Debarati Sanyal leaning against chair

Research Expertise and Interest

Politics of aesthetic form, nineteenth-century French studies, memory studies, World War Two, Holocaust studies, critical refugee studies, contemporary fiction and film

Research Description

Debarati Sanyal is affiliated with the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory, the Institute of European Studies, and the Center for Race and Gender. Her teaching and research interests span 19th-21st century French and Francophone literature, with a focus on memory studies; the politics of aesthetic form; nineteenth-century poetics of revolution; the Occupation and Holocaust studies, and more recently, critical human rights and refugee studies.  She is a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award (2012), UC Berkeley's highest recognition for teaching. Publications include Memory and Complicity: Migrations of Holocaust Remembrance (Fordham, 2015) forthcoming in French translation as Mémoire et Complicité: Héritages de la Shoah (PUV, 2018); The Violence of Modernity: Baudelaire, Irony and the Politics of Form (Johns Hopkins, 2006), and as co-editor, Noeuds de mémoire: Multidirectional Memory in Postwar French and Francophone Culture (Yale French Studies 118/119, 2010). Recent articles include “Calais’s ‘Jungle’: Refugees, Biopolitics, and the Arts of Resistance”, “Modiano's Memoryscapes" and "Baudelaire and the Poetics of Terror".  Her current book project addresses the contemporary refugee experience in French-speaking testimony, fiction and film.


In the News

Guggenheim fellowships awarded to four UC Berkeley faculty

Four UC Berkeley faculty are among this year’s 184 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellows. The prestigious awards recognize scholars with impressive achievements in fields ranging from the natural sciences to the creative arts.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
April 12, 2021
Michael T. Nietzel
The Guggenheim Fellows for 2021 were announced this week. This year's winners include 184 scholars, artists, scientists and writers selected via a rigorous peer review process from more than 3,000 initial candidates. UC Berkeley hosts four new Guggenheim fellows: Christopher J. Chang (Chemistry), Raúl Coronado (Ethnic Studies), Ken Light (Journalism), and Debarati Sanyal (French). The prestige of a Guggenheim Fellowship is substantial. Since its inception almost a hundred years ago, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has granted nearly $400 million in Fellowships to over 18,000 individuals. For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News.
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