
  • “The Transalantic Poetics of Fatou Diome.” In Francophone Afropean Literature. Dominic Thomas and Nicki Hitchcott, eds. Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press, 2014.
  • “Music and the Production of Cinematic Space in Karin Albou’s Le Chant des mariées.In Music, Sound, and the Moving Image 7.1 (Spring 2013): 1-18.
  • “Echo’s Legacy: Autobiography and Intertextuality in Assia Djebar’s Nulle part dans la maison de mon père. In Susanne Gehrmann and Flora Veit-Wild, eds. Conventions and Conversions: Generic Innovations in African Literatures/ Innovations génériques dans les littératures africaines. Trier: WVT, 2012.
  • “The Allure of Counterpoint: History and Reconciliation in the Writing of Edward Said and Assia Djebar.” Research in African Literatures 41.4 (November 2010): 162-186"
  • “Le cannibalisme au féminin: ­A Case of Radical Indigestion.” In Feasting on Words. Ed. Broichhagen, Lachman, and Simek. Princeton: Program in Latin American Studies, 2006: 71-83

Awards and Accolades

  • Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities and Fine Arts (ISHA) Fellowship, UMass Amherst, 2010-11
  • Georges Lurcy Fellowship, Paris, France, 2005-06
  • Armstrong Award for Graduate Study, Princeton University, 2001-03
  • Henry Hart Rice Fellowship, Yale University, 1998-99                               
  • Assistant Concertmaster of Yale Symphony Orchestra, 1995-97

Courses Recently Taught

FRENCHST 240: Intermediate French

FRENCHST 290L: Americans in Paris

FRENCHST 350 / COMPLIT 350: French Film

COMPLIT 355: Modern African Fiction

FRENCHST 497: Francophone Women Writers

FRENCHST 497PL/697PL: Critical Approaches to North African Literatures

FRENCHST 397MN: Literature, Film and Fundamentalism

FRENCHST 597O: The Postcolonial Thriller

COMPLIT 691A: Literature and Music

FRENCHST 597K: Paris, New York, L.A.: Literature of the Francophone Diaspora