Elisabeth Mudimbe-Boyi
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Elisabeth Mudimbe-Boyi

Professor of French and Italian, Emerita
Professor of Comparative Literature, Emerita
1978: Ph.D., with Grande Distinction, Romance Languages and Literatures: French and Italian (Doctorat en Langues et Littératures Romanes) from the National University of Zaïre in Lubumbashi

Professor Elisabeth Mudimbe-Boyi is affiliated with both the French and Italian and Comparative Literature departments. Her teaching and research interests include cultural relations between Europe, Africa and the Caribbean; literature, intellectuals and society; and women writers. Before coming to Stanford in 1995, Professor Boyi taught at universities in the Congo and Burundi, as well as Haverford College and Duke University. She was a Visiting Professor in the French Department of the Graduate Center, CUNY in 1994. In 1999-2000 Professor Boyi was a Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. In 2002-2003 Professor Boyi was the president of the African Literature Association, a non-profit society of scholars dedicated to the advancement of African Literary Studies. She served as a member of the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association, where she represents the field of French (2003-2006), and as the Director of the interdisciplinary Program in Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford (2005-2008). In 2012 and 2013, Professor Boyi was a visiting Professor at Hong Kong University. In 2014, she received the African Literature Association's Distinguished Member Award.

Among Mudimbe-Boyi's publications are Jacques-Stephen Alexis: une écriture poétique, un engagement politique, "Post-Colonial Women Writing in French;" Beyond Dichotomies: Histories, Identities, Culture, and the Challenge of Globalization (2002); Remembering Africa (2002); Essais sur les cultures en contact - Afrique, Amériques, Europe (published by Karthala Paris, September 2006); Pour une histoire en partage. Images, mémoires et savoirs (co-edited with Isidore Ndaywel, preface by Pierre Nora of l’Académie Française, 2009); and "Ecrivains africains et antillais: du roman comme Histoire" (Oeuvres et critiques XXXVI, 2), 2011.

Professor Boyi studied Romance Philology at the Catholic Universities of Louvain (Belgium) and Lovanium, Kinshasa. She holds a Licence en Philosophie et Lettres from the Catholic University of Lovanium (groupe Philologie Romane) and a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures: French and Italian (Doctorat en Langues et Littératures Romanes) from the National University of Zaïre in Lubumbashi, with honors (Grande Distinction). Before earning her Ph.D., Professor Boyi studied ethnology at the University of Paris-Nanterre. She also studied Portuguese at the University of Lisbon, Italian language and literature at the Catholic University of Milan and the University of Siena, and at the University of Brescia, where she was a language teaching intern at CLADIL, the Centro di Linguistica applicata e didattica della lingua.



Office Hours

By appointment

Research Interests

  • African Languages, Literatures, and Cultures


  • Cultural History & Studies


  • Intellectual History