Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University
News Travels Spring 2016 Home 2

French Studies Alumna Feature

Anna Howell at her graduation in 2008.
Anna Howell at her graduation in 2008.

Anna Howell

After graduating with honors from WSU in December 2008, Anna completed an M.A. in French from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2011and a Ph.D. in Francophone Studies from the same university in 2015.

Her dissertation was titled “Insavoir and Representation in Comics: Modal and Temporal Intersections in Francophone Familial and Historical Graphic Novels.” She published an article “Representation through Anti-Representation: Showing the Unspeakable in Stassen’s Déogratias” in International Journal of Comic Art 16.1. 147-62.

In spring 2015, Anna moved to France and completed a six-month internship with the publishing group Media Participations that includes Dargaud, Dupuis, and Le Lombard, three giants in Franco-Belgian comics publishing based in Paris. She worked in the audiovisual adaptation department and her work included translating comics and materials for TV and film producers interested in adapting them. The upcoming big-budget film Valerian is the fruit of this department.

Following her internship, Anna started a career in freelance, offering translation, editing, and international development services, initially working in the comics industry, but open to entertainment sectors including film and board games.

Faculty Activites

Sabine Davis will participate in a week-long workshop on teaching French for Business organized by the Paris Chamber of Commerce at the University of Wyoming in May.

Dr. Insook Webber presented at the Contemporary French and Francophone Studies Conference in Saint Louis, Missouri.


Say bonjour #GnomieHomie Jennifer Burke! She is a fifth-year student majoring in French and is originally from Sedro-Woolley, Wash.

Lounging around.
Jennifer and Tomás lounging around.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
“I would still choose to live in the Pacific Northwest. I have been to seven other countries, and the PNW is still home for me. I will never stop traveling but after returning from Kenya, I realized that this was home and I always want to come back to Seattle.”

In your opinion, what is the biggest benefit of learning another language?
“Not being able to communicate is the biggest barrier between people of different cultures, so learning another language is really important and beneficial if you are traveling or doing any kind of work with people who speak other languages. As an aspiring international health care worker, being able to communicate with my patients will make the biggest difference in patient care. I worked with a Kenyan doctor while I was in Kenya and, since the doctor spoke the language, she was able to communicate with her patients directly and information was not lost in translation.”

What are your plans after WSU?
“I will be moving to Seattle to work as an EMT for a year while applying to medical school. I hope to use the next year to gain more experience and return to Kenya to volunteer as a medical aid worker before I start medical school.”