French and Italian
Department Chairs:
Libby Murphy
Rice 10

Administrative Assistant:
Blanche Villar

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-5257
Fax: (440) 775-6888

Peters Hall 301
50 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, Ohio, 44074

Julie Kleinman

Julie Kleinman

Visiting Assistant Professor of French and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Affiliate Department of Anthropology

Contact Information


Rice 213
Personal Office Hours:
Tuesday and Thursday 1:00-2:00 and by appointment.

Julie Kleinman

Julie Kleinman

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. Harvard University, 2013
  • M.A. Ecole des hautes ├ętudes en sciences sociales, 2007
  • B.A. Haverford College, 2004

Julie Kleinman is an urban anthropologist of France and francophone West Africa, with a particular interest in French-African encounters from the colonial period to the present. Her work explores multicultural contexts and the politics of difference in public space by looking at “theaters of encounter,” which are concrete heterogeneous sites including transportation hubs and human rights organizations where diverse people and ideologies meet daily. Engaging with ethnographic, historical, and literary sources, her first project examines how infrastructural development and migration relate to the notion of social danger in France from the nineteenth century to the present. She is currently working on a book manuscript on these topics from the perspective of Europe’s largest railway station, the Gare du Nord in Paris, entitled, Borders in the Capital: Public Space Politics, Immigration, and the Making of an African Hub in Paris.

She is engaged in a second research project in Bamako, Mali on return migration and deportee rights. This project examines how deportees in Mali are providing new forms of African and pan-African citizenship through their efforts, which combine local kinship idioms with global humanitarian paradigms. In addition to this project, her current writing and research focuses on African neighborhoods and markets in Paris, African francophone literature on exile and urban settings, and expressions of Islam in French urban space.  

She teaches on these topics as well as French language at various levels. In the Spring of 2015, she will be teaching the topics course Rebelles et subversifs, on 20th and 21st century countercultural movements in France.  Before coming to Oberlin, she taught courses on the Anthropology of Conflict, the Anthropology of Development and Globalization, and the Anthropology of Diaspora and Nationalism, among others. 

Recent Publications:

"Adventures in Infrastructure: Making an African hub in Paris."  City and Society 26(3), 2014.

"The Path between Two Points:  Malian Adventures in France."  Transition 113: 25-43, 2014. 

“The Gare du Nord: Parisian Topographies of Exchange.” Ethnologie Française 42(3): 567-576, 2012.

“Girl in Window, Reflected” (short fiction). Anthology: Strangers in Paris. Megan Fernandes and David Barnes, eds. Toronto: Tightrope Books, 2011.

Translation of The Politics of Survival by Marc Abélès, from the French. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010.