Alain-Philippe Durand

AIAR Faculty Member
Dean, College of Humanities
Professor, French and Italian

Prior to coming to the University of Arizona in 2010, Dorrance Dean Durand was Professor of French, English, and Film Media, and Head of French and Francophone Studies at the University of Rhode Island. His interests include the contemporary novel (France, Brazil, and US), French Cinema, Hip-Hop Culture, Jorge Amado, and Recruiting and Promoting Strategies for the Humanities, Professional Development and Mentoring. He has authored and edited five books: Black, Blanc, Beur. Rap Music and Hip-Hop Culture in the Francophone World (Scarecrow Press, 2002), Un Monde Techno. Nouveaux espaces électroniques dans le roman français des années 1980 et 1990 (Preface by Marc Augé) (Weidler, 2004), Novels of the Contemporary Extreme (Continuum, 2006) co-edited with Naomi Mandel, Frédéric Beigbeder et ses doubles (Rodopi, 2008), and Hip-Hop en Français. An Exploration of Hip-Hop Culture in the Francophone World (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).

In addition to entries in the Dictionary of Literary Biography and the Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, he has published articles, chapters, and reviews on nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century French and Luso-Brazilian literature and culture in journals such as PMLAThe French ReviewSITES: Contemporary French and Francophone StudiesL'Esprit créateurL'Atelier du RomanEtudes FrancophonesContemporary French CivilizationRomance Notes, and Romance Quarterly.

He is Associate Editor of Contemporary French Civilization, associate member of the GRIC (Groupe de Recherche Identités et Cultures) at the University of Le Havre, France and of the editorial and scientific committees of the journal Letras Raras. He evaluates articles and manuscripts for Vanderbilt UPContemporary French CivilizationWomen in French StudiesStudies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature. Dean Durand was invited to lecture at several universities and research institutions in Europe and the Americas: the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme in Paris, the University of Le Havre, the University Blaise Pascal in Clermont-Ferrand, the Euromed Marseille School of ManagementHarvard University's Hip-Hop Archive, the University of Illinois in Chicago, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Wayne State University, the Erasmus Mundus Master Program MacLands at the University of Stuttgart, and at the House of World Cultures in Berlin, Germany. He also has graduate students and regularly lectures/visits at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) in Florianópolis, Universidade Federal de Campina Grande, and at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.

Although he received his training and specializes in contemporary French literature, Dean Durand's research has always been guided by an interdisciplinary method. In addition to literary and cultural theories, anthropologic, sociological, and philosophical approaches feed his own analysis of literature and culture. The core that influences all his scholarly projects consists of a fascination for spaces and places; intertextuality; modern technological devices and electronics; and the kind of popular culture that characterizes the extreme contemporary.

He is currently working on several projects including several articles and chapters and one book project on Brazilian novelist Jorge Amado (The French Jorge Amado). Dean Durand's teaching and research are closely linked because they feed each other. Durand believes in presenting his students with a practical aspect of everything they learn. It is especially important in literature because it shows students how useful reading, writing, analytical skills, and the manipulation of fiction and reality are in any job. In addition, Durand especially enjoys serving as advisor or committee member for theses and dissertations. 

Dean Durand serves on the Board of Directors of the American College of the Mediterranean, and on the Board of Directors of Arizona Humanities.

At the University of Arizona, Dean Durand was awarded the Richard Ruiz Diversity Leadership Faculty Award (2017), the Distinguished Africana Studies Service Award (2016), the African American Community Council’s Distinguished Faculty Award (2015), the Honors College's Five Star Faculty Award (2013), and was named Distinguished Fellow at the Honors College (2014). The French Government made Durand a Knight in the order of the Palmes Académiques (2007).