Janell Watson

Janell Watson, Professor of French and Department Chair

Janell Watson, Professor of French and Department Chair
Janell Watson, Professor of French and Department Chair

Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures
341 Major Williams Hall 
220 Stanger St. 
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-8632 | rjwatson@vt.edu

Janell Watson, a professor and chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, has been a member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 1999. She is the author of two books: Guattari’s Diagrammatic Thought: Writing Between Lacan and Deleuze and Literature and Material Culture from Balzac to Proust: The Collection and Consumption of Curiosities. In 2013, she co-edited The Deleuze and Guattari Dictionary.

Watson is the editor of the minnesota review, a journal of creative and critical writing that launched in 1960. She serves on the editorial board of the international journal Deleuze Studies as well. She earned her doctorate in French from Duke University.

As chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, Watson is working with the faculty to expand its many study-abroad programs and helping host cultural events, film festivals, and weekly conversation tables that are open to the community at large.

  • Nineteenth-Century French Literature
  • Collecting
  • Gilles Deleuze
  • Félix Guattari
  • Michel Serres
  • Ph.D. in French, Duke University, 1995
  • BA in French and Business, Austin College, Sherman, TX, May 1982.
  • Chair, department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures.
  • Editor, the minnesota review: a journal of creative and critical writing.
  • Editorial board member, Deleuze and Guattari Studies (journal).
  • Member, Modern Language Association.
  • Advisory board member, Deleuze and Guattari Studies in India Collective.
  • Member, American Association of University Professors (AAUP). 
  • Virginia Tech Alumni award for Research Excellence, 2017.
  • Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship Award, 2013.

Books

Eugene B. Young, editor, with Gary Genosko and Janell Watson. The Deleuze and Guattari Dictionary. Bloomsbury, 2013. Xii + 368 pp.

Guattari’s Diagrammatic Thought: Writing Between Lacan and Deleuze. Continuum Studies in Continental Philosophy. Continuum International Publishing, 2009. xii + 212 pp.

Literature and Material Culture from Balzac to Proust: The Collection and Consumption of Curiosities. Cambridge Studies in French. Cambridge UP, 1999. x + 230 pp.

Articles   

“Living with Madness: Experimental Asylums in Poststructuralist France.” Cultural Critique, vol. 104, 2019, pp. 137-157.

“The Urban Chora, from Pre-Ancient Athens to Postmodern Paris.” China Media Research, vol. 13, no. 4, 2017, pp. 28-37.

“Mother Earth, Mother City: Abjection and the Anthropocene.” PhiloSophia: A Journal of Continental Feminism, vol. 5, no. 2, 2015, pp. 269-285.

“Multiple Mutating Masculinities: Of Maps and Men.” Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, vol. 20, no. 1, 2015, pp. 107-121.

Book Chapters

“The Transversal Campus: Open Black Box?” Principles of Transversality in Globalisation and Education, edited by David R. Cole and Joff P.N. Bradley, Singapore: Springer, 2018, pp. 19-30.

Dramatis Personae et Dramatis Res : le collectionnisme à la Belle Époque” (Dramatis Personae and Dramatis Res in Belle-Époque Collecting). Même pas peur ! collection de la baronne Henri de Rothschild (1874-1926), edited by Sophie Motsch, Somagy, 2018, pp. 114-118

“Afterword: Post-Media Singularities.” The Reinvention of Social Practices by Gary Genosko. Rowman and Littlefield, 2018, pp. 215-220.

EXTERNAL

  • Svetlana Filiatreau (Pamplin) and Janell Watson, Co-PIs (50%-50% effort). Funding period: 2018-2020.
  • Source: US Department of Education, Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language
  • Programs. Project: Integrating Chinese and Korean Studies into International Business Education. Total
  • award: $178,000. Watson share: $58,728.
  • Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture. Purpose of grant: organize a
  • French and Francophone film series of at least five films, open to the university public. Grant awarded
  • for 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, for a total amount of $7,500.
  • Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. External grant for the above-mentioned “Cultural Diversity for
  • Sale” conference, fall 2002. Total award: $8,500.

INTERNAL

  • Co-PI for a Faculty Reading Group grant from the Center for Instructional Development and Educational
  • Research (CIDER) at VT. Duration: nine months. Amount: $2,400.
  • Dean’s Faculty Fellowship. Purpose: take one semester off teaching to complete my book on Félix
  • Guattari, during the spring of 2007. Total award: $10,500.
  • Women and Minority Artist & Scholars Lecture Series, awarded by the Virginia Tech office of the
  • provost. Purpose: host French/Francophone film festivals listed above. Grant awarded for 2006, 2007,
  • 2008, and 2009 for a total amount of $2,000.
  • Humanities Summer Stipend, Virginia Tech Humanities Program in the Department of Interdisciplinary
  • Studies. Purpose: fund research in France related to my book in progress on Félix Guattari, summer
  • 2004. Total award: $3,500.
  • Humanities Symposium Grant, Virginia Tech Humanities Program in the Center for Interdisciplinary
  • Studies. Purpose: organizing an interdisciplinary national symposium entitled “Cultural Diversity for Sale:
  • Global Economies of Art and Entertainment,” spring 2002 and fall 2002. Total award: $7,000.
  • Methods (Introduction to Critical Theory) for MA students in French and Spanish.
  • French language (all levels).
  • Advanced French composition and stylistics.
  • French literature survey.
  • Introduction to French cinema.
  • Introduction to Global Culture.
  • Director, Summer Study Abroad in Paris, 2016.
  • “Mythology, Literature, and Legend in the  Age of Information.” The Executive Council Meeting and the Summit Forum of International Comparative Literature Association, 27 July 2019, Shenzhen, China. Invited conference paper.
  • “Culture Industry and the Knowledge Economy.” School of the Arts at Nanjing University, 11 June 2019, Nanjing, China. Lecture.
  • “Heroes and Goddesses of the Information Age.” Department of English at Shanghai International Studies University, 6 June 2019, Shanghai, China. Lecture.
  • “Heroes and Goddesses of the Information Age” and “Physics of Mars, Physics of Venus.” Institute for Mythological Studies at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 5 and 12 June 2019, Shanghai, China. Lectures.
  • “Is it culture? Lines, aggregates, stories.” International Symposium on Inter-culturality and Common Destiny for Humankind, 11-15 July 2017, Confucius Institute, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Plenary paper.
  • “Literature and Anthropological Truth.” The Representations of History and Culture in Literature, The Fifth International Conference on English and American Literature, April 2015, Shanghai International Studies University, Shanghai, China. Keynote presentation.

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