Mary Anne Lewis Cusato

Associate Professor of Modern Foreign Languages


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 the French-speaking world outside of France, with a particular emphasis on francophone North Africa. She publishes regularly, and her work has appeared in Contemporary French & Francophone Studies: SITES, Expressions maghrébines, The Journal of North African Studies, The Chronicle: Vitae, The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, and the edited volume entitled The Limits of Cosmopolitanism: Globalization and Its Discontents in Contemporary Literature. 

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

  • Le mot juste: Composition and Cultural Analysis in French (FREN 250, Humanities, writing)
  • 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, optional Writing credit, cross-listed with Black World Studies)
  • “Contemporary Franco-Arab Cultural Exchanges” (FREN 300.4, Humanities, Diversity, optional Writing credit, cross-listed with Black World Studies)
  • “Fourteen Kilometers: Mediterranean (Im)Migrations in Contemporary Francophone Literature and Film” (FREN 300.5, Humanities, Diversity, optional Writing credit, 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, optional Writing credit)

In addition to teaching, Dr. Lewis Cusato has worked closely with many students through independent study projects on such topics as African film and criticism, the social and cultural impact of local markets in French life, and cultural representations of terrorism in France. Dr. Lewis Cusato regularly directs departmental honors thesis projects and supports advanced student work through grant development and experiential learning, research, and travel experiences. 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. TPG and NEH grants have also facilitated her travel and research in Bordeaux, Marrakech, and Essaouira, as well as to the NEH Institute on Contemporary Cultural Production in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, held at Oregon State University during the summer of 2014.

Furthermore, Dr. Lewis Cusato is a 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 works extensively with both faculty and students to connect coursework with the guided and well-informed pursuit of meaningful work, especially through 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

 “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

 “The Worker and the Critic,” The Chronicle of Higher Education: Vitae (December 2017) (under review)

 “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

  • Theory-to-Practice Grant awarded with Professor David Counselman and students Allie Eynon, Raissa Kanku, Paris Norman, Farida Rezk, and Caroline Shaffer for travel to, and experiential learning in, France related to the project "A Collective Study of French Imperialism: The Cultural Tools and Consequences of Colonialism as Seen in Paris and Southern France" (Summer 2018)
  • Selected to participate in the American Institute of Maghrebi Studies International Conference in Djerba, Tunisia (July 2017)
  • Thomas E. Wenzlau Faculty Development Award for research and course planning related to project entitled, “The Immigrants of France and the France of Immigrants: The Literature and Cinemas of 21st Century Immigration around the French-Speaking Mediterranean” (Summer 2016)
  • Theory to Practice Grant awarded with Professors Biser and Comorau for research and course planning related to project entitled, “The Literature, Cinema, and Politics of 21st Century Mediterranean Immigration” (Spring 2016)
  • Thomas E. Wenzlau Faculty Development Award for research and course planning related to project entitled, “Teaching and Researching Francophone Cultural Production through Colonial Archives, Museums, and Interviews” (Summer 2015)
  • Theory to Practice Grant awarded with Professor Nancy Comorau and four students for research and course planning related to project entitled, “Contemporary Cinemas of Africa” (Spring 2015)
  • Selected to Participate in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, coordinated by Professors Joseph Krause and Nabil Boudraa, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR: “Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia: Literature, the Arts, and Cinema since Independence” (June 23-July 11, 2014)
  • Thomas E. Wenzlau Faculty Development Award for research and course planning related to project entitled, “Development of Francophone Studies Program at Ohio Wesleyan University and Research on World Literature” (Summer 2014)
  • Theory to Practice Grant awarded for research and course planning related to project entitled, “Creole Cultures in the French West Indies: National Identity and Cultural Production in Martinique and Guadeloupe” (Spring 2014)
  • Les Glycines centre d’études diocésain Fellow, Algiers, Algeria (Summer 2013)
  • Yale University Dissertation Fellowship (Fall 2012, Spring 2013)

Contact Info


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