Sophia Mo

image of Sophia Mo
  • Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies

Contact Info

Wescoe 2064
1445 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, KS 66045
Office Hours:
Tues. 9:00-9:30 & 10:45-12:15
Zoom Meetings by Appointment


Sophia Mo is a scholar of comparative literature, gender studies, (post-)colonialism, and translation theory. Twentieth-century periodical print culture in North Africa is the current focus of her writing. Her work is shaped by her lifelong interest in language learning as well as her experiences living and working in France, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, and the U.S. Her research has been funded by grants from various institutions such as the American Council of Learned Societies, the U.S. Department of Education, and the American Institute for Maghrib Studies.

Rescripting Liberation from the Margins, Professor Mo's current book project, traces the growing intersection between the fight for women’s emancipation and the global anticolonial struggle during the 1950s and 60s. In her analysis of transnational Arabic and French-language periodicals based in Algeria, Mo documents women's role in constructing the postcolonial nation and the broader 'Third World.' She focuses in particular on how female writers and performers inscribed themselves and other women into historical narratives, both with and against the grain of patriarchal nationalist discourse.


Ph.D. in French with certificate in Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University, New York, NY
M.A. in French and Romance Philology, Columbia University, New York, NY
B.A. in French, International Relations, and Economics, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA


Research interests:

  • Translation studies
  • Postcolonial studies
  • Gender studies
  • Twentieth-century periodical print culture
  • Francophone literature and film
  • History of French Empire
  • North African literature and history


FREN 326: Introduction to Literary Methods in French

FREN-AAAS 432/732: Roots & Routes: Francophone African Literature

FREN 375: Intermediate French Conversation


Selected Publications

Selected publications

Rescripting Liberation from the Margins: Women’s Emancipation and the Global Anticolonial Struggle in the Revolutionary Periodicals of Algeria (book manuscript in progress).

“ « Une vraie femme-pour-l'action » : La construction d'une authenticité révolutionnaire féminine pour l'indépendance algérienne,” in Expressions maghrébines, June 2021, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp. 61-78.

Translation from French to English of “The Memory of Slavery, Twenty Years after the Taubira Law” by Myriam Cottias, Yale French Studies, Number 140, January 2022.


“Reading Motherhood at the Margins of Algerian Feminist Retellings of Resistance.” Middle East Studies Association conference, Denver, Colorado. (2022)

“Three Women and a Critique of History As We Know It.” Presentation at “Thinking Algeria at 60: Images from a Revolution” symposium at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. (2022)

“Mama knows best: Remaking la femme-pour-l’action of the Algerian Revolution (1954-1962).” American Comparative Literature Association virtual conference. (2021)

“Killing the mother tongue.” Response to book talk by Erin Twohig (Contesting the Classroom: Reimagining Education in Moroccan and Algerian Literatures) at the Maison Française, Columbia University, New York. (2020)