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Department of

Languages and Literatures

Sylvie Ngilla, PhD

Assistant Professor, French

Sylvie Ndome Ngilla, PhD, joined the faculty in 2012. She teaches courses on French and Francophone language, culture, and literatures. Her research is focused on twentieth and twenty-first century francophone African theater in particular on aesthetics and discourses on chaos, cultural identities, gender, African diasporas, and globalization.


Joint PhD, University of Minnesota, French Literature / Université Paris III Sorbonne
   Nouvelle, Études Théâtrales
DEA (Post-Master's Degree), Université Paris X Nanterre, Philosophie
Maîtrise, Université Paris X Nanterre, Philosophie

Scholarly and Creative Work

Professor Ngilla’s research explores the ways in which contemporary African dramatists develop new aesthetics of chaos based on intersections on critical theories in literature, theater studies, philosophy, science and music. In her dissertation "Nouvelles perspectives du chaos dans les dramaturgies contemporaines africaines francophones," she argues for a more complex and positive notion of chaos that allows a better understanding of the fragmentation and repetition as a creative process at work in contemporary African theater. She discusses the development of a type of oppositional theatre that emphasizes transnational relationships within which African sources are nourished by the influences of the world at large.

Ngilla has published in French and English several articles and interviews in reviews and journals including L’Esprit Créateur and Africultures. Also she has presented her work on chaos in contemporary African francophone theater at numerous international colloquiums of literature and theater. Her next research project is an article on Schizophony, Rape, and Transnationalism in Koffi Kwahulé’s theater.

Teaching Interests

Professor Ngilla enjoys teaching students in an interactive, collaborative and interdisciplinary approach. She received an award for Excellence of Teaching at the University of Minnesota. She looks forward to teaching French and Francophone language, literature, and theater at USD.