A rich French culture

Adina Balint, professor, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

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Dr. Adina Balint is a professor of French literature in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Winnipeg. She earned her doctorate from the University of Toronto, studying modern and contemporary French literature.

“The substantive focus of my research is mostly linked to cross-cultural encounters and creativity, which somehow parallels my commitment to attempt to understand relationships with the other through literature,” she says.

“You cannot separate (language) from culture. You cannot learn a language in an abstract way. It has to be used in an everyday context.”

Balint is also working on a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council project, where she thinks about the representations and “politics of the everyday in contemporary French and Québecois literature.” Her work challenges the notion that the everyday is repetitive and ordinary, instead arguing that it “appears more attractive, appears as a revival, as a form of new beginning each time.”

She says she wants her scholarship to be accessible to both her undergraduate students and the public. “Research and teaching are interconnected. Most of my research projects usually lead to a new course, so I have this great opportunity to share the new knowledge and what I discovered through literature with my students.”

“Literature is very much also theatre,” she says. “I have regular subscriptions to both the English and French language theatres.”

“In five years, I see myself consistently continuing the research I’m doing right now. I find myself in a good place right now. It’s a stimulating place. I just see myself pushing forward in what I’m currently doing. And also perhaps redirecting ... my interests towards creative writing and getting to publish a creative essay or fiction.”

What was your worst grade in university?

“Probably one of the toughest courses I found when I was in grad school at the University of Toronto was the methodology course.”

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

“I sometimes really long to have this kind of higher reading pace ... and to be able to read in more languages.”

What do you do in your spare time?

“I really appreciate going to the theatre ... I go skating or jogging when it’s not too cold. I practise yoga.”

Published in Volume 77, Number 15 of The Uniter (January 19, 2023)

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