Matthew Smith

Research Interests

My teaching and research interests include translation studies and practice, contemporary French and Francophone culture, comparative poetics, world literature, film studies and food studies. I am also a literary translator.

In addition to teaching a variety of courses on French and Francophone culture, translation and French language and conversation, I am also co-directing a summer study abroad program in Aix-en-Provence, France with my colleague Shannon Becker ( Please email one of us or the Study Abroad Office ( for more information.

Selected Publications

Book Translations (Prose Fiction, Poetry and Critical Theory)

  • Dignity or Death: Politics of Blackness and the Critique of European Philosophy, Norman Ajari (Polity Press, Forthcoming)
  • Colonial Trauma, Karima Lazuli (Polity Press, 2021).
  • Resolutely Black: Conversations with Françoise Vergès, Aimé Césaire (Polity Press, 2020).
  • Saying Poetry & Sleep, Jacques Roubaud (La Presse, 2019).
  • Seven String Quartets, Frédéric Forte (La Presse, 2014).
  • The Truth about Marie, Jean-Philippe Toussaint (Champaign. IL: Dalkey Archive Press, 2011).
  • Running Away, Jean-Philippe Toussaint (Champaign. IL: Dalkey Archive Press, 2009).
  • Camera, Jean-Philippe Toussaint (Champaign. IL: Dalkey Archive Press, 2008).

* Reviews of these translations have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The London Review of Books, The Guardian, Bookforum and Chicago Review, among others.


  • "Does Rimbaud Get Ashbery? Repurposing Equivalency in Translation," Romanic Review, Forthcoming, 2022.
  • "To France and Back: New Circuits in American Poetry." Postmodern Culture (May 2015).


  • Impostors: Literary Hoaxes and Cultural Authenticity. By Christopher L. Miller.” Comparative Literature Studies, Vol. 57 no. 2, 2020.
  • "Rachel Gavin, News of War: Civilian Poetry 1936-1945." SubStance, Forthcoming, November, 2019.


  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, French
  • M.A., University of California, Berkeley, French
  • B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, French and Comparative Literature


Matthew Smith
Assistant Professor
Watson Hall 314