Deborah Reisinger

Deb S. Reisinger, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of the Practice in Romance Studies, and affiliate faculty in the Duke Global Health Health Institute. As Director of the Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) initiative at Duke, Deb develops advanced content-based language courses in global health, public policy, and environmental studies; languages include Arabic, French, Hindi, Mandarin, and Spanish.


Trained in 20th-century French and Francophone Studies, Deb is keenly interested in how we use language to express identity. Her first book, Crime and Media in Contemporary France, explores how the media shapes public discourse on crime to frame a politics of national identity. She currently directs a study away program that examines regional identity, linguistic policy, and the arts in Quebec.


Since 2013, Deb’s work at Duke has focused on Central African refugee resettlement in NC. Each fall, she teaches a service learning course, Issues in Global Displacement, that pairs students with refugee families, and together, they have developed a series of projects welcoming French-speaking refugees to Durham. Bienvenue à Durham projects include a bi-lingual guidebook to Durham, translation services, a museum exhibit, a computer donation program, and a web-based series of ESL training videos. A fellow at the Center for New North Carolinians, she is co-author (with J. Clifford) of a forthcoming book, Community-based Language Learning.

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