Brunhilde Biebuyck has worked at Reid Hall since 1984 and became the Paris Center's administrative director in 2010. Prior to that time, she directed the Columbia-Penn undergraduate program and the MA Program in French Cultural Studies. She has lived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, various parts of the USA, and France. Before coming to France, she earned her M.A. and PhD from Indiana University's Folklore Institute, with a thesis analyzing the folktales of the Nkundo-Mongo (DRC).
Her research concentrates on oral traditional narratives, and she is currently working on the French and English translations of an epic collected among the Lega (DRC) by her father, Daniel P. Biebuyck, in the 1950’s. She is a member of the Classiques africains, a prestigious collection of works on African poetry and prose, and the Cahiers de Littérature Orale, the only academic journal in France devoted to oral literature. In addition to leading the Paris Center, she has published articles and edited books on oral tradition.
Brune, as everyone calls her, is working with Meredith J. Levin, Columbia University Libraries, on piecing together the layered history of Reid Hall. The website dedicated to their findings will be launched in 2021.