Arwa Reda (she/her), PhD Candidate

Ethics, testimony, and the detective genre; Memory and trauma studies; Holocaust studies
Arwa Reda (she/her), PhD Candidate

Joined the program in Fall 2017.

Ph.D. Candidate in French with a Graduate minor in English

My research broadly focuses on the investigative narrative as a privileged form for working through memories of traumatic events in the history of individuals, their descendants, and their communities. My dissertation, “Detecting Memory: The Literary and the Ethical in Print,” interrogates the ways the detective genre offers a space for addressing the ethical duty of telling the story of the victims and assessing responsibility. As such, the genre opens the gates to learn more about inexpressible lived trauma, its transmitted history and transgenerational effects, as well as its ethical implications both as pertinent to the individual and to the collective body to which he or she belongs, such as Holocaust survivors or colonized Algerians.

 «Les enjeux spatio-temporels de la mémoire cadenassée dans Un Secret (2004) de Philippe Grimbert. » Francosphères, vol. 11, no. 2, 7 Dec. 2022, pp. 167–186.,  

“Reading Antelme with Levinas: Recreational Activities in Concentration Camps.” 20th & 21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium, Apr. 2020,


“‘[À] la recherche de la main manquante’: Assessing Responsibility in Thierry Jonquet’s Les orpailleurs [The Gold Diggers] (1993)” British and Irish Association for Holocaust Studies Online Conference. May 22, 2023.

“Anne Gorouben’s 100, boulevard du Montparnasse: Investigation Through Enactment” Northeast Modern Language Association 55th Annual Convention. March 23, 2023.

“From Push(land) to Pull(land): Clandestine Migrants as Displaced Nonentities in Mahi Binebine's Cannibales” 39th Annual 20th & 21st-Century French & Francophone Studies International Colloquium. March 26, 2022.

“Lives, Afterlives, and Invocation from the Dead in Anne Berest’s La Carte postale (2021)” 20th & 21st Century French & Francophone Studies International Colloquium, Feb 24, 2024.

Hella Mears Fellowship in German and European Studies (Summer 2023)

Visiting Instructor at Macalester College.

Graduate instructor in the French and Italian Department at the University of Minnesota.

Editor for Arabic, translation reviewer, Open Global Rights. The Ford Foundation, the Humphrey School for Public Affairs, and the Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota, 2018-2020

Conference Co-organizer : Graduate Conference- Spectral Spaces: Exploring Spatiality & the Engagement of Form- Departments of French and Italian and German, Nordic, Slavic, & Dutch, University of Minnesota, March 2022.

Vice-President of: Association of Graduate Students-Department of French and Italian, University of Minnesota (2021-2022)

French Graduates representative at: Council of Graduate Students-Department of French and Italian, University of Minnesota (2020-2021).

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