Sonali Ravi is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of French and Italian at Princeton University. A former student of Sciences Po and École Normale Supérieure, she has trained in both the American and French education systems. She received her MA in French and Francophone Studies at Princeton University and her BA in French and Francophone Studies and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College. Her research explores twentieth- and twenty-first-century French and Francophone postcolonial literature, film, and stand-up comedy through the lens of humor and performance. Her dissertation, “Humoring Pathos: Comedic Discourse and its Paradoxes in Contemporary Francophone Literature and Performance,” addresses the ambivalent and sometimes fraught relationship that modern African and Caribbean literary and cultural productions sustain with French metropolitan discourses of racial, gender, and ethnic Otherness. Through its focus on humor and play, her work offers a little-studied aesthetic lens with which to study Francophone literature and culture of the modern Francophone world. Her forthcoming publications investigate visual and textual subversions of Orientalist thought in graphic novels and the articulation of identity in women’s writing through comedic discourse.
Sonali has taught French language and literature courses at both the introductory and advanced levels and recently developed a course called “Laughing with the Other: Humor and Alterity in French and Francophone Modern Literature and Culture,” which she is currently co-teaching at Princeton. Sonali regularly works with students from first-generation and low-income backgrounds, serving as a fellow in the Princeton University Preparatory Program and the Princeton Scholars Institute.