Cynthia Running-Johnson

Photo of Cynthia Running-Johnson
Cynthia Running-Johnson
Professor of French and Professor of Gender and Women's Studies
(269) 387-3021
(269) 387-6333
819 Sprau Tower, Mail Stop 5338
Mailing address: 
Department of World Languages and Literatures
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5338 USA
  • Ph.D., French Literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1985
  • M.A., French Literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1976
  • B.A., French, Art, and Education, Luther College, 1975
Teaching interests: 
  • French culture, especially 19th through 21st centuries
  • French language
  • French literature, especially 19th through 21st centuries
  • Gender studies
Research interests: 
  • French theater
  • Gender studies
  • Modern and contemporary French literature and culture

Dr. Cynthia Running-Johnson is a faculty advisory council member of the global and international studies program and is an associate professor and advisor of French in the Department of World Languages and Literatures, with a joint appointment as associate professor of Gender and Women's Studies at Western Michigan University.

Running-Johnson knew the joys of languages and art from an early age, accompanying her artist parents when they led study abroad trips in Europe. In college she learned to appreciate literature through her French classes. In graduate school, she worked in theatre production while studying French literature and culture. During her graduate studies she taught as an assistant to English teachers at a high school in Lyon, France, and earned a certificate in art at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris.

Running-Johnson has taught French and Francophone language, literature and culture at Western Michigan University since 1986. From 1984 to 1986, she taught French language and literature and humanities courses at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn. She has regularly led WMU study abroad programs to France since 1989, founding the summer program in Lyon and serving on the committee that established WMU's semester-long program in Besançon. From 2003 to 2012, she was chair of the department.