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)

341 Posner Hall
Department of Modern Languages
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Education: Ph.D., Louisiana State University, (USA), French and Francophone Studies. M.A. Université Lyon II, (France) Anglophone Studies. BA Université Lyon II, (France). Licence, English and Urban Planning.



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, Black 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
  • 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-
  • 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 Modern Languages, 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