Teaching French at Amherst College

Bouledjouidja Selma-5
Selma, Fulbright/Carlet Levy-Despas Grantee 2018-19

Selma Bouledjouidja, lauréate du programme Fulbright FLTA et de la Fondation Carlet–Levy-Despas, nous raconte son expérience en tant qu’assistante de français à Amherst College.

« […] I particularly wanted to teach French in the most intersectional way possible and share my culture as an Algerian-French woman with my students and complicate their monolithic understanding of what it is to be French and how it is to live in different part of France. […]. I had the intent to meet new people, to travel the country as much as possible in order expand my knowledge, discover specificities about the U.S and continue my research for my master’s thesis which required my presence in the country.

Because of the amazing summer orientation in Oregon and especially thanks to my advisor, I had everything that I needed to teach at Amherst College. I have been taught many different teaching methodologies and I really enjoyed and succeeded at teaching French in a very efficient and pleasant way. I also organized with my colleague one French Table a week, one French Movie Night every two weeks and a Karaoke night and Crepe Night per semester.

Bouledjouidja Selma-6

I have also attended two classes per semester that really helped me for my master’s thesis and for my general understanding of the world. I took “Islamophobia” and “Protest” from the Department of Anthropology and “ Queer Theory and Practice ” and “Gender and Right Wing Populism” from the Department of Sexuality and Women’s Studies. I travelled a lot and I met wonderful people.

Amherst College is a gorgeous place with gorgeous people. Everyone is so nice and willing to help if needed. There are so many events happening on campus, although it is a tiny town, you won’t get bored. The landscapes are breathtaking and there are so many occasions to do outdoor activities. Winter has been very tough though, we have reached -20°C around February. […]

Amherst

I think I have managed to fulfill Fulbright’s mission to improve understanding between France and the U.S firstly through my teaching. I have made everything in my power to give an accurate depiction of France in its diversity in my classes as well as in the activities that I have organized for our students in French and also for our Amherst College community. I have also organized a conference on the topic of my master’s thesis focusing on Muslim women in France and the U.S, a conference entitled “Muslim Women Reclaim Their Identities: Being a Muslim Woman in France & the U.S” that we hosted at Amherst College on April 27th, 2019. The conference was a success (French Fulbrighters from Williams College, Camille and Romain came for the occasion), two panelists were French and the two others were Americans so it was a perfect opportunity to open the dialogue about the experiences that Muslim women have both in France and in the U.S and exchange about the current political climate in both our countries.

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