Professor Sophie Maríñez is a CUNY William P. Kelly Research Fellow and a former Faculty Fellow at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics of the Graduate Center, CUNY. At BMCC, she has also served as a Faculty Leadership Fellow and as the advisor for the major in Modern Languages.
She is an awardee of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Société des Professeurs Français et Francophones d’Amérique, and the Women Studies Certificate Program at the Graduate Center. In 2020, she was appointed by the Modern Languages Association’s Executive Council to its Committee on Community Colleges.
Her teaching and research interests include Francophone and comparative Caribbean literature; slavery, colonialism and post-colonialism; and women writers, gender and race in early modern France.
Professor Maríñez is the author of Mademoiselle de Montpensier: Writings, Chateaux, and Female Self-Construction in Early Modern France (Brill/Rodopi 2017), an interdisciplinary monograph based on her award-winning dissertation on women who used their writings and chateaux to establish authority, legitimacy, social status, and political identities.
She has published articles in The Boston Review, Chemins Critiques, Revista Mexicana del Caribe, Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos, Papers on French Seventeenth-Century Literature; Memorias: Revista Digital, La Torre: Revista de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, as well as the award-winning Cambridge History of Latino/a American Literature. She has also co-edited Jacques Viau Renaud: J’essaie de vous parler de ma patrie (Mémoire d’encrier, 2018). She has published poetry in The Caribbean Quarterly, The Caribbean Writer, Small Axe Literary Salon, The Cincinnati Romance Review, and Mondes Francophones, and translated poetry from Spanish or English into French by Julia Alvarez, Jacques Viau Renaud, Frank Baez, and Josefina Baez.
In 2019-2020, Professor Maríñez was on sabbatical leave, conducting research for her new book project, an interdisciplinary examination of literary, political, and cultural representations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Since her appointment at BMCC in 2012, Professor Maríñez has served as the Francophone Club advisor, founded the student literary magazine Échos du Tout-Monde, and led a study abroad program to France. She initiated the tradition of sending Modern Language students with almost-full scholarships to Middlebury College language summer immersion programs, and has mentored students seeking to transfer to selective institutions, such as Smith College, the University of Sheffield in the UK, among others. She has also supported her mentees beyond BMCC, as they went on to pursue graduate degrees in French, Law, and Bilingual Education at Miami University, Brooklyn Law School and Columbia’s Teachers College, among other institutions.
For the fall 2020, Professor Maríñez has been invited to teach a graduate course on the literatures of Haiti, the Dominican Republic and their respective diasporas, with a focus on slavery, gender, and anti-colonial resistance. The course will be for the M.A. in the Study of the Americas, which offers specializations in Human Rights and Dominican Studies, at the Division for Interdisciplinary Studies, City College, CUNY.
Prior to her position at CUNY, Professor Maríñez held a two-year visiting faculty position in French at Vassar College. Of French and Dominican background, she has worked as an actress, a translator, and a journalist. From 1997 to 2000, she was a diplomat, working as a Cultural Counselor at the embassy of the Dominican Republic in Mexico.
Ph.D. French, The Graduate Center, CUNY. With Honors. 2010.
M.A. Liberal Studies, Empire State College, SUNY, 2003.
B.A. Translation (English, French, and Spanish), Universidad APEC, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 1992.
- This course includes a review of grammar plus the study of French civilization and selected readings in French literature.
- This course involves intensive oral work consisting of discussions of French/Francophone films. Communicative activities and drills in pronunciation, intonation and rhythm are included as well as several oral presentations throughout the course. A wide variety of topics ranging from everyday life problems to major social and cultural issues will be discussed. Readings, written work, and discussions will be in French. Prerequisite: FRN 200 or departmental approval
- While reviewing advanced grammar, students are trained in literary analysis through the works of modern French authors.
