Katarzyna M. Pieprzak

Katarzyna Pieprzak

Massachusetts Professor of Francophone Literature, French Language, and Comparative Literature

Hollander Hall Rm 256
At Williams since 2003


B.A. Rice University (1995)
M.A. University of Michigan, Comparative Literature (1998)
Ph.D. University of Michigan, Comparative Literature (2001)

Areas of Expertise

  • Contemporary Literature and Art from North Africa
  • Museums in Africa and the Middle East
  • Postcolonial Theory from the Francophone World
  • Migration in Literature and Art
  • Comparative Francophone Urban Studies


RLFR 309 / AFR 307 SEM

Contemporary Short Stories from North Africa (not offered 2024/25)


Senior Seminar: Movement and Migration (not offered 2024/25)


Modern and Contemporary Art from the Middle East and North Africa (not offered 2024/25)

Scholarship/Creative Work


Poetics of Repair: Artistic Afterlives of Colonial-Era Mass Housing in the Maghreb (forthcoming with Duke University Press)

Imagined Museums: Art and Modernity in Morocco (University of Minnesota Press, January 2010)

Imagined Museums — University of Minnesota Press

Land and Landscape in Francographic Literature: Remapping Uncertain Territories, co-edited with Magali Compan, (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007).

Edited Journal Issue

Africanity in North African Visual Culture. Special Issue of Critical Interventions: Journal of African Art History and Visual Culture 5 (Spring 2010). Co-edited with Jessica Winegar.


Articles and Book Chapters

“Afterword: Minoritized Memory and Affect in a Museology of Disaster” in Exhibiting Minority Narratives: Cultural Representation in Museums in the Middle East and North Africa, Virginie Rey ed., (University of Edinburgh Press, 2020). 

“Whitewash as Affective Platform: Art and Politics of Surface in the Work of Yto Barrada and Hassan Darsi” ART Margins 8.3 (Fall 2019). 

“Zones of Perceptual Enclosure: The Aesthetics of Immobility in Casablanca’s Literary Bidonvilles” Research in African Literatures 47.3 (Fall 2016).

“A Beautiful Grave:  Innocent Objects, Museums and the Modern Self in Driss Chraïbi’s La Civilisation, ma Mère!… and the Ben M’Sik Community Museum” in Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literatures 38.2 (Summer 2014) Self and Stuff: Accumulation in Francophone Literature and Art. Guest editors: Amy Hubbell and Natalie Edwards.

“Art Museums and Memories of Modernity: Crumbling National Discourses of the Modern in Contemporary Morocco” in A Companion to Modern African Art edited by Monica Visona and Gitti Salami (London: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2014). 

“Actions sur le corps social: Engagements, invitations et rencontres” in Hassan Darsi: L’action et l’œuvre en projet (Casablanca: Editions Le Fennec, 2012).

“Participation as Patrimony: The Ben M’Sik Community Museum and the Importance of the Small Museum in Morocco” in Ben M’Sik Community Museum: Building Bridges, Samir el-Azhar ed., (Casablanca: Université Hassan II, 2012)

“Nostalgia and the New Cosmopolitan: Literary and Artistic Interventions in the City of Casablanca” Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature 33.1 (Winter 2009).

“Art in the Streets: Modern Art, Museum Practice and the Urban Environment in Contemporary Morocco” MESA Bulletin 42.1-2 (Summer/Winter 2008).

“Ruins, Rumors and Traces of the City of Brass: Moroccan Modernity and Memories of the Arab Global City” Research in African Literatures 38.4 (Winter 2007): 187-203

“Bodies on the Beach: Youssef Elalamy and Moroccan Landscapes of the Clandestine,” Land and Landscape in Francographic Literature: Remapping Uncertain Territories, Katarzyna Pieprzak and Magali Compan ed, (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007): 104-122.

“Citizens and Subjects in the Bank: Corporate Visions of Modern Art and Moroccan Identity”
Nation, Society and Culture in North Africa: Essays on Contemporary History, Culture and Politics, James McDougall ed. (London: Frank Cass, 2003) and Journal of North African Studies 8.1 (Spring 2003): 131-152.

“Whose Patrimony Is It Anyway? The Quarrel between Ali Baba’s Cave and the National Museums of Morocco,” Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature No. 49 (Fall 2001): 155-174.

Recent Talks

“On ne danse bien que dans ta boue”: Art and Poetry of the North African Bidonville, University of California Irvine, January 24, 2020.

Keynote lecture, “Dancing in Mud: Poetic Monuments, Movements and Museologies for the North African Bidonville” Inaugural French Studies Graduate Conference, Memory and Monuments, Tulane University, November 16th, 2019.

“Poems on Mass Housing in North Africa” Walter Rodney Lecture Series, Boston University, October 28, 2019.

“Material Movements: Mud, Paper and Metal Houses” Light, Brick, Jute, Earth: Younès Rahmoun, Smith College Museum of Art, Sept 19-21, 2019.

“Mapping Affect in the Moroccan Museum” Press Play: Creative Interventions in Research and Practice. British School in Rome, Rome, March 28, 2019.

Surface Feeling: Contemporary Moroccan Art and the Politics of Whitewash in the City” Maryse Fauvel Distinguished Lecture, The College of  William and Mary, February 22, 2019.

“Planned Absence: The Art of Memory and Forgetting” In Search of Archives International Symposium, Silent Green Kultur Quartier, Berlin, January 23-26, 2019.

“Muséologie et affect” Atelier de recherche autour des Arts Visuels au Maroc, Rabat, Morocco, November 17, 2018.

“Retour au Imagined Museums au Maroc” Le Cube Independent Art Space, Rabat, Morocco, November 16, 2018.

“Moroccan Modernity and Reparative Reading” Bauhaus Imaginista: Learning from… Goethe Institute International Conference, Rabat, Morocco March 24-26, 2018.

“In Praise of Surface Readings: The Art and Politics of Urban Whitewashing in the Casablanca-based work of Hassan Darsi and Yto Barrada.” Remapping the Urban: Everyday Practices of Adaptation and the Politics of Presence, Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures, University of Virginia, October 20, 2017.

“What Is Left to Love in a National Museum?” National Museums and the Public Imagination in Qatar Workshop, University College London Qatar, Doha, September 27, 2017.

“The Art of Memory and Forgetting: Archive Fever and Moroccan Exceptionalism” Moroccan Exceptionalism: An Interdisciplinary Symposium, Northwestern University, May 18, 2017.

Colloquium Organizer: Aesthetics and the Bidonville, Clark Art Institute, May 6-8, 2016.

“Demain Demain: Nanterre, Bidonville de la Folie. Fanon and the Traveling Bidonville” Clark Art Institute, May 7, 2016.

“Migrating Spaces Imagining and Containing the Bidonville in the Francophone Mediterranean” Duke University, March 2, 2016.


Awards, Fellowships & Grants

Getty Foundation Summer Institute Fellowship in Istanbul on “Constructing the Past in the Middle East” (2006)