I’m Raquelle K. Bostow, and I am currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Fisk University and a Visiting Scholar at Vanderbilt University in the Department of French & Italian.

Raquelle booksWriting is a part of my work life in many ways. As a researcher, I often write about the depiction of female bodies and characters in francophone literature. At the moment, I’m transforming my dissertation into a book titled Medusian Apparitions: Reading Contemporary French Prose with Hélène Cixous. In this project, I read works of francophone literature from the late 20th and 21st centuries through the lens of Hélène Cixous’s writings on sexual difference and the Medusa. I claim that the female protagonists of each novel counter the male gaze with productive, feminist reclamations of the Medusa. So, in the end, this not-so-mythological woman figures as a tool for the radical, feminist realignment of old relationships between female bodies, danger, and death.

I am also working on a few articles. One is about the topic of frigidity in Simone de Beauvoir’s Le deuxième sexe (The Second Sex), another is about the queer nature of Hélène Cixous’s Medusa in “Le rire de la Méduse,” and yet another is about the conception of the “divine” in Eliette Abécassis’s La répudiée.

As a teacher of French language and literature, I also write lesson plans and give students feedback on their language and writing skills.

Away from work, you will often find me reading, writing in my journal, and recording to-do lists and appointments in my beloved Hobonichi planner.

My writing is inspired by all of the people and things that I come into contact with on a daily basis, including my partner. His endless creativity–including baking naturally leavened bread, playing guitar, being a kickass yogi, and constantly breaking out into song–is a source for my own.

And, of course, this blog also serves as a vital source of inspiration. I am nourished by the stimulating and daring pieces that our SWW authors share.

Thanks for reading.