Gabriella Brooke, M.F.A.
Eastern Washington University
Professor of Italian, Emerita
Professor Brooke spent a magical childhood in Sicily, on the Ionian Sea, at the foot of Mt. Etna. The island’s chronicles and legends, and the ever-present traces of its earlier inhabitants and conquerors--Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans--nurtured her imagination and awoke her passion for story-telling. Love for history and literature, particularly women’s literature, has driven Gabriella’s academic career. At Gonzaga, Prof. Brooke started in 1980 and designed and taught courses in Italian Women Literature and Italian Historical Fiction. In 1999 she co-edited Gendering Italian Fiction: Feminist Revisions of Italian Fiction (Farleigh Dickinson University Press), the first critical collection of essays on Italian women’s historical fiction. She published a historical novel, The Words of Bernfrieda: A Chronicle of Hauteville (EWU Press,1999), which employs contemporary accounts of the 11th century Norman conquest of Southern Italy to write a different chronicle, from a woman’s perspective. Her novel was mentioned by George Garrett in the “Year in Fiction” of 1999 Yearbook of the Dictionary of Literary Biography. It was later translated into Italian and published by Sellerio Editore in 2001. During that same summer, the novel was serialized over several weeks in the “Giornale di Sicilia”. During her years at Gonzaga Prof. Brooke served as Chair of Modern Languages and Literature, Director of Italian Studies; Regent, Faculty Senator, and has served on the Rank and Tenure Committee, Academic Freedom, and several other University committees. She retired in 2020.
Françoise Kuester, M.F.A
Eastern Washington University
Associate Professor of French, Emerita
Françoise Kuester grew up in the Lorraine region of France and came to teach French part-time at Gonzaga University in 1978. She created the French major curriculum and directed the French program for twenty-eight years. She chaired the Department of Modern Languages and Literature from 1982-1990, and then again from 2001-2003. During her tenure as chair, she focused on expanding the Spanish Program, introducing Asian languages to the department, and promoting student participation in study abroad. Outside of the department, she directed the International Studies Program for two years, after which she persuaded the University to create a permanent directorship in International Studies. Prof. Kuester is most remembered for her passion for teaching. She had high standards and demanded the utmost of students while also expressing heartfelt care for the whole person. Her door was always open to students when they needed additional help or simply wanted to chat. She placed great value on service to others, on the promotion of community, and on cultural diversity. She frequently hosted department gatherings where faculty delighted in her gourmet cooking. She still makes her home in Spokane. She retired in 2009.