C.V.

Kathryn Mara

1410 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive Madison, WI 53706 ● kmmara@wisc.edu

EDUCATION

Ph.D., African Cultural Studies,University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2015-Present  

  • Distributed PhD Minor: Trauma and Memory Studies
  • Dissertation: Memory Abroad: Narrative and Discursive Practices Surrounding the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi 
  • Supervisor: Katrina Daly Thompson
  • Expected Completion Date: May 2020

M.A., African American and African Studies (Concentration: English), Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, 2013-2015

  • Master’s Thesis: “Someone to Tell the Story: Literature, Genocide, and the Commodification of Trauma in Post-Conflict Rwanda”

B.A., English, Magna Cum Laude, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan, 2010-2012

OTHER EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE

Beginners’ Swahili, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, Language and Orientation School, Morogoro, Tanzania, 2017.

 “Museums, Memorials, National and International Memory and Memorialization” (Travel Seminar to Rwanda and Ethiopia), Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, 2014.

Summer Intensive Language Program in Beginners’ Kinyarwanda, African Studies Center, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, 2014.

ACADEMIC POSITIONS

Teaching Assistant (Sole Instructor), Department of African Cultural Studies, UW-Madison, 2019.

Grader, International Studies Program, UW-Madison, 2018.

Head Teaching Assistant for African 210: The African Storyteller, Department of African Cultural Studies, UW-Madison, 2017-2018.

Teaching Assistant,Department of African Cultural Studies, UW-Madison, 2015-2018.

Teaching AssistantCenter for Integrative Studies in Social Science, MSU, 2015.

OTHER ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE

Discovery Box Curator for a Discovery Box Teaching K-12 Students about South African Apartheid, Institute for Regional and International Studies, 2019.

Research Assistantto Katrina Daly Thompson, “Language Practices of Progressive Muslims,” Language Institute, UW-Madison, 2016.

Research Assistantfor the Study-Abroad Program, “Research and Action in the New South Africa,” African American and African Studies, MSU, 2013-2014.

GRANTS AND FELLOWSHIPS

Marie Christine Kohler Fellowship, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, 2018-2019.

Graduate School Fellowship, UW-Madison Graduate School, 2018-2019.

International Research Travel Award, UW-Madison Graduate School, 2018.

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (Swahili), UW-Madison African Studies Program, 2018. (Awarded but Declined)

National Humanities Alliance Annual Meeting and Humanities Advocacy Day Scholarship, UW-Madison Graduate School, 2018.

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (Swahili), UW-Madison African Studies Program, 2017-2018.

Ebrahim Hussein Fellowship for Research in African Literature, UW-Madison College ofLetters and Science, 2017.

Foreign Languages and Area Studies Fellowship (Kinyarwanda), UW-Madison African Studies Program, 2016-2017.

Mellon Foundation Area and International Studies Research Fellowship, UW-Madison Institute for Regional and International Studies, 2015.

Graduate School Fellowship, UW-Madison Graduate School, 2015.

African American and African Studies Travel Award, MSU AAAS Program, 2014.

International Studies Travel Fellowship, MSU Office for International Studies and Programs, 2014.

Research Enhancement Award, MSU Graduate School, 2014.

Frank and Adelaide Kussy Scholarship for the Study of the Holocaust and Its Legacy andfor the Study of Genocide, MSU James Madison College, 2014.

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (Kinyarwanda), MSU Center for Advanced Study of International Development and Center for Gender in Global Context, 2014. 

Graduate School Travel Fellowship, MSU Graduate School, 2014.

College of Arts and Letters Travel Fellowship, MSU College of Arts and Letters, 2014.

Graduate School Travel Fellowship, MSU Graduate School, 2014.

College of Arts and Letters Travel Fellowship, MSU College of Arts and Letters, 2014.

NMU Scholars Award, NMU Office of Financial Aid, 2010-2012.

AWARDS AND HONORS

Nominee, Campus-Wide TA Award for Exceptional Service, UW-Madison College of Letters & Science and the Graduate School, 2018.

Future Faculty Partner, UW-Madison Teaching Academy, 2018-Present.

Best African Language Film for Shikamoo: Maisha Ya Miguu, UW-Madison African Cultural Studies Film Festival, 2018.

Invited Member, Phi Kappa Phi, 2017-Present.

Nominee, Outstanding Graduating Senior, NMU Department of English, 2013.

Heart and Soul Award, Michigan Campus Compact, 2013.

PUBLICATIONS

Book Reviews

Ndĩgĩrĩgĩ, Gĩchingiri, ed. Unmasking the African Dictator: Essays on Postcolonial African Literature. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2014. Research in African Literatures. (Forthcoming)

Bishop, Cécile. Postcolonial Criticism and Representations of AfricanDictatorship: The Aesthetics of Tyranny. London: Modern Humanities Research Association and Maney Publishing, 2014. Research in African Literatures 47.4 (2017): 188-189.

Film Reviews

For Our Land. Film. Directed by Wanuri Kahiu. 2009. Randburg: M-Net. African Studies Review 59, no. 03 (2016): 328-330.

The Chairman and the Lions. Film. Directed by Peter Biella. 2012. Watertown: Documentary Educational Resources. African Studies Review57, no. 03 (2014): 260-262.

RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS

“#BurundiCrisis: Social Media, Story-Telling, and Political Performativity,” African Studies Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, November 2018.

