Olivier Marteau

Adjunct Professor, French

Olivia Marteau
Olivier Marteau

Office Hours

17:00-18:00 RCH 12 or Zoom
17:00-18:00 RCH 12 or Zoom

Olivier Marteau

Title: French Adjunct Faculty/Lecturer 
Ph.D. (2007) in French and Francophone Studies, University of Louisiana 
Member and vice-president of the international honor society Phi Beta Delta at Sonoma. 
Email: olivier.marteau@sonoma.edu
Office: Carson 12

Office Hours

My Background:

Born in France in Caen, I grew up in Normandy with two big influences: Alsace on my mother’s side, Poitou on my father’s side. 
The Alsacian culture is a mixed culture, often seen as German by the French, and French by the German. The family tradition was to learn German as a foreign language, not English.  The Poitou culture on my father's side is connected to the local French immigrants to the New World, known as Acadians. My fascination for Global Studies started when I was a student in Paris, living in the Cité Universitaire Internationale with 6000 graduate students from 130 different countries. As a new resident in the Foundation Deutsch de La Meurthe, I discovered the artwork of a famous past resident Léopold Sédar Senghor – poet and president of Senegal. One year later I was elected to manage the International Residents Association (AIRCUP).  

My Academic and Professional Experience:

Prior to teaching in the USA, I was a Project Manager in Paris developing and promoting the use of French language in Africa. Between 1995 and 2001, I traveled and managed different projects using satellite technology to develop audiovisual networks (including TV5, the international French-speaking TV channel), mainly in Western Africa. With a growing young generation, Western Africa became a priority for the Ministry of Cooperation and other institutions. Successively Regional Executive and Director, I became more and more intrigued by the diversity of the different local cultures. During the FESPACO - the Pan-African “Cannes” festival - in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), I decided to go back to university to learn more about African and French-speaking literature, cinema, cultures and critical thinking.   
In 2002, I earned a scholarship to study in the USA. I chose to continue my academic career in the Francophone Postcolonial Studies Department at the University of Louisiana located in Lafayette, the heart of the Cajun and Creole communities. It was my experiences as a doctoral student in the Francophone and Postcolonial program at Lafayette that gave me my first training in teaching a variety of French courses. I worked with the local communities and, in 2007, completed my dissertation Une littérature minoritaire francophone dans le sud de la Louisiane, exploring the emergence of a new generation of Cajun and Creole writers.

My Teaching and Research:

My education style is the result of various university degrees and experiences: French (University of Paris – La Sorbonne), American (University of Louisiana, Case Western Reserve and Denison University in Ohio), and Canadian (University Ste Anne). 
The combination of my European education, international work experience, doctoral studies, and extensive teaching has transformed me into an interdisciplinary teacher. In Nova Scotia, as a beginner teacher, I learned how to teach by combining different methods.
I enjoy teaching French to encourage students to study foreign languages and foreign cultures. My favorite method is to adapt my courses to create new ways to motivate students. And I like to introduce the students to the diversity of Francophone cultures with literature, cinema, and music.
I started to teach at Sonoma State University in 2014: French 101/102 (Beginners), French 300 (Introduction to Literary Analysis & Critical Thinking), French 321 (France Today), French 411 (French Literature from the 19Th to 21st Century), and French 475 (Senior Seminar with a focus on North America French-speaking writers).  
My research areas include the postcolonial and larger Francophone world, specifically the relation between Francophone minorities and France. My other interests include oral Francophone literatures, diversity in France, and regional French cultures.