Sophie Maríñez is a Faculty Leadership Fellow and an Associate Professor of French and Spanish at Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY. She is also a former Faculty Fellow at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics of the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She holds a Ph.D. in French from The Graduate Center (2010), where she studied under Domna C. Stanton and Édouard Glissant, and an M.A. in Liberal Studies with a focus on Dominican-American Identity and Literature from Empire State College, SUNY (2003), which she completed under the guidance of Silvio Torres-Saillant. She also holds a B.A. in Translation from Universidad APEC, Dominican Republic (1992).
Her current research focuses on the literary and cultural productions of the French and Spanish Caribbean and their diasporas, with an emphasis on the Haitian-Dominican dynamics. Her publications in this field include her often-cited article “The Poetics of Relation in Dominicanish” (La Torre, 2005), the first to examine how this Dominican diasporic text for performance subverted dominant narratives of national identity; and “The Quisqueya Diaspora,” a chapter in the award-winning Cambridge History of Latino/a American literature (2018) that examines affinities among Haitian and Dominican diasporic literary works and calls for the inclusion of Haitian-American literature in the Latinx canon. She has been a guest speaker at the Maison de l’ Amérique Latine in Paris, Columbia University, Vassar College, Barnard, Hunter, the Graduate Center, and the Université du Québec in Montréal.
She is the co-editor, with Daniel Huttinot, of Jacques Viau Renaud: J’essaie de vous parler de ma patrie (Mémoire d’encrier, 2018), a translation into French of the poetry of Jacques Viau Renaud (Haiti-Dominican Republic, 1941-1965).
In addition, she is author of the NEH-funded book Mademoiselle de Montpensier: Writings, Chateaux, and Female Self-Construction in Early Modern France (Brill/Rodopi, 2017), an interdisciplinary study 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 poetry in The Caribbean Quarterly, The Caribbean Writer, Small Axe Literary Salon, The Cincinnati Romance Review, and Mondes Francophones, and has translated into French poems by Julia Alvarez, Jacques Viau Renaud, and Frank Baez.
At BMCC, she is the coordinator of its new major in Modern Languages and teaches courses on French language, films, and culture, early modern French literature, women and gender, and the French Caribbean.
Prior to her position at CUNY, she held a two-year visiting faculty position in French at Vassar College (2010-2012). 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, City University of New York. Defended with Honors. 2010.
M.A. Liberal Studies, Empire State College, State University of New York, 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
Mademoiselle de Montpensier: Writings, Châteaux, and Female Self-Construction in Early Modern France. Leiden: Brill/Rodopi, 220 pages.
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 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).
“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.
Honors, Awards and Affiliations
BMCC Faculty Leadership Fellows.
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.