“The Many Truths of Jarett Kobek’s Atta and Abdellah Taïa’s Infidels:The Expectations of Fiction Realized,” African Studies Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, November 2017.

“The Non-African Africanist: Discussing the Umuzungu in the Room,” African Studies Association Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., December 2016.

“Displaced Human Rights in the Ethiopia of Dinaw Mengestu’s Novels,”African Literature Association Conference, Atlanta, GA, April 2016.

“The Story/Stories of the Rwandan Genocide: Negotiating Victimhood in Literary Testimony,”Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability Annual Meeting, Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University, December 2015.

“The Commodification of Memory: Memorializing Mass Atrocities in Rwanda and Ethiopia,” International Network of Genocide Scholars Annual Meeting, University of Cape Town, December 2014.

“Commodification and Ownership of Trauma in the Literature of the Rwandan Genocide,”African Studies Association Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, IN, November 2014.

“Rwanda: A Literary Study of Trauma and the Human(e) Experience,” The Future of Trauma and Memory Studies: Challenging Interpretive and Theoretical Boundaries, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, April 2014.

“The Rwandan Genocide: The Role of Literature in the Constructionof Identity, Depiction of Violence, and Establishment of Power,” Rwanda 20 Years After: Memory, Justice, and Recovery in the Shadow of Genocide, Weber State University, March 2014.

“The Politics of Language: A Discussion on South Africa’s Famous ‘Soaps’ and ‘Sitcoms’,”Imaging South Africa (Panel Discussion),Michigan State University, February 2014. (Invited Presentation)

OTHER PRESENTATIONS

“’Muraho! Mwitwa nde?’: Saying Hello and Introducing Yourself in Kinyarwanda,” World Language Day, UW-Madison, March 2019 & April 2017. (Invited Presentation)

“How Do Instructors Integrate TopHat & Student Response in Canvas?,” UW-Madison Active Teaching Lab, October 2018. (Invited Presentation)

 “Preliminary Exams, Dissertation Proposals, and Qualifying Papers,” Department of African Cultural Studies Graduate Student Colloquium, September 2018. (Invited Presentation)

TEACHING

UW-Madison

African 202: Introductory Topics in African Cultural Studies- How Should We Talk about Africa?, Summer 2019.

International Studies 266: Introduction to the Middle East, Fall 2018.

African 210: The African Storyteller, Fall 2015-Summer 2018. (Seven semesters)

African 233: Global HipHop and Social Justice, Spring 2017.

MSU

ISS 330A: African Social Science Perspectives, Spring 2015.

Guest Teaching

“Narrative and Discursive Practices Surrounding the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi,” in Political Science 439: The Comparative Study of Genocide, UW-Madison, 29 November 2017.

“Representations of War and Atrocity: Rwanda,” in African 100: Introduction to African Cultural Expression, UW-Madison, 12 October 2017.

PODCASTS

“Futures: African Studies and the Racial Politics of Knowledge Production, 1998 to 2028” (A Conversation with Drs. Abosede George, Carina Ray, Benjamin Talton, and Meredith Terretta), African Studies Association Podcast, 1 December 2018.

“Ethnographic Approaches to Language” (A Conversation with Drs. Rudolf Gaudio and Katrina Daly Thompson), African Studies Association Podcast, 29 November 2018.

“Approaching the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi” (A Conversation with Drs. Jennie Burnet, Timothy Longman, and Scott Straus), African Studies Association Podcast, 29 November 2018.

“Interview with Tejumola Olaniyan,” African Studies Association Annual Meeting Podcast Series, 17 November 2017.

“Interview with Kenneth Harrow,” African Studies Association Annual Meeting Podcast Series, 16 November 2017.

SERVICE

Institutional Service (UW-Madison)

Student Representative, Grievance Committee, Department of African Cultural Studies, 2018.

Organizer, “Get to Know Us Better” African Cultural Studies Interview Series, UW-Madison, 2016-Present.

Organizer, Department of African Cultural Studies Graduate Student Colloquium, UW-Madison, 2016-2017.

Organizer, Department of African Cultural Studies Professional Development Series, UW-Madison, 2016-2017.

Secretary, African Cultural Studies Student Association, UW-Madison, 2016-2017.

Institutional Service (MSU)

Graduate Student Advisor, Every Two Minutes (e2m) Theatre Troupe, MSU, 2014-2015.

Secretary, Sankofa Graduate Student Organization, MSU, 2014-2015.

Organizer, “Graduate Student Voices on South Africa: 20 Years Post-Apartheid,” (Graduate Student Panel Discussion), MSU, 2014.

Co-Chair, “Africanist Graduate Student Research Conference” (Funding Committee), MSU, 2014.

Organizer, “Kwibuka 20: Rwanda 20 Years After” (Faculty/Professional Panel Discussion), MSU, 2014.

Organizer, “Imagining South Africa- A Film Series,” MSU, 2014.

Graduate Student Mentor, Successful Black Women, MSU, 2013.

Professional Service 

Delegate (Great Lakes Region), Delegate Assembly, Modern Language Association, 2018-2021.

Lead Participant, African Studies Association Annual Meeting Podcast Series, 2018.

MEMBERSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

African Literature Association

African Studies Association

American Anthropological Association

International Network of Genocide Scholars

Modern Language Association

LANGUAGES

French, Reading (Intermediate High).

Kinyarwanda, Reading, Writing, and Speaking (Intermediate High).

Swahili, Reading, Writing, and Speaking (Intermediate Mid).