Allison Korinek

PhD Candidate in French Studies, New York University (US)

Allison Korinek is a doctoral candidate in the NYU Institute of French Studies and Department of History. Her scholarly interests include the history of nineteenth-century France; France and the Maghreb; bureaucracy and professionalization in France; and translation studies. Allison Korinek first fell in love with France and Francophonie as a study abroad student in Paris, but has since branched out—her doctoral research has taken her back to Paris, but also to Aix-en-Provence, Rabat, Algiers, Marseille, and now Cassis. She graduated "magna cum laude" from Rice University with a B.A. in History and Linguistics (2012) and holds an M.Phil. in French Studies/History (2016) from New York University. 

Lost in Translation: Language and Colonial Governance in Nineteenth-Century French Algeria

Allison Korinek’s dissertation provides a social history of French administrative interpreters during the first decades of imperial expansion into Algeria (1830-1889). Communication with the local population was a necessary precursor for colonization, and France’s continual dependence on an undependable interpreter corps reveals the difficulty of effecting colonial governance. Foregrounding the human dimension of imperial rule, she uses interpreter personnel files, official correspondence, and administrative paperwork to bring to life the messy bureaucratic procedures that gave life to the everyday empire.

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