Cathy Yandell, the W.I. and Hulda F. Daniell professor of French literature, language and culture at Carleton College, was knighted in the French Ordre des Palmes Académiques Sept. 24. The ceremony was officiated by Guillaume Lacroix, the consul general of France in Chicago.

A press release states the knighthood, a national order of France, is bestowed upon distinguished academics who “contribute actively to the expansion of French culture in the world.”

Yandell grew up near the Navajo Nation reservation in New Mexico, where she was exposed to a multitude of languages. The release states her first encounter with French was during a performance of “Frère Jacques” by a visiting choral group. After studying French literature, cultural history and theory as an undergraduate student, Yandell contemplated a career in the Peace Corps before choosing to pursue master’s and doctorate degrees in French literature from the University of California, Berkeley.

Yandell teaches a variety of courses in Carleton’s department of French and Francophone Studies. This year, she is teaching courses on banned books and gender and sexuality in the Francophone world before directing the Paris off-campus studies program in the spring. 

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