Christophe Koné is named the new director of the Oakley Center for Humanities and Social Sciences.

Christophe Koné, associate professor of German, will serve as the next director of the Oakley Center for Humanities and Social Sciences. He will serve a three-year term beginning on July 1, 2023, succeeding the Center’s current director Jacqueline Hidalgo, professor of religion and Latino/a/x studies. 

As director, Koné will oversee the Oakley Center’s events and activities, which include conferences, colloquia, reading groups and lectures. For the college’s faculty fellows on sabbatical, the center also serves as a retreat for intensive research and intellectual discussion.

Koné holds an M.A. in German studies from the Université de Lyon II, France, and a Ph.D. in German studies from Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey. Since joining Williams College in 2013, he has taught German and literature classes as well as in the Graduate Program at the Clark Art Institute, and comparative literature seminars in the Summer Humanities and Social Sciences Program.

Koné’s research interests include German Romanticism, the European Avant-garde, Modernism, film studies, art history, comics and fashion studies. He is the author of Uncanny Creatures: Doll Thinking in Modern German Culture (January 2024, University of Michigan Press) and has published articles on Thomas Mann, Richard Wagner, Michael Haneke, Oskar Kokoschka and Laurie Simmons. With a deep interest in visual and performing arts and cultural studies, he has presented several conference papers on a wide range of topics, from German comics to fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.

The Oakley Center is a special space where faculty can focus on their research and partake in intellectual exchanges and interdisciplinary discussions,” Koné said. “I look forward to collaborating with the college’s programs and departments to bring the most brilliant and creative minds to campus, and to launch conversations with artists and scholars from around the world.”

Koné  is currently a faculty fellow of the Davis Center and the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. He has also served on the Ad Hoc Anti-Racist Campus Task Force, the WEPO Interview Committee, the Accessibility Committee, Claiming Williams Steering Committee, Dively Committee, Faculty Review Panel, Wilmers Summer Language Study Grant Committee, and the British Post-Graduate Fellowship Selection Committee.

Published June 13, 2023