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Kathryn M. Lachman


(413) 545-6703

320 Herter Hall

Professor Kathryn Lachman joined the faculty of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the fall of 2008. A native of South Africa, she holds a Ph.D. in French from Princeton University (2008), and earned simultaneous B.A. and M.A. degrees in French from Yale University (1998). Prof. Lachman earned the premier prix in violin performance and music history from the Conservatoire National de Région de Paris and the premier prix in chamber music from the Conservatoire National de Région de Boulogne in 1995. She will be on sabbatical leave in Fall 2021-Spring 22.

Research Areas

Contemporary French and Francophone literature, intermedial relations between music and literature, postcolonial opera, African studies, literatures of the Levant and the Maghreb, Holocaust literature and literatures of testimony, literary translation, contemporary world cinema. 


Professor Lachman is the author of Borrowed Forms: The Music and Ethics of Transnational Fiction (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2014), an edited volume entitled Feasting on Words: Maryse Condé, Cannibalism and the Caribbean Text (Princeton: PLAS, 2006), articles in Yale French Studies, Research in African Studies and Music, Sound and the Moving Image, and numerous book chapters on African and Francophone literatures. She has translated works by Ghislaine Dunant and Assia Djebar. Her most recent publication Charlotte Delbo: A Life Reclaimed (University of Massachusetts Press, 2021) is the translation of Dunant's award-winning biography of Auschwitz survivor and major French literary figure Charlotte Delbo.

Charlotte Delbo: A Life Reclaimed (translation from French):

Borrowed Forms:

Feasting on Words:

Select Articles:

“The Meursault Investigation: Literature and the Disappeared.” In Yale French Studies. Special Issue on Existentialism. Edited by Julie Elsky, Lauren Du Graf, and Clémentine Fauré Bellaïche. January 2020.

“Teaching Assia Djebar's Work in an Age of Fundamentalism.” In Teaching Approaches to Assia Djebar. Edited by Anne Donadey. Modern Language Association (MLA) Press, 2017.

“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.

Select Translations:

“Charlotte Delbo: Writing the Deportation.” Translation of Ghislaine Dunant’s “Charlotte Delbo: une autre voix.” In The Massachusetts Review. Fall 2019.

“An Inner Switzerland.” Translation of Ghislaine Dunant’s short story, “Une Suisse intérieure.” The Massachusetts Review 60.1. Spring 2019.

“Camus: The First Man, the Last Book.” Translation of Assia Djebar’s essay “Camus: le premier homme, le dernier livre” (from Ces voix qui m’assiègent, Paris: Albin Michel: 1998). The Massachusetts Review. Winter 2018.

Book Reviews:

Review of Contemporary Cinema of Africa and the Diaspora by Anjali Prabhu. (New York: Wiley Blackwell, 2014). In African Studies Review. Fall 2017.

Review of The New Tunisian Cinema: Allegories of Resistance by Robert Lang. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014). In African Studies Review. Summer 2017.

Review of Locating the Destitute: Space and Identity in Caribbean Fiction by Stanka Radovic. (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2014). In Comparative Literature Studies. Winter 2018.

Review of The Postcolonial Short Story: Contemporary Essays. Ed. Maggie Adwalla and Paul March-Russell. Palgrave-Macmillan. (London and New York: Palgrave, 2012). In Canadian Review of Comparative Literature 43.2 (June 2016).

Review of Conflict Bodies: The Politics of Rape Representation in the Francophone Imaginary by Régine Michelle Jean Charles. (Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2014). In Research in African Studies 46.2 (Spring 2015): 160-164.

Music Criticism for The Daily Star, Beirut, Lebanon, 1998-2001. (See Author’s Page for Links to Articles:


Book Cover Charlotte Delbo: a life RememberedBook cover: Borrowed FormsBook cover, Feasting on Words

Awards and Accolades

Kahn Liberal Arts Institute Fellow, War, Smith College 2017-18

Interdisciplinary Studies Institute Fellow, Dissent, University of Massachusetts Amherst 2017-18

Research Intensive Semester Grant, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Spring 2013

Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities and Fine Arts (ISHA) Fellowship, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2010-11

Georges Lurcy Fellowship, Paris, France, 2005-06

Ecole normale supérieure Fellowship, Paris, France, 2005-06

Dean’s Fund for Scholarly Travel, November 2004

Armstrong Award for Graduate Study, 2001-03

Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, Research Awards, 2002-05

Henry Hart Rice Fellowship, Yale University, 1998-99Premier Prix in Violin Performance, May 1995, Conservatoire National de Région, Paris, France

Premier Prix à l’unanimité in Chamber Music, May 1995, Conservatoire National de Région, Boulogne, France

Premier Prix à l’unanimité in History of Music, May 1995, Conservatoire National de Région, Paris, France

Assistant Concertmaster of Yale Symphony Orchestra, 1995-97

Courses Recently Taught

COMPLIT 752 The Theory and Practice of Comparative Literature

COMP LIT 355 Modern African Literature

COMPLIT 231 Comedy

COMPLIT 891, Writing in the Discipline

COMPLIT 691ML, Testimony and Resistance in African Literature 

COMPLIT 382 Cinema and Psyche

FRENCHST 290L Americans in Paris

FRENCHST 497F French Women Writers

FRENCHST 497PL/697PL Critical Approaches to North African Literatures from Independence to the Arab Spring

FRENCHST 397/597 MN Literature, Film and Fundamentalism

COMPLIT 691A Literature and Music

FRENCHST 597O The Postcolonial Thriller

FRENCHST 350 French Film

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

COMP LIT 693 Critical Approaches to North African Literature