Mary Anne Lewis Cusato

Professor of French


B.B.A., University of Notre Dame
M.A., University of Minnesota
Ph.D., Yale University


Mary Anne Lewis Cusato earned her doctoral degree from the Yale University Department of French in 2013 and has worked at Ohio Wesleyan University ever since. She was promoted and granted tenure in 2019 and awarded the Sherwood Dodge Shankland Teaching Award in 2020. Dr. Lewis Cusato teaches French language at all levels, as well as courses on multicultural France and the French-speaking world outside of France. She publishes and presents regularly and is currently working on her book project, Multiculturalism à la mode: Americanization, Cultural Minorities, and the Reshaping of Contemporary French Identity (1954-2021).

Dr. Lewis Cusato regularly teaches introductory and intermediate language & culture courses as well as the following upper level courses:

  • Le mot juste: Composition and Cultural Analysis in French (FREN 250, Humanities, Writing credit)
  • Culture of Empire, Culture of Resistance: Representation and Power in the French-Speaking World from Imperialism to Decolonization (FREN 351, Diversity, Writing optional)
  • "Liberté, captivité, en français: Contemporary Cultural Representations of Freedom and Captivity in the French-Speaking World" (FREN 300.3, Humanities, Diversity, Writing optional, cross-listed with Black World Studies)
  • "Contemporary Franco-Arab Cultural Exchanges" (FREN 300.4, Humanities, Diversity, Writing optional, cross-listed with Black World Studies)
  • "Fourteen Kilometers: Mediterranean (Im)Migrations in Contemporary Francophone Literature and Film" (FREN 300.5, Humanities, Diversity, Writing optional, cross-listed with Black World Studies)
  • "Cinema in French: Films from the French-Speaking World in the 20th and 21st Centuries" (FREN 499, Humanities, Diversity, Writing optional)

Dr. Lewis Cusato also regularly guides students to earn prestigious grants and fellowships to fund research and travel related to such topics as the social, economic, and cultural impact of local markets in French life; cultural representations of terrorism in France; immigration in France and throughout the Mediterranean; and cultural identity in the French Caribbean. She has traveled with students to the French-speaking Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe; the African Film Festival held in New York City; and to Paris, Marseille, and Lourmarin thanks to Ohio Wesleyan University's "Theory-to-Practice" (TPG) grants. TEW and NEH grants have also facilitated her travel and research in Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Bordeaux, Casablanca, Marrakech, Agadir, and Essaouira, as well as to the 2014 NEH Institute on Contemporary Cultural Production in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.

In addition, Dr. Lewis Cusato is co-founder and co-director of OWU's Global Studies Institute and the Palmer Global Scholars Program and is highly enthusiastic about efforts to internationalize OWU's curriculum and student experiences.

Finally, Dr. Lewis Cusato is devoted to making higher education as accessible, transparent, efficient, and relevant as possible. She is especially committed to connecting coursework with the workplace and training students and faculty alike to emphasize and articulate transferable skills.

 Areas of Interest/Expertise

Francophone literature, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, postcolonial theory, North Africa, Maghrebi literature and culture, culture industry


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

"Experiential Approaches to Teaching African Cultures and the Politics of Representation: Building the 'Documenting Africa' Project through StoryMapJS," co-authored with Professor Nancy Demerdash-Fatemi, The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, no. 19 (May 2021).

 "The Maghreb's New Publishing House: les éditions barzakh and the Stakes of Localized Publishing," Special issue of Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, SITES, "The Contemporary Roman Maghrébin: Aesthetics, Politics, Production 2000-2015," 20:1 (2016): 85-93.

 "Between francophonie and world literature in French: Tahar Ben Jelloun's evolving authority," Special issue of The Journal of North African Studies, "Maghrebi Artistic and Literary Expressions in the 21st Century," 21:2 (2016): 301-309.

"From Tahar Djaout's 'No' to Mustapha Benfodil's 'Enough!':
Two Moments of Revolutionary Aesthetics in Contemporary Algerian Literature and Cultural Activism" Special issue of Expressions maghrébines, "Tahar Djaout, 25 ans après," 17:1 (2018) (forthcoming)


"Alien-nation and the Algerian Harraga: The Limits of Nation-Building and Cosmopolitanism as Interpretive Models for the Clandestine Immigrant." Cosmopolitanism, Ltd. Edited by Alexander Stevic and Philip Tsang. Routledge Press (2018) 

General Interest

 "Connecting Classroom and Career: Ohio Wesleyan Experts Discuss Efforts to Help Students Articulate Skills, Land Jobs," Ohio Wesleyan University News & Media (March 9, 2021),

"Bijoux Contemporains: Francophone Artists Reimagine Adornment," Collaborative Exhibit at the Ross Art Museum involving student translations from the spring 2019 French 250 students and featured on PBS's Broad and High (October 2019-February 2020), and

 "Teaching Statement as Self-Portrait," The Chronicle of Higher Education: Vitae (October 2014),

 " 'This,' I told myself, "will be the year of drafts.' " Gown to Town: The Official Yale Graduate Career Services News Column (February 2014),

 Book Reviews

 Chérif, Mustapha. Rencontre avec le pape: L'Islam et le dialogue interreligieux. The Journal of North African Studies 21:1 (2016): 148-151.

Selected Fellowships, Grants & Awards

  • Sherwood Dodge Shankland Award for Teaching (2019-2020)
  • Thomas E. Wenzlau Faculty Development Award for "Multiculturalism à la mode: How Ethnic Minorities and Americanization Are Shaping Contemporary French Culture (1954-2019)"
  • Voted by Students to Give i-Cubed Lecture, "Chuck Norris in Algeria," Most Popular in Ohio Wesleyan University's history (Fall 2018)
  • The Five Colleges of Ohio Mellon Digital Scholarship Faculty Grant Award and Great Lakes Colleges Association "Themed Courses" Awards for the "Fourteen Kilometers: Mediterranean (Im)Migrations in Contemporary Francophone Literature and Film" course and the "Documenting Africa" project (Fall 2018)
  • Appointed Director of French & Francophone Studies Program (Fall 2018-Present)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Selected Participant, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR: "Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia: Literature, the Arts, and Cinema since Independence" (June 23-July 11, 2014)
  • Humanities Representative for Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Commencement Ceremonies by Vote of the Yale University Graduate School Administration (2014)
  • Les Glycines centre d'études diocésain Fellow, Algiers, Algeria (Summer 2013)

Winner of the 2020 Sherwood Dodge Shankland Award for Encouragement of Teachers

Contact Info


University Hall 204
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3666