- This course explores literature written in French from countries outside of France. Works from French Canada, the Caribbean islands (Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Haiti) as well as North and West Africa will be included. Themes highlighting cultural and social differences with France will be discussed. Readings, written work, and oral reports will be in French. Prerequisite: FRN 210 or departmental approval, or any 400 level course
- The chronological evolution of French literature and its relation to French culture and ideas are studied. Major works by representative authors from the 17th century are read and discussed with emphasis on ideas and style. Included are selections from Corneille, Moliere, Racine, la Fontaine, Bossuet, Fenelon, Fontenelle, and Marivaux (introduction to early 18th century trends and post-revolution changes in classical literature). Written and oral reports are required. Prerequisite: FRN 210 or departmental approval, or any 400 level course
- This course concentrates on the literature of the Enlightenment and the 19th century as reflected in the works of Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Balzac, Flaubert, Stendhal and the Romantic and Symbolist poets. Written and oral reports are required. This course may be taken before French V. Prerequisite: FRN 210 or departmental approval, or any 400 level course
- The course reviews advanced grammar and syntax and includes composition exercises, with emphasis on developing advanced oral and written proficiency in French. Through the close analysis of texts on a wide range of cultural and social issues, students will learn strategies for writing organized, compelling essays. Students are expected to complete extensive grammar exercises, participate in discussions in class, and write short essays. Readings, written work, and discussions will be in French. Prerequisite: FRN 210 or departmental approval
- The objective of this course is to continue developing advanced oral and written proficiency in French through critical analysis of different texts covering a wide range of contemporary cultural and social issues. Emphasis is placed on writing persuasive and argumentative essays. Students are expected to keep a journal, a vocabulary log, actively participate in discussions in class, and write short essays. Readings, written work, and discussions will be in French. Prerequisite: FRN 210 or departmental approval
- This course covers literature of Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Haiti, in English translation, with a focus on the colonial and post-colonial context of the region. Writers include Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, Édouard Glissant, Jacques-Stephen Alexis, Gisele Pineau, and Haitian Diaspora author Edwidge Danticat. Readings, discussions and written work are conducted in English, but students who wish to read and write in French will be encouraged to do so. Prerequisite: ENG 101
- This course examines the literary works of prominent French-speaking women writers, from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. While mostly focusing on novels and short stories, the course will also include philosophical essays that explore the question of woman’s condition. Some of these authors include Christine de Pizan (14th -15th centuries), Madame de Lafayette and Mademoiselle de Montpensier (17th century), Isabelle Eberhardt (19th century), Simone de Beauvoir, Marguerite Duras, and Marie Vieux Chauvet (20th century). Using different strains of gender and feminist theories, the course will enable students to analyze different strategies these authors used to contest (or not) the various moral, social and political constraints imposed on them during their respective periods. Readings and classwork will be conducted in English. Prerequisite: ENG 201 or ENG 121
- This is a study abroad course that will further develop students' four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in French. Students will consolidate their knowledge of grammar through contextualized analysis. Students will also do further work on selected contemporary themes related to French society and institutions (e.g., the press in France, cinema, food, etc.) Prerequisite: FRN 102 or departmental approval. GPA of 3.0 or above.
Research and Projects
Check out this PODCAST a conversation with Matthew Boyd about my work on Haitian-Dominican relations on Ask A Professor, Podbean.com, May 2019.
Watch HERE my keynote conference on Haitian-Dominican poet Jacques Viau Renaud (1941-1965), given on September 28, 2019, Asociación de Escritores Dominicanos en Estados Unidos (ASEDEU), New York City. (In Spanish, starting at minute 9:00).
Watch HERE, my keynote talk for the conference on Art and Literature in Contemporary Dominican Republic, Haiti, and their Diasporas, given at the Center for the Humanities, The Graduate Center, March 15, 2018.
Watch HERE my talk on the Haitian-Dominican Human Rights Crisis given at a Black Lives Matter event organized at Hunter College, CUNY, November 2014 (Video recording credit to my former student and dear friend Mariana Goycochea).
Mademoiselle de Montpensier: Writings, Châteaux, and Female Self-Construction in Early Modern France. Leiden: Brill/Rodopi, 220 pages.See introduction here.
Jacques Viau Renaud: J’essaie de vous parler de ma patrie. Edited with Daniel Huttinot and the collaboration of Raj Chetty and Amaury Rodríguez. Montréal: Mémoire d’encrier, 2018. 152 pages.
REFEREED JOURNAL ARTICLES
“Du massacre de 1937 à la sentence 168-13: conflit fatal ou solidarité? Notes d’un parcours littéraire des rapports entre Haïti et la République Dominicaine.” Chemins Critiques, Revue Haïtiano-Caraïbéenne. Eds. Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis and Franklin Midy, 6.1 (2017): 71-90.
“Le massacre de 1937 en République Dominicaine: distorsions littéraires.” Revista Mexicana del Caribe 22 (2016): 21-55.
“Mito y feminismo en Marassá y la Nada de Alanna Lockward.” Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos 40.2 (2016): 437-454.
“Alegorías de una hermandad atormentada: Haití en la literatura dominicana.” Memorias: Revista Digital de Historia y Arqueología desde el Caribe 12.28 (2016): 61-92.
“Straighten Those Curls! Style, Gender, and Morality in Seventeenth-Century French Treatises of Architecture.” Papers on French Seventeenth Century Literature 49:76 (2012): 13-33.
“Poética de la Relación en Dominicanish de Josefina Báez.” La Torre: Revista de la Universidad de Puerto Rico. 10: 35 (2005): 149-160.
