Marie-Magdeleine Chirol Hill


Program Coordinator of French Cultural Studies
Professor of French

  • 19th through 21st century French/Francophone Literature
  • Film studies (French & African cinema)
  • Motif of ruins


Professor Marie-Magdeleine Chirol received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Maryland at College Park. She enjoys teaching language, literature and film courses. Chirol has taught classes ranging from elementary language to stylistics, from business French to cinema, and from introductory literature to literary seminars. Her primary research interests are the study of the artistic and literary motif of ruins in 19th through 21st century literature as well as African cinema. Secondarily, Chirol is also interested in foreign language teaching methodology and computer-assisted instruction.

Every fall, during National French Week, she brings a Paris-based theatre company to Whittier College (past performances include Beckett's La dernière bande, Sartre's Huis Clos, and Ionesco's La Leçon). These annual French events have become a tradition not only at Whittier College, but also in the French-speaking community of the greater Los Angeles area.

Chirol plays an active role in the Southern California chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French and she is currently Vice President of Communication.

Professor Chirol was named Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Knight in the Order of Academic Palms) by the French government in 2012. The following year, she was appointed as the Hazel Cooper Jordan Endowed Chair in Arts and Humanities (2013-2019). Nominated by Whittier College students, she received the Presidential Award for inspiring Faculty-Student Collaborations on Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity in 2015. She was awarded the 2019 American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) Dorothy S. Ludwig Excellence in Teaching Award at the Post-Secondary level.


  • Gaston Kaboré, Conteur et visionnaire du cinéma africain. Lyon: Presses Universitaires de Lyon, 2011.
  • L'imaginaire de la ruine dans A la Recherche du temps perdu de Marcel Proust. Birmingham, AL: Summa Publications, Inc., 2001.
  • Ruins and Imaginary Ruin in Twentieth Century Novels: Marcel Proust, Alejo Carpentier, Camilo José Cela, Marguerite Duras, Hubert Nyssen, Raymond Jean. [French text] Diss. U of Maryland, 1991. Ann Arbor: UMI, 1991. 9133048. Published Dissertation.

Refereed articles and chapters

  • "Figures de style cinématographiques dans Moi et mon blanc de Pierre Yaméogo," Figuration et mémoire dans les cinémas africains. Ed. Jean Ouédraogo. Paris: L'Harmattan, 2010. 89-104.
  • "Ruin and renewal in Idrissa Ouédraogo's Yaaba" Renewal in African Cinema: genre and aesthetics Trans. Blandine Stefanson. Ed. Blandine Stefanson. Spec. issue of Journal of African Cinema, 1.2 (2009): 159-71.
  • "Histoires de ruines: Calomnies de Linda Lê." French Forum, 29.2 (2004): 91-105.
  • "Tableau Ferraille ou le mirage de la modernité: Etude d'un film de Moussa Sene Absa." Cinémas africains, une oasis dans le désert? Ed. Samuel Lelièvre. Spec. issue of CinémAction 106 (2003): 101-05.
  • "The Missing Narrative in Wend Kuuni (Time and Space)," African Cinema: Post-Colonial and Feminist Readings. Ed. Kenneth W. Harrow. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1999.
  • "Creating a TA Handbook on Logistics and Administrative Duties: Advantages for TAs and Language Program Coordinators," The Canadian Modern Language Review / La Revue canadienne des langues vivantes 56.2 (1999): 355-62.

(see full bibliography)