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France Honors Pr. Kelley Conway

On February 7, 2020, Guillaume Lacroix, Consul General at the Consulate General of France in Chicago, awarded , Kelley Conway, Professor of Film and Chair of the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with the insignia of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in a ceremony held at the UW Cinematheque in Madison in recognition of her tremendous contributions to the field of French cinema, and the impact of these contributions on both sides of the Atlantic.

A native of St. Cloud, Minnesota, Dr. Conway began her academic career studying English with a concentration in Film and Television at Carleton College and later completed a master’s degree at the University of Iowa. Dr. Conway holds a D.E.A in Cinematographic and Audiovisual Studies from the Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle and completed a PhD through UCLA’s Department of Film and Television. She is currently a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Pr. Conway also serves as Artistic Director of the Wisconsin Film Festival and the UW Cinematheque.

Her academic interests lie in the process of creating French cinema; throughout Dr. Conway’s career, she has examined the creative processes of filmmakers in addition to the theoretical and practical components of filmmaking. A specialist of Agnès Varda, Dr. Conway has authored numerous articles on the French director in addditon to a book entitled Agnes Varda (University of Illinois, 2015), which explores the methods of production and aesthetic choices Varda considered when creating films. Dr. Conway is also interested in the intersections of film and other art forms; her first book, Chanteuse in the City:  The Realist Singer in French Film (University of California, 2004), examines the role of popular music within French cinema.

In her position as the Associate Chair of Communication Studies and the Department Chair of Film at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Conway has had a lasting impact on the world of French cinema at the university. She has taught courses on a variety of subjects including French cinema, European cinema, and women in film. Dr. Conway led a summer seminar in Paris and served as the resident director of the “Academic Program in Aix-en-Provence,” a study abroad program in conjunction with UW-Madison, the University of Michigan, and Indiana University. Her participation in the Wisconsin Film Festival has allowed many spectators of French films to examine films critically.

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