BOONE, N.C. — Starting July 1, Drs. Martial K. Frindéthié and Thomas B. Ellis will begin interim chair positions in their respective departments in Appalachian State University’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Frindéthié will serve as chair for the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures for the 2019–20 academic year, and Ellis will chair the Department of Philosophy and Religion for the fall 2019 semester.
Frindéthié is a professor of Francophone/French languages, literatures and cultures and of visual studies. He holds a B.A. in applied linguistics from the Université d’Abidjan in Côte I’voire, Africa, an M.A. in linguistics from Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota and a Ph.D. in culture studies and comparative literature from the University of Minnesota.
He joined Appalachian in 2004 after years of teaching at the University of Maryland and consulting at the U.S. State Department and the World Bank.
His research interests are in Francophone/French intellectual movements (postcolonial theories, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, schizoanalysis and feminist theories), film and media studies and the intersection of literature, contemporary literary theory and the political-ideological imagination.
Some of his publications include “From Lumumba to Gbagbo: Africa in the Eddy of the Euro- American Quest for Exceptionalism” (McFarland, February 2016); “Globalization and the Seduction of Africa’s Ruling Class: An Argument for a New Philosophy of Development” (Jefferson: McFarland, 2010); “Francophone African Cinema: History, Culture, Politics and Theory” (Jefferson: McFarland, 2009); and “The Black Renaissance in Francophone African and Caribbean Literatures” (Jefferson: McFarland, 2008).
Frindéthié’s awards include two Fulbright fellowships, two Choice Magazine’s Outstanding Academic titles and four Richard T. Barker Friends of the Library honors, an award bestowed by Appalachian’s University Libraries.
As a Fulbright professor, he lectured at the Université de Bamako in Mali, the Teachers’ Training College of the Université de Nouakchott in Mauritania and the University of Mauritius.
Ellis, a professor of religious studies, earned his B.A. in religious studies from the University of South Carolina. He holds an M.A. in Asian and Middle Eastern studies and a Ph.D. in religious studies, both of which were awarded by the University of Pennsylvania.
After spending two years as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Religion at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and another year as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of South Carolina, Ellis came to Appalachian in the fall of 2005. He was awarded tenure in 2011 and promoted to professor in 2016.
Ellis’ research focuses on the psychological and biological bases of religious belief, behavior and experience. His current project examines the role that infectious disease ecologies play in the evocation and transmission of religion.
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About the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers courses that enhance students’ understanding of other cultures and languages as well as their own, making them prepared for lifelong learning in a multicultural world. Learn more at https://dllc.appstate.edu.
About the Department of Philosophy and Religion
The Department of Philosophy and Religion invites students to explore the world, examine beliefs, understand a diversity of worldviews, and challenge the ideas and values that instruct our lives. The department offers a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies, as well as a minor in both of these areas. Learn more at https://philrel.appstate.edu.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.