Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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Emmanuel Dongala

Richard B. Fisher Chair in Natural Sciences Emeritus


BA, Oberlin College; MS, Rutgers University
Doctorat de Specialité, Université of Strasbourg (France)
Doctorat-esSciences, Université des Sciences et Techniques in Montpellier (France) 

Dr. Dongala worked in France first at the Institut de Chimie in Strasbourg, where he taught students preparing for the Agregation in physical sciences while doing research on the synthesis of asymmetric molecules. He then moved to the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie of Montpellier as a research assistant working on the synthesis of small polymers while supervising the second year students’ organic chemistry laboratory. In 1981, he was appointed chairman of the Department of Chemistry at the Université de Brazzaville (Congo). His main research work there was on devising a cheap, fast, and reliable method for the evaluation of toxic cyanogenic glucosides in cassava, the main food staple of the country. He was appointed dean of academic affairs of the University in 1985. His research findings have been published in Tetrahedron Letters, Comptes Rendus de l’Académie des Sciences (Paris), Journal of Polymer Chemistry, Discovery, and Journal de la Societé de Tunisie. Dr. Dongala is also a writer of fiction and the former president of the Congolese chapter of PEN, the international writers’ organization. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 1999. His first novel Un fusil dans la main, un poeme dans la poche (A Gun in Hand, a Poem in the Pocket), published in 1973, won the Ladislas Domandi Prize for the best French novel by a non-resident of France. His short story collection Jazz et vin de palme (Jazz and Palm Wine), published in 1982, was banned in the Congo because it satirized those in power. His second novel, Le feu des origines (The Fire of Origins), which appeared in 1987, won the Grand Prix Literaire d’Afrique Noire and the Grand Prix de la Fondation de France. He is published in the U.S. by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Dr. Dongala received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1999. (1998–2014)