Cover image of Disorientation: France, Vietnam, and the Ambivalence of Interculturality

Research Expertise and Interest

Africa, cultural studies, the Caribbean, literature, francophone literature, colonial and postcolonial literature, Vietnam, gender and identity

Research Description

Karl Britto is currently serving as Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities.  He is jointly appointed in the Departments of French and Comparative Literature and is affiliated with the Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality.  He is a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award, the Berkeley campus's highest honor for teaching.  His teaching and research interests include francophone colonial and postcolonial literatures of Vietnam, Africa and the Caribbean.   Publications include: "Stories Told and Untold: Graham Greene’s The Quiet American and Anna Moï’s Le venin du papillon,Representations 163.1 (Summer 2023); "'Madame, je ne suis pas une jeune fille': Phạm Duy Khiêm's La Place d'un homme," French Studies 74.4 (October 2020) ; "The Place of Paris in Vietnamese Diasporic Fiction," in Paris and the Marginalized Author: Treachery, Alienation, Queerness, and Exile, eds. Valérie Orlando and Pamela Pears (Lexington Books, 2019); "The Stranger's Voice," reprinted in Think in Public: A Public Books Reader, eds. Sharon Marcus and Caitlin Zaloom (Columbia University Press, 2019); Interview with Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer, online at Public Books (September 2018); “L’ésprit de corps: French Civilization and the Death of the Colonized Soldier,” in Empire Lost: France and Its Other Worlds, ed. Elisabeth Mudimbe-Boyi (Lexington Books, 2008); “Tahar Ben Jelloun,” in The Columbia History of Twentieth-Century French Thought, ed. Lawrence D. Kritzman (Columbia University Press, 2006); Disorientation: France, Vietnam, and the Ambivalence of Interculturality (Hong Kong University Press, 2004).  His recent writing on Vietnamese diasporic authors Aimee Phan, Kim Thúy, and Viet Thanh Nguyen, as well as on Marie Ndiaye's Trois femmes puissantes, can be found online at Public Books (

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