Downing Bray Kress
French Literature & Thought
Downing Bray Kress received her PhD from NYU’s Department of French Literature, Thought and Culture in 2018 and holds a BA in Comparative Literature and Society from Columbia University. Her research invokes theories of place and space to understand representations of migration, displacement, and globalization in contemporary Francophone and Caribbean literature. Her current book project, “Dany Laferrière: Cartographies of the Imagination,” analyzes the relationship between migration, dwelling, and literary poetics in the autobiographical fiction of Haitian-born author Dany Laferrière. Downing is also interested in the intersections of literature, visual art, architecture, and the built physical world. Her course, “Walking the Global City,” investigates representations of walking in literature, film, and art from a range of cities and epochs. It explores how walking can act as a framework for the cultural and social analysis of cities and their inhabitants, allowing us to probe the evolving dynamics of race, gender, and sexuality and the relationship between urban experience and creative production in modern society.