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Janice R Gross
Janice (Jan) Gross is Seth Richards Professor in Modern Languages with Senior Faculty Status. She earned her B.A. in French with a history minor at the University of Michigan, M.A. at Ohio State University, and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan Romance Languages with a dissertation on contemporary productions of Molière, and teaching at the Residential College. Her focus on theatre's potential for "imagining the Other," led her to interview Algerian playwrights living in Paris (Slimane Benaïssa, Mohamed Kacimi, Aziz Chouaki, Fellag, and Fatima Gallaire), and to bring several to Grinnell as visiting scholars. Her publications highlight intersections between France and Algeria, and the role of terrorism, postcolonial identities, exile, and Islam, including the translation with Daniel Gross of Slimane Benaïssa's novel, The Last Night of a Damned Soul (Grove Press, 2004), a first work of fiction on 9/11 to be penned by a Muslim author. Appearing in Theatre Journal, Modern Drama, and French Review, her publications also cover pedagogical topics; “Making Reel to Real Contact: Film in the French Culture Course," and inform courses taught, e.g., "From Decolonization to la France plurielle," "From Crisis to Creation: Literature of Trauma." Her seminar "May 68: A Culture of Revolt and Beyond" featured 1968 leader Alain Geismar, and her Tutorial "Americans in Paris: Through the Looking Glass" sheds light on the Franco-American encounter, including the African-American in Paris. Her current book project documents the representations of Islam and interreligious dialogue on the contemporary French stage.