Gerise Herndon, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Gerise Herndon, Ph.D.
Professor of English
International Studies Program Director
International Studies; English
Office location

Old Main 119

Office hours

M W F 3:30-4:00

T Th 1-1:50

and by appointment


(402) 465-2347

One of NWU's core values is liberal arts, including "the joy and freedom of intellectual inquiry and learning."


The first in my family to attend university, I majored in French and English, not realizing at the time how language would expand my personal and professional opportunities. After finishing my BA in southern Missouri, I crossed the Atlantic to teach conversational English to French high school students. Graduate school drew me to Austin, Texas, where I focused on Caribbean and African literature along with film studies.

I'm grateful to NWU for multiple opportunities for intercultural exchange. I spent my first sabbatical in Cuba and the Caribbean, my second in France and then in Rwanda. My most recent sabbatical involved research and presentations in Haiti, France, and India.

NWU news:

Faculty Scholarship Award for book on how creating art helps heal from trauma:

Fulbright to India:



1986-1993 Ph.D., Comparative Literature - University of Texas at Austin
1981-1985 B.A., English, French - Drury University, Springfield MO

Courses taught

New courses designed and implemented:

Haiti Education Exchange (summer study abroad with Rev. Eduardo Bousson)…

Rwanda: Genocide and Beyond (summer study abroad taught with Dr. Rangira Béa Gallimore)

Rwandan Culture Through Film and Literature, Postcolonial and Global Literatures, Women Writing Across Cultures, Gender and the Art of Film, International Cinema, Feminist Research, Gender Studies Internship, Women and Social Change in Mexico (winter term study abroad, taught w/ colleagues in Spanish), Francophone Literature of Africa and the Caribbean (in French), French Feminisms (team-taught with colleague in Philosophy)

Archway Seminars (for first-year students):
Beyond Black: Africa, America, and the Cultural Imaginary; Mission Impossible? International Relations without Paternalism; Liberating Identities: Gender and Sexuality in International Contexts; Border Thinking: Transnationalism and Migration through Digital Storytelling; Transnational Queer Cinema; Peace Warriors; Beyond Blood Diamond: Cinematic Representations of Africa; Women in Film, Cinema in Drag; Interpreting Film and Literature; Culture, Ethnicity & Film; The US Image Abroad; Visual Imperialism (Citizens as Consumers, Education as Media); Identity in Alternative Texts; Citizens Against Apathy.

Other courses taught:
Perspectives in Gender, Feminist Research, Introduction to Women’s Studies, African American Literature, English Composition Pedagogy Practicum, Studies in Nonfiction Prose, Ways of Reading, Introduction to Textual Studies (literary theory), English Senior Workshop, National Prestige Scholarships

Course schedule

Transnational Migration, Global Citizenship, and Belonging Archway Seminar

Women Writing Across Cultures

International Studies Program Directing

Preparing for Senior Project

International Studies Capstone

Directed Readings




Research and academic interests

hijra identities in India; women's power in Rwanda; African and Caribbean cinema; literature of migration

Art from Trauma: Genocide and Healing Beyond Rwanda

Surviving Genocide, Thriving in Politics: Rwandan Women's Power

Emerging Perspectives on Maryse Condé

"The Antenna and the Mosque: Liberatory Mass Media in Moolaadé"

"Returns to Native Lands, Reclaiming the Other's Language"

Grant-funded Research:
Student-Faculty Collaborative Research grant with Kerry Worley, Katie Gilroy and Anna Delaney: "F words: Feminism and Francophonie in Rwanda," Kigali, June 2019.

Student-Faculty Collaborative Research with Cassandra Ndahiro, "Women of Integrity: Equality, Justice, Reconciliation," Kigali June 2014
Student-Faculty Collaborative Research with Meera Bhardwaj, “Rwanda’s Governmental Transformation” Kigali and Butare, Rwanda, July 2009
Student-Faculty Collaborative Research with Women’s Studies major Lyndie Christensen: “Social Services, Safety Nets and Governmental Indifference: Non-governmental Organizations and Support for the Poor in Mexico,” on-site research in Cuernavaca, Mexico, 2007
Service Learning Grant, Nebraska Consortium for Service Learning: service with Lincoln Literacy Council in first-year seminar, “As Others See Us: The US Image Abroad,” 2006

Service interests

Asian Community and Cultural Center

Released and Restored, Nebraska Correctional Center for Women

YWCA, Social and Racial Justice Committee
Middle East/North Africa Hope, Good Neighbor Community Center
Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women, Lincoln, Nebraska
Lincoln Literacy
Voices of Hope
Lancaster County Youth Services Center

Professional and community affiliations, certifications and awards


2018 Faculty Scholarship Presentation Award (NWU)
2013 Faculty Advocate for Diversity (NWU)
2012 Fulbright Specialist Grant to teach feminist theories at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
2005 Margaret J. Prouty Teaching Award (NWU)
2005 White Award for Internationalization (NWU)
2003 Alice Paul Award, Lincoln-Lancaster County Women’s Commission, in recognition of service to women in the community

Professional Certifications:

Nia White Belt (2017), Blue Belt (2018), Green Belt (2018); Nia Moving to Heal instructor (2019)
ESL Tutor Training: Certification in English as a Second Language & Basic Literacy, Lincoln Literacy Council, Lincoln NE, 2007

Professional Organizations:
Rwanda Association of University Women
African Literature Association
Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars
American Association of University Professors
National Women’s Studies Association