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Getting to Know INTS Professor, Dr. Frelier

The Department of International Studies would like to highlight Dr. Jocelyn Frelier, a Visiting Assistant Professor specializing in both French and International Studies. Dr. Frelier began working at Texas A&M University in the fall of 2020 and is currently teaching an INTS course entitled Diversity in a Globalized World: Global Migration on the Silver Screen. […]

The Department of International Studies would like to highlight Dr. Jocelyn Frelier, a Visiting Assistant Professor specializing in both French and International Studies. Dr. Frelier began working at Texas A&M University in the fall of 2020 and is currently teaching an INTS course entitled Diversity in a Globalized World: Global Migration on the Silver Screen.

Before coming to Texas A&M, Dr. Frelier was eagerly looking forward to the caliber of students she’d encounter at the university¬† because of A&M reputation for admitting and graduating inquisitive, hardworking, and respectful undergraduate students. She is very passionate about undergraduate education and about working with students to develop innovative learning techniques; she knew that students in the Department of International Studies would be open-minded and adept at adjusting in the face of a challenge. During a visit to Texas A&M as a guest lecturer, Dr. Frelier said she was blown away by her experience with the students.

Texas A&M has lived up to and exceeded her expectations, even in these strange COVID times. Dr. Frelier was pleasantly surprised by students in their general willingness to acknowledge the limits of their own understanding of a topic– she believes that a student who is willing to say “I don’t know” is a fun student to teach. Additionally, Dr. Frelier has also grown to love living in Bryan in ways that have surprised her.

Dr. Frelier describes her development of interest in her area of expertise as almost an autobiographical story. In the prologue of her first book, “Transforming Family: Kinship and Migration in French, Moroccan and Algerian Literature of the 21st Century,” Dr. Frelier writes that her research on migration and transnational families was actually research on her lived experiences; she didn’t put that together until she was nearly done writing the book. Dr. Frelier enjoyed her French classes in high school, learned a lot about diaspora and gender during her undergraduate degree, and honed in on her areas of expertise little by little from there. Ultimately, however, Dr. Frelier believes the research comes from somewhere within.

Currently, Dr. Frelier is between two major projects. She is editing an article on the literary output of Vietnamese diasporic mothers in North America, which she mentions is a huge departure from what she’s done in the past. Beyond that, Dr. Frelier’s next big project will be about the francophone world, broadly speaking, and about spaces of exception, a concept she says she is still working out. It will argue that contemporary travel literature that paints places like French Guiana and French Polynesia¬†as “exotic” relies on the legacies of colonial era discourses of exception to do so.

Dr. Frelier would like students to know that she is deeply passionate about undergraduate education and loves workshopping ideas with students. Anyone and everyone should feel free to come by her office to chat about their dreams for the future and how to get there.