Research in French
French at RHUL has a world-class reputation for research excellence, and for the depth, strength and breadth of our interests. Our cutting-edge work ranges from the medieval to the twenty-first century, spanning literature, cinema, thought and the visual arts. Recent publications include works on Cocteau, corporeal taboos in nineteenth-century France, critical excess in Derrida, Deleuze, Levinas, Žižek and Cavell, ethics and violence, ghost stories in late Renaissance France, Godard, Flaubert’s letters on Montaigne, fin de millénaire French fiction, Occitan troubadours, Proust, Rabelais, Renoir and surrealist women. We also adopt innovative interdisciplinary approaches including critical approaches to the representation of the body, consumerism, disability, food, the Holocaust and globalisation; and questions of crosscultural and chronological influences, cultural memory and marginality, gender and spectatorship, poetry and translation, philosophy and ethics, the postcolonial and the transnational, reading and overreading and theory and posttheory.
Our teaching and research culture is informed by the international conferences, colloquia and seminars we organize,with recent themes as diverse as ‘Animality’ in Seventeenth century France, Contemporary French Women’s Writing, Global Cities and Visual Culture, May 1968, Proust and the Society for French Studies’ annual conference.
We deliver plenary papers and speak at conferences and research