From a faculty source:

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that Katarzyna Pieprzak, Professor of French and Comparative Literature, has agreed to serve as Associate Dean of the Faculty for two years, starting August 1, 2018.

Kashia earned her PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan and taught at the City University of New York before arriving at Williams in 2003. Her research interests include 20th and 21st century artistic and literary engagements with urban space in North Africa; museum studies with a focus on institutional decolonization; and gender and migration in the Francophone world. She is the author of Imagined Museums: Art and Modernity in Post-Colonial Morocco (University of Minnesota Press: 2010), and co-editor of two volumes: Land and Landscape in Francographic Literature and Africanity in North African Visual Culture, a special issue of the African Art History journal Critical Interventions. Her new book in progress, The Traveling Bidonville, explores the relationship between aesthetics and the possibility of political constitution in shantytowns in North Africa and France.

Kashia’s work as associate dean will focus on faculty development, drawing on her strong record of service and leadership experience. She has taken a couple turns at chairing the Department of Romance Language and Literatures and is currently chairing Arabic Studies. She has also been elected to the CEP (now CEA) and the Faculty Review Panel, chaired the Olmsted Prize Committee, and served very capably as co-director of the First3 initiative for the last two years.

This associate deanship is a rotating position. Kashia will succeed Rhon Manigault-Bryant, Associate Professor of Africana Studies, who has served in this role since summer 2016. John Gerry will continue to serve as associate dean as well, and Megan Konieczny as assistant dean. Those two positions provide the dean’s office with points of continuity, as do Justine Beringer and Barb Pietras who support the faculty in many, many ways. Indeed, we have a very experienced team, also including Carrie Greene and Veronica Bosley who manage academic events, Ric Grefé who oversees our design thinking pilot, and Denise Buell who will return as Dean of the Faculty. We all look forward to working with Kashia when she joins us this summer.

Best wishes,


Lee Park

Interim Dean of the Faculty

1) Comments from any insiders? Pieprzak does not seem an obvious member of the faculty’s diversity-über-alles wing.

2) See here for a nice intro to Pieprzak’s academic work.

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