SHANTI - Sciences, Humanities, and Arts Network of Technological Initiatives

Alison Levine / Profile

Assistant Professor of French | Faculty

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I teach French cultural history, contemporary France, and film studies in the French department. I also occasionally teach French writing courses.

My scholarly interests include film studies, film history, documentary film, cultural history, and the history of empire, primarily relating to the French-speaking world in the late 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

My technological interests are mostly pedagogical at this point. I use the collaborative possibilities of the web to encourage students to work on creative projects such as website design, web publishing, and video production. I also use the web to maintain a collection of interactive grammar exercises for student practice. My web project, A Vos Plumes! The French Writing Center is now complete and can be viewed at Project details are available under “Projects” in the Shanti portal.


I write and publish in the areas of French cultural history and film studies. My particular fields are colonial history, tourism, film history, documentary film, and contemporary cinema.

My technological interests are primarily pedagogical. I use my websites to involve students in creative productions with technology, such as websites and film projects. I also use them for self-guided mechanical language practice.

Scholarly Disciplines
French and Francophone Literatures and Cultures (1), French studies (1), contemporary cinema (1), cultural history (1), documentary film (1), film history (1), film studies (2)
Time Periods of Interest
19th (4), 19th Century (7), 20th (2), 20th Century (8), 21st (1), 21st century (5)
Places of Interest
France (5), Francophone Countries (2)
Technologies of Interest
web design (1), web2.0 (5), websites (1)


I write and publish in the areas of French cultural history and film studies. My particular fields are colonial history, tourism, film history, documentary film, and contemporary cinema. I have a book on interwar French documentary film forthcoming from Continuum Press and journal articles as listed below.

My technological projects are primarily pedagogical. I have created a lot of activities for students of French as part of a new website about writing in French that is designed for students and teachers. It is called A Vos Plumes: The French Writing Center and can be viewed at

I also like to involve students in creative productions with technology, such as the creation of websites and film projects.


Framing the Nation: Documentary Film in Interwar France. Forthcoming from Continuum Press.
Articles and book chapters
2009 “Ghosts on the Skyline: Chris Marker’s France after 9/11.” In Cara C. Cilano, ed. From
Solidarity to Schisms: 9/11 and After in Fiction and Film from Outside the US. (Amsterdam:
2009 “L’automobile, le cinéma et l’Afrique: un tourisme illusoire?” In Colette Zytnicki, ed. 
Le tourisme dans les colonies (XIXè-XXè): un outil de domination coloniale? (Paris: Société française
d’histoire d’outre-mer).
2008 “Mapping Beur Cinema in the New Milennium.” Journal of Film and Video 60:3-4 (Fall/Winter). 42-59.
2005 “Film and Colonial Memory: La Croisière noire, 1924-2004.” In Alec Hargreaves, ed. Memory, Empire
and Postcolonialism: Legacies of French Colonialism (New York: Lexington Books). 81-97.
2004 “Cinéma, propagande agricole, et populations rurales en France (1919-1939).” Vingtième Siècle 83. 21-38.
2004 “Projections of Rural Life: The Agricultural Film Initiative in France.” Cinema Journal 43:4. 76-95.
2003 “Film as National Icon: Claude Berri’s Germinal.” French Review 76:5. 906-16.
2002 “Women, Nostalgia, Memory: Chocolat, Outremer, Indochine.” 
Research in African Literatures 33:2. 235-44. 
2001 “Teaching Colonial History through Film.” French Historical Studies 25:1. 41-52. 
2000 “Le Tourisme au Sahara: Citroën et le projet CITRACIT, 1924-25.” Vingtième Siècle 68. 95-107.
1999 “Screening Family Values: the Politics of Rural Educational Film in France, 1919-1939.”
Proceedings, Western Society for French History 27. 128-39.
1997 “Documentary Fiction: Identity and Difference in Colonial Propaganda Films.” 
Proceedings, Western Society for French History 25. 186-95.
1994 “L’Acadie du Nord et du Sud: des lieux-mémoire?” Revue Francophone de Louisiane, IX :2. 109-18.


This is the website I created that was funded by UVA’s Teaching + Technology Initiative, a wonderful grant program at UVA that has unfortunately been discontinued. My project, A Vos Plumes: the French Writing Center, contains pedagogical materials for writing and also grammar activities and exercises for teachers and students of French.

This is the website we created as a faculty/TA team with me, Janet Horne, and Pierre Dairon. It showcases the student-built websites presenting issues in contemporary French culture and society, organized by theme.

This is my faculty homepage, containing my course websites and also my interactive grammar practice exercises that are widely used outside UVA.



  • Assistant Professor of French, University of Virginia


  • Ph.D. French, University of Virginia
  • M.A. French, Bryn Mawr College
  • B.A. French, Haverford College
  • D.E.A. Histoire et civilisations, Ecole des hautes ├ętudes en sciences sociales, Paris, France


  • Society for Cinema Studies
  • Society for French History
  • Western Society for French History
  • Modern Language Asssociation
  • Twentieth and Twenty-First Century French Studies


I built my own website using Photoshop and Dreamweaver. I build my own interactive grammar exercises using elementary notions of Javascript. I speak French. I can shoot and edit video and sometimes take pretty good photographs. I am interested in using social networking in teaching writing and I have used Collab to have students build websites on French culture and society.

Mailing Address

Department of French

P.O. Box 400770, University of Virginia







Direct Contact

Office Phone: 434-924-4637

Contact Notes

Email is always the best way. Due to recent budget cuts, I do not have voice mail on my office phone. You can always try to contact the department office, 434-924-7158, but really, email is best.

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