Carnegie Mellon University

Mame-Fatou Niang

Mame-Fatou Niang

Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies;
Director-Founder of the Center for Black European Studies and the Atlantic (CBESA)

Department of Languages, Cultures & Applied Linguistics
4980 Margaret Morrison St
Posner Hall 341
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Ph.D., French and Francophone Studies, Louisiana State University
M.A., Anglophone Studies, Université Lyon II
B.A., Licence, English and Urban Planning, Université Lyon II



I am an associate professor of French and Francophone studies, the author of Identités Françaises (Brill, 2019), the co-author of Universalisme (Anamosa, 2022) and the founder and director of the Center for Black European Studies and the Atlantic. I conduct research on economies of the living/living economy, Blackness in Contemporary France and French Universalism.

I am an artist-in-residence at the Ateliers Médicis in Paris, working on a project entitled “Échoïques” (Sounds of Silence), a sound tapestry presented in June 2023 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

In 2015, I co-directed “Mariannes Noires: Mosaïques Afropéennes” with Kaytie Nielsen, a sophomore in my French class. The film follows seven Afro-French women as they investigate the pieces of their mosaic identities and unravel what it means to be Black and French in France. In 2021, I served as the Melodia Jones Distinguished Chair of French Studies at University at Buffalo.

I have collaborated with Slate, Jacobin and several news outlets in France. I am currently working on a manuscript tentatively titled Mosaica Nigra: Blackness in 21st-century France.

  • Blackness in contemporary France
  • Black/African diaspora
  • Biopolitics and the living
  • Film studies
  • Gender in urban studies
  • Race and (de)commemoration
  • Race and/in Digital Humanities
  • FR-527: Rethinking Universalism in 21st century France (Developed)
  • FR-482: Histoires, Mémoires et Commémorations (Developed)
  • 82-416: The New Paris: Post-terror Impacts on the City of Light (Developed)
  • 82-416: Growing Up Black or Asian in Contemporary France (Developed)
  • 82-415: From the 1889 Paris Exposition to Charlie Hebdo: Cross-Cultural Encounters in French Society (Developed)
  • 82-415: Cities and Suburban Spaces in French and Francophone Literature (Developed)
  • 82-201/202: Intermediate French 1 & 2
  •  William H. and Frances S. Ryan Award for Meritorious Teaching, 2024
  • Melodia Jones Distinguished Chair in French and Francophone Studies, University at Buffalo
  • “The "Black (In)Visibilities Project" Advancing Black Arts Grant (2019-2020). Awarded by The Heinz Endowments/The Pittsburgh Foundation
  • “The AMF Project: As Monuments Fall – Memory and Remembrance in France.” Falk Fund (Spring 2021). Awarded by Carnegie Mellon University, Office of the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Editor H-France Forum. 2022-present
  • Associate Editor CFC Intersections, Liverpool University Press. 2021-
  • Associate Editor Decolonizing and Queering Francophone Studies, Edinburg University Press. 2021-
  • Member MLA Executive Committee. LLC Francophone. 2022-2027
  • Member Governing Council of the Western Society for French History
  • Member Faculty Diversity Committee, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2019-
  • Member Dean Reappointment Committee College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, 2018-2019
  • Member Jennings Brave Companion Fund Committee, 2016, 2018, 2019
  • Member Faculty Senate representing LCAL, Carnegie Mellon University, 2012-2014; 2016-2017; 2019-2020
  • “Unsilenced Past: A Conversation with Maboula Soumahoro”. Unsilenced Past. Debates in the Digital Humanities. Eds. Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein. University of Minnesota Press. (Refereed – forthcoming).
  • “The Three Graces of 21st-century French Racism: Innocence, Ignorance and Arrogance”. France and Post-Racial Utopia, Eds. Audrey Brunetaux and Lam-Thao Nguyen. Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, 26.5.(Refereed –forthcoming)
  • Mame-Fatou Niang (2020). “Mariannes Noires: Blackness in French”. Slaveries and Post-Slaveries. Paris: CNRS-USR.
  • Mame-Fatou Niang (2020). “Des particularités françaises de la négrophobie.” Racismes de France. Eds. Olivier Le Cour Grandmaison and Omar Slaouti. Paris: La Découverte, 2020. 151-169.
  • “Afro-French Women in the Pan-African Movement”. Transnational African Feminisms. Ed. Rama Salla Dieng. Paris: Présence Africaine, 2021.
  • Mame-Fatou Niang, Julien Suaudeau. (2020). “21st-century universalism will be anti-racist, or it won't be at all”. Rosa Luxemburg. 26 Oct. 2020.
  • Mame-Fatou Niang. (2020).“France’s summer of racial reckoning”. The Jacobin x Rosa Luxemburg. 3 Sept. 2020. 
  • The DiRosa Fresco and the Problematic Space of AfroFrenchness.” Monitor Racism, European University Institute/Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies. Florence, June 2019.
  • “Pratiques et Poétiques de l’Espace dans le Port-au-Prince de l’Après 12 janvier 2010.” Horizons multiples de l’écriture haïtienne contemporaine. Ed. Joubert Satyre. Montréal: Les Editions du CIDIHCA, 2017. 15-37.
  • “Des Rodéos des Minguettes à Charlie Hebdo: Trente-cinq ans de Production Médiatique des Banlieues en France.” Genre et Diversité: Les Enjeux de la Représentativité des Femmes. Ed. Ibrahima Sarr. Revue Africaine de Communication. Dakar: CESTI, 2017. 109-134.
  • “Être ou ne pas Être Charlie: Conversations avec de Jeunes Habitants de la Grande Borne.” The Impossible Subject of Charlie Hebdo. Eds. Catherine Rassiguier and Mayanthi Fernando. Contemporary French Civilization. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2016. 319-334.

Journalism and Public Writing

Media Engagement

Department Member Since 2012