Professor Kamal Salhi


Francophone and post-colonial studies: politics and aesthetics of African cultural production, post-colonial theory, North African cultural and language policies, the cultures of independence

  • Knudson Visiting French and Francophone Studies Advisor (2008-present), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Visiting Professor (Summer-Autumn 2006), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Visiting Professor (Summer 2007), Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, State University of Oregon.
  • Founding-Director of the Leeds Centre for Francophone Studies (1997-2003)
  • Deputy Director of the Leeds Centre for African Studies (2003-present)
  • Founder and Editor of the International Journal of Francophone Studies
  • Member of the University Senate (2007-2010)
  • Member of the Arts Faculty Board (2006-present)

After a successful French-based education, I worked as a high-school teacher. I then studied law and politics at the University of Aix-en-Provence and taught at l'Ecole Nouvelle Internationale Libre (France). I wrote and staged plays, made documentaries and co-directed the full-length film, Pour la Libert, in French and Berber about the Franco-Algerian conflict. I attended specialised courses in cinema and theatre, organised conferences and seminars, and travelled around North and Sub-Saharan Africa for research purposes.

I followed this with a PhD with Distinction in Francophone Literature and Drama at the University of Exeter.

I was appointed to a research fellowship and taught French as an assistant. I was appointed Director of the Institute of Languages at the University of Tizi Ouzou. In 1994 I took up a research fellowship at Exeter before joining in 1995 the Department of French at the University of Leeds. In 1997, I established the Centre for Francophone Studies which has now developed into the Centre for French and Francophone Cultural Studies; I also received the Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education from the University of Leeds.


Major publications include:


  • The Politics and Aesthetics of Kateb Yacine: From Francophone Literature to Popular Theatre. 448 pp. (Mellen Press, 1999).

Edited books

  • African Theatre for Development. 188 pp. (Intellect, 1997).
  • Francophone Voices. 248 pp. (Elm Bank, 1999).
  • Francophone Studies: Discourse and Identity. 265 pp. (Elm Bank, 2000).
  • French in and out of France: Language Policies, Intercultural Antagonisms and Dialogue. 487 pp. (Lang, 2002).
  • Francophone Post-colonial Culures: Critical Essays. 471 pp. (Lexington, 2003).

Recent articles and chapters

  • "Critical Imperatives of the French Language in the Francophone World: Colonial Legacy - Postcolonial Policy", Current Issues in Language Planning, Vol. 3:3, pp. 317-345 (2002).
  • "Theatre of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia" in Martin Banham (ed.), A History of Theatre in Africa, pp. 37-76 (CUP, 2004).
  • "Rethinking Francophone Culture: Africa and the Caribbean between History and Theory", Research in African Literatures, Vol. 35.1, pp. 9-29, (2004).
  • "Cheikh Anta Diop", in Christopher John Murray (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Modern French Thought, Routledge, pp. 176-179, (2004).
  • "Imaging Silence - Representing Women: Ambiguous Cinematic Strategies in North African Women's film", Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Vol. 24.4, 2007.
  • "Slimane Benassa from Exile in the Theatre to Theatre in Exile: Ambiguous Traumas and Conflicts in the Algerian Diasporic Drama", in Journal of North African Studies, Vol. 37-4, 18, pp. 373-407, (2006).
  • "Religion in francophone postcolonial literatures of North and Sub-Saharan Africa", in Prem Poddar, Rajeev Patke, Lars Jensen, A Historical Companion to Postcolonial Literatures: Continental Europe and its Empires. EUP, (2007).
  • "Essentials for Rethinking Postcolonial Cultures and Arts: the Problematic of Minoritizing in North Africa", in N. Boudraa and J. Krausse (eds), Mosaic North Africa: a Cultural Re-appraisal of Ethnic and Religious Minorities, Cambridge Scholars, 2007.

Kamal Salhi is the founder and editor of the International Journal of Francophone Studies, which was first published in 1998.

Research interests

My research lies primarily in the area of Francophone and post-colonial studies: politics and aesthetics of African cultural production (theatre, film, literature), post-colonial theory, North African cultural and language policies, and currently looking into legacies and conflicts in the cultures of independence and the diaporas. I have supervised and examined research work and organised international Francophone conferences and study days.

Could offer research supervision in

  • The Politics and Aesthetics of colonial and post-colonial literary and filmic expressions.
  • The analysis of the Francophone cultural production (literature, theatre and film) of North and Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean.
  • Language policies and national identities in post- independent, Francophone Africa.
  • Francophone intellectual activity in France and the diasporas.
  • Exilic cultural experiences.
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Research groups and institutes

  • French