Brigitte Stepanov

Assistant Professor

Member Of:
  • School of Modern Languages
Email Address:


Pronunciation of Name:
Bri-JEET STEP-anov
Personal Pronouns:

Dr. Brigitte Stepanov is Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies, a war researcher, and an Energy Equity, Environmental Justice, and Community Engagement Faculty Fellow. She is also the founder and director of the Energy Today Lab, an interdisciplinary research hub that reflects creatively and analytically on the energy - broadly defined from labor to thermodynamics - of our contemporary world. Her research interests focus on 20th- and 21st-century French, North African, and Sub-Saharan African literary and visual culture. Trained as a scholar of French and Francophone Studies and as a mathematician, she holds degrees from Queen’s University at Kingston in Canada and a PhD from Brown University. At Brown, she was a Fellow at the Cogut Institute for the Humanities and awarded an Archambault Award for Teaching Excellence.

Before coming to Georgia Tech, she was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow with the Department of French and Arabic at Grinnell College, where she organized the Theories of Decolonization working group with the support of a grant from Grinnell’s Center for the Humanities. She has been a Silas Palmer Fellow at the Hoover Library and Archives at Stanford University, a Lecturer at the Université Lumière Lyon 2 in France, and a selected participant of the National Endowment for the Humanities seminar “The Search for Humanity after Atrocity.” Additionally, she has trained in conflict mediation, having most recently taken part in the Peacebuilding Institute hosted by the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at EMU.

Her current book project, Cruelty, War, Fiction: Redefining the In-Human, explores excessive forms of violence in warfare and their representation in fiction and visual media from Algeria, Rwanda, and France. She argues that the concept of cruelty is fundamental to any discussion of political instability, war, and crimes against humanity. More broadly, this project examines the relationship between the evolution of warfare over the last eighty years and shifting conceptions of the human in the face of “universal” manifestations of violence. This work is closely tied to her second research project, which examines literary, artistic, and cultural responses to radioactive fallout and its ensuing ecological crisis following France’s nuclear arsenal testing in Algeria and the South Pacific. Dr. Stepanov’s scholarship has appeared in Contemporary French & Francophone Studies, The French Review, Voix plurielles, and in the volume Memory, Voice, and Identity: Muslim Women’s Writing from Across the Middle East (Routledge, 2021). Dr. Stepanov is also the translator of works by Peter Szendy and Laura Odello and has worked with the Derrida Seminar Translation Project.

Finally, she is a photographer, focusing on archiving memory and the geometry of ecological forms. Both facets of her work are preoccupied with minute documentation – be it to collect visual reminders of patches of lichen or the detailed brickwork of a monument. Among other venues, her work has been exhibited at the Houston Center for Photography, the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in Chicago, the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts and AS220 in Providence, and l'Association Carrefour in Metz, France.

Find out more about her work here, here, and here

  • Brown University, Ph.D. French and Francophone Studies
  • Brown University, M.A. French and Francophone Studies
  • Queen's University at Kingston, Mathematics & French and Francophone Studies


Research Fields:
  • Biological and Chemical Nonproliferation and Counterterrorism
  • Energy, Climate and Environmental Policy
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Global Energy Security
  • Global Nuclear Security
  • Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Africa (North)
  • Africa (Sub-Saharan)
  • Europe
  • African Studies
  • Armed Conflict
  • Conflicts
  • Diaspora Studies
  • Digital and Mixed Media
  • Francophone Studies
  • Human/Machine Interaction
  • Literature
  • Post-Colonialism
  • Translation


  • ARBC-3420: Introduction to Africa
  • FREN-1001: Elementary French I
  • FREN-1002: Elementary French II
  • FREN-2002: French Culture II
  • FREN-3110: Comics & Graphic Arts
  • FREN-3420: Introduction to Africa
  • FREN-3500: Field Work Abroad
  • FREN-3501: Sustainable Communities in France
  • FREN-4101: Francophone Lit I
  • FREN-4246: Fren./Franc. Films/Media
  • FREN-6101: Contemp Franco Lits
  • ML-2500: Intro Cross-Cult Studies
  • ML-6501: Theory & Foundations Sem
  • SWAH-3420: Introduction to Africa
  • WOLO-3420: Introduction to Africa

All Publications

Journal Articles