Dr. Metka Zupančič is a Professor Emerita of French/Modern Languages at the Department of Modern Languages and Classics, at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL. She holds a Doctorat de 3e cycle in French and Comparative Literature from the Université des Sciences Humaines in Strasbourg, France (1977), a PhD in Romance Philology from the University of Zagreb, Croatia (1988), and post-doctoral diploma Habilitation à diriger les recherches (HDR), from the Université de Poitiers, France (2005). In 2007, French Government granted her the honorific title of Chevalier dans les Palmes Académiques (Knight in the Order of Academic Palms).
Her academic career started in her home country Slovenia. Dr. Zupančič later pursued it both in Canada and the United States. She has taught a variety of courses in French Literature, Critical Theory with emphasis on feminism and myth criticism, Comparative Literature, Literature and Film, etc. Her particular interest lies in the transdisciplinary connections between East and West, from the intellectual, philosophical, and spiritual perspective. She has created links between academia and Yoga. At the University of Alabama, she taught a Blount Undergraduate Initiative seminar “Yoga: East and West.” She continues to combine in-depth literary and cultural analysis with mindfulness and spirituality (such as mostly inspired by Buddhist philosophy). Her major goal has always been to integrate more awareness and mindfulness in higher education.
Dr. Zupančič has presented a number of scholarly papers at professional conferences in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. She has lectured on myths in contemporary French, Francophone, and general post-colonial literature of women, on the French New Novel, as well as on Québécois literature and culture, in Canada, the United States, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Slovenia. She owes gratitude to the Complutense University in Madrid, Spain, for an ongoing research collaboration within the realm of myth criticism. She has held yoga philosophy and practice workshops in Canada, the United States, and Slovenia.
In her publications and her talks, Dr. Zupančič aims to bring to light the value of literature in our everyday lives, with its impact on understanding ourselves and the world. Literary texts as an alchemical process may trigger our own transformation and thus mirror our growth through yoga and meditation, for personal and collective healing that is very much needed in today’s world.
Among her influences, Metka Zupančič wishes to recognize the French school of myth criticism and myth analysis, especially as developed by Gilbert Durand, strongly linked to the works by C.G. Jung. In post-Jungian thought, Dr. Zupančič is indebted to authors such as Jean Shinoda Bolen. Her favorite writers include Hélène Cixous, on whose works Dr. Zupančič published a monograph (2007), and Claude Simon whose novels Dr. Zupančič studied in her doctorates (published in 2001). She also translated two of his novels into Slovene.
Dr. Zupančič continues to explore the writings by contemporary women writers in France (Hélène Cixous, Gisèle Bienne, Fabienne Pasquet, Pierrette Fleutiaux, and contemporary feminist theoreticians), Belgium (Claire Lejeune), Québec and Francophone Canada (Andrée Christensen, Francine D’Amour, Louise Dupré, and France Théoret), and North Africa (Souâd Guellouz, Assia Djebar and Maïssa Bey, among others). Among the authors who shaped the feminine genealogy in literature, she highly admires George Elliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Sand. Among the post-colonial writers, Dr. Zupančič continues to be inspired by the works by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Arundhati Roy, and also Ananda Devi, who all explore the Indian lore from a contemporary women’s perspective.