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Janice S. Spleth, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita of French

Professor Spleth received a BS in Education from the University of Arkansas and a Ph.D. in French from Rice University.

Professor Spleth has taught French and Foreign Literatures in Translation at all levels at WVU and received Outstanding Teaching Awards from the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and the WVU Foundation.  She has been a Faculty Associate in both Africana Studies and Women’s Studies and served as Interim Director of the Center for Women’s Studies 2008-2009.    Her field of specialization is African literature, primarily in French. Her publications include two books and several articles on the Senegalese poet-statesman Léopold Sédar Senghor. She spent a year in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaïre) as a Fulbright Scholar, and her research on Central African literature appears in the French Literature Series, The Literary Griot, Matatu, Research in African Literatures, Studies in Twentieth Century Literature, and the Journal of the African Literature Association. Her current research project analyzes narratives dealing with the place of women in Africa’s civil wars and has resulted in published articles or book chapters on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Tanella Boni, Edwidge Danticat, Aminatta Forna, Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye, Leonora Miano, Yolande Mukagasana, and Fanta Regina Nacro, She is an active member of the African Literature Association and co-edited two volumes of its annual: Interdisciplinary Dimensions of African Literature (1985) and The Cultural Dynamics of Globalization and African Literature (2016). She was elected to serve as president of the organization in 2010. She has been a member of the editorial board for the journal Research in African Literatures, and in 2006, she was elected to the Executive Committee of the African Literature Division of the MLA. She held the Armand E. and Mary W. Singer Professorship in the Humanities at WVU 2006-2012. In 2019, she was named Benedum Distinguished Scholar in Humanities and the Arts for “excellence in creative research.”

Curriculum Vitae