Short Bio

Dr. George Lang was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ottawa  in 2004, retiring in 2009, after which he joined his wife Nasrin Rahimieh on the campus of UC-Irvine. He had previously served as Associate Dean at the University of Alberta, where he was a professor of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies from 1987 to 2004.

Dr. Lang is trained in comparative literature, and his primary field of interest is the hybrid languages and cultures that arise through cross-cultural contact. He has written on a range of topics reflecting this theme, notably Entwisted Tongues: Comparative Creole Literatures (2000) and Making Wawa: The Genesis of Chinook Jargon (2009). For years he translated Haitian and Québécois poetry, the latter for Eclipse: Oeuvres en traduction / Writers in Translation.

Dr. Lang’s career was shaped by a life of travel. Born in Houston, he left home as soon as he was able, first to study at Beloit College, near Chicago. After a year in Grenoble, France, he spent two years teaching in Liberia, which served as a base for excursions across West Africa. He earned his PhD at the University of Alberta, and also spent several years in Montreal in the school of hard knocks. Research brought him back to Africa and took him repeatedly to the Caribbean. France remains a second home. 

During the 1980s, George Lang worked for Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant based in Berkeley, California, prospecting annually in France and Italy. Academic missions from Edmonton took him to Korea and Japan, where he found inspiration to complete his black belt in aikido. He has had the pleasure of teaching in Cortona, Italy, and in Innsbruck, Austria, and has studied flamenco guitar in Andalusia.

In October 2007, George Lang was elected president of the Association des facultés et établissements de lettres et de sciences humaines des universités d’expression française (AFELSH). He served until 2013 and continues as webmaster of the association site. 

As Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Dr. Lang promoted international contacts and a curriculum reflecting global realities. He was also an advocate of computer and media technology, favoured multidisciplinary initiatives when appropriate, and was committed to active fundraising.

For his personal Web page, please visit: