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About Tama L. Engelking

My name is Tama Lea Engelking, and I am a professor of French and Chair of the Department of Modern Languages here at Cleveland State University where I have been teaching since 1986. Born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota (yes, they really do talk the same way there as in the film Fargo!), I earned a Bachelor's degree in French and English from North Dakota State University in 1978. From Fargo, I moved south to the University of Wisconsin in Madison where I earned an M.A. and doctorate in French literature, graduating in 1986 with a specialization in French Women Writers and a minor in Women's Studies. My dissertation, written under the direction of Yvonne Rochette Ozzello, is entitled "The Problematics of French 'Poésie Féminine'": Early Twentieth-Century Parisian Women Poets." It investigates the so-called "feminine" poetry of five different women: Natalie Clifford Barney, Lucie Delarue-Mardrus, Gérard d'Houville (Marie de Regnier), Anna de Noailles and Renée Vivien.
I accepted my first teaching job at Cleveland State University in 1986, and I've been teaching here on the North Coast every since! At CSU I teach a wide array of courses including French language, literature, phonetics, women's studies, and literature in translation, both western and non-western. My interest in literature outside of France inspired the NEH Focus Grant project I co-directed with my colleague, Diana Orendi. Our project, entitled "Transformations: Non-western Literature in the Humanities Curriculum," enabled a group of faculty members to explore the texts and contexts of literature in four non-western areas in order to develop a course in Non-Western Literature. I continue to develop courses and course materials focusing on the culture, literature and films of the French-speaking diaspora, mainly the Maghreb, Western Africa and the Caribbean. My primary research interests focus on fin-de-siècle French women writers. In addition to the five poets mentioned above, I have also written about the decadent novelist and critic, Rachilde, Pierre Loüys, and about Colette, my newest and most fascinating literary interest. I have also published articles on the French/Algerian writer Leila Sebbar and the Sengalese novelist Mariama Ba.
My current research focuses on intercultural competence, especially in the context of study abroad. I am a qualified administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory, one of the most widely used assessment tools in the field of intercultural studies.
When I am not teaching or researching, I can often be found in the kitchen (I enjoy cooking), in the yoga studio, or taking walks in the woods with my family. I live in Shaker Heights with my daughter Annalise. My son Max is a junior at Cleveland State University where he is studying Japanese and Psychology.


Present Chair & Professor, Cleveland State University Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures

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Contact Information

Office: RT 1620
Phone: 216-523-7175
Fax: 216-687-4650
Address: 2121 Euclid Ave. RT 1620, Cleveland, OH 44115


Articles (17)

Recent Works (1)

Contributions to Books (7)