“The Quisqueya Diaspora: The Emergence of Latina/o Literature from Hispaniola.” The Cambridge History of Latina/o American Literature. Eds. John Moran and Laura Lomas. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018, pp. 561-581. (This volume won the 2018 Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title).
“80 aniversario de la masacre de 1937 en República Dominicana: nuevas posibilidades.” Masacre de 1937: 80 años después. Eds. Matías Bosch, Amaury Pérez and Eliades Acosta. Fundación Juan Bosch, 2018, pp. 295-301.
“Michèle Voltaire Marcelin.” Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography. Eds. Henry L. Gates, Jr., and Franklyn W. Knight. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
“Hermaphrodites.” Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender. Eds. Fedwa Malti-Douglas, Jamsheed Choksy, Judith Roof and Francesca Sautman. New York: Thomson Gale, 2007.
“Alvarez, Julia.” Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States. Eds. Suzanne Oboler and Deena J. González. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
“Díaz, Junot.” Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States. Eds. Suzanne Oboler and Deena J. González. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
“Dominican Writers in the United States.” Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States. Eds. Suzanne Oboler and Deena J. González. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
“Espaillat, Rhina.” Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States. Eds. Suzanne Oboler and Deena J. González. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
BOOK AND FILM REVIEWS
Review of Eller, Anne, We Dream Together: Dominican Independence, Haiti, and the Fight for Caribbean Freedom. H-Haiti, H-Net Reviews. September, 2018.
Review of Galletti, Sara, Le palais du Luxembourg de Marie de Médicis, 1611-1631. Sehepunkte 13:12 (2013).
Review of Lockward, Alanna, Marassá y la Nada, a novel. Hoy, August 17, 2012.
Review of Rosario, Nelly, Song of the Water Saints, a novel.Ventana: Sección Cultural del Listín Diario March 24, 2002: 3.
Review of Savino, Giovanni, Bachata: Música del Pueblo, a documentary. Ventana: Sección Cultural del Listín Diario September 8, 2002: 3.
Review of Matthews, Aaron, My American Girls, a documentary. Ventana: Sección Cultural del Listín Diario June 24, 2001: 12.
Review of Baez, Josefina, Dominicanish. Ventana: Sección Cultural del Listín Diario June 17, 2001: 10. Reprinted in Agulha Revista de Cultura.
NON-FICTION (essays on culture)
“Looking for Solidarity.” The Boston Review, May 24, 2019.
“Anclas en la tinta: de cómo la lectura resguardó mi identidad francesa.” Memorias del VII Coloquio Internacional de Latino Artists Round Table: Repercusión de la lectura y otras formas de arte en nuestra vida y nuestra obra. Editorial Campana, 2018.
“Nuevas posibilidades,” an essay on the dynamics between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. ViceVersa Magazine, October 23, 2017.
“Noche retrospectiva en honor a Luis Días en Nueva York: ¡Ay, qué guachimán tan buenmozo!” 7días.com.do, May 25, 2015.
“Teatro y Danza en la Segunda Semana Cultural Dominicana en México.” Review. Revista Archipiélago, México, February 1999.
“El cine dominicano en los noventa: la diáspora en busca de un sueño.” Revista Archipiélago, 2:16 (1998): 53-55.
“México: un nuevo horizonte para la cultura dominicana.” La Vida, Sección del Listín Diario, October 23, 1998: 7C.
“The Drake’s Pub’s Wall,” Caribbean Quarterly 65:1 (Spring 2019): 158-160
“La Camiona” and “In El Batey, My Father’s Foot Lit a Fire,” The Caribbean Writer 31 (2017): 91-93.
“Sentencia del Infierno I: Poema a los desterrados” and “Sentencia del Infierno III: Soñando en Marassá,” in Circum-Caribbean Poetics, a special issue edited by Jana Braziel and Nicasio Urbina. The Cincinnati Romance Review 40 (2016): 264-267.
“Carnival Day in Santo Domingo.” Small Axe Salon 18 (2015).
“Thaël quitta sa maison.” A poem in tribute to Édouard Glissant. Mondes Francophones. February 2011.
“Je veux être,” “La nouvelle forteresse,” “Mère,” translation into French of Jacques Viau Renaud’s poems “Quiero ser,” “El nuevo torreón,” “Madre.” Jacques Viau Renaud: J’essaie de vous parler de ma patrie. Eds. Sophie Maríñez and Daniel Huttinot. Montréal: Mémoire d’encrier, 2018.
“Deux pays: une île,” translation into French of Julia Alvarez’s poem “Two Countries: One Island.” In Chemins Critiques, Revue Haïtiano-Caraïbéenne. Eds. Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis and Franklin Midy, 6.1 (2017): 175-185.
“La Marilyn Monroe de Saint-Domingue,” translation into French of Frank Báez’s poem “La Marilyn Monroe de Santo Domingo.” In K1N, a Journal of Literary Translation, University of Ottawa (Fall 2015).
Camarade Le bonheur ne joue pas, translation into French of Josefina Baez’s Comrade Bliss Ain’t Playing. Published on Blurb.com (only copy available at Vassar libraries).
“Nelly Rosario: Escritora dominicana en Nueva York.” Interview. Ventana: Sección Cultural del Listín Diario, April 28, 2002.
“Julia Alvarez: En el nombre de Salomé fue como recuperar mi pasado.” Ventana: Sección Cultural del Listín Diario, October 15, 2000: 9.
“Dominicanos en Nueva York: Ingrid Madera, artista visual.” Interview. Ventana: Sección Cultural del Listín Diario, February 19, 2000: 19C.
“José Saramago Premio Nobel de Literatura 1999: El conquistador de almas.” Interview. Ventana: Sección Cultural del Listín Diario, January 8, 2000.
“Guillermo Santamarina: Director del Museo Ex Teresa Arte Actual de México.” Ventana: Sección Cultural del Listín Diario, December 11, 1999.
“Carlos Monsiváis.” Interview. Rumbo, February 8, 1999: 58-60.
“Altagracia Carrasco, artista visual.” Interview. Rumbo, May 3, 1999: 58-59.
“Dominicanos en Nueva York: Loida Maritza Pérez, escritora.” Interview. Rumbo, March 8, 1999: 56-57.
“He querido dar el punto de vista de los pequeños seres.” Interview with Julia Álvarez. La Vida, Sección del Listín Diario. Oct. 26, 1998: 2C.
“Dominicanos en Nueva York: Julia Álvarez, escritora.” Interview. Ventana: Sección Cultural del Listín Diario March 9, 1997: 9. Republished unedited in Vetas, 1997: 19-21.
“Dominicanos en Nueva York: Félix Limardo, director de cine.” Interview. Ventana: Sección Cultural del Listín Diario, February 23, 1997: 3.
“Dominicanos en Nueva York: Junot Díaz, escritor.” Interview. Ventana: Sección Cultural del Listín Diario, February 9, 1997: Front page and page 4.
“Dominicanos en Nueva York: Claudio Mir, actor y artista visual.” Interview. Ventana: Sección Cultural del Listín Diario, February 2, 1997: 7.
“Dominicanos en Nueva York: Mateo Gómez, actor.” Interview. Ventana: Sección Cultural del Listín Diario, January 19, 1997: 7.
“Dominicanos en Nueva York: Adán Vázquez, arpista.” Interview. Ventana: Sección Cultural del Listín Diario, December 15, 1996: 7.
“Dominicanos en Nueva York: Luis Días, músico.” Interview. Periódico Hoy, November 16, 1996.
J’essaie de vous parler de ma patrie, by Jacques Viau Renaud, a “Haiti in Translation” interview with Sophie Maríñez, Amaury Rodríguez, and Raj Chetty, by Siobhan Marie Meï & Nathan H. Dize. H-Haiti.
#WomenInTranslation: An Interview with Sophie Maríñez, Poet and Translator. Esendom August 29, 2017. Reposted in Repeating Islands.
Honors, Awards and Affiliations
MLA’s Executive Council’s appointment to the Community College Committee (2020-2023).
CUNY William P. Kelly Research Fellowship.
BMCC Faculty Development Grant.
CUNY Fellowship Award.
PSC-CUNY Traditional B Research Award.
BMCC Faculty Leadership Fellowship.
PSC-CUNY Traditional B Research Award.
BMCC Faculty Development Grant.
PSC-CUNY Traditional B Research Award.
The Graduate Center’s Center for Place, Culture and Politics’ Faculty Fellowship.
CUNY Faculty Fellowship Publication Program.
PSC-CUNY Traditional B Research Award.
PSC-CUNY Traditional B Research Award.
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend.
The Graduate Center, Women’s Studies Certificate Program’s Carolyn G. Heilbrun Dissertation Prize to “an outstanding feminist dissertation in the humanities.”
The Graduate Center’s Dean K. Harrison Tuition Fellowship.
The Graduate Center’s Carole & Morton Olshan Dissertation Fellowship.
Société des Professeurs Français et Francophones d’Amérique (SPFFA), Marandon Fellowship.
The Graduate Center’s Doctoral Student Research Grant.
CUNY Writing-Across-Curriculum Fellowship.
Etha Sigma Phi’s National Latin Exam, Summa Cum Laude Gold Medal.
The Graduate Center’s Magnet President Fellowship.
Photo credit: Louis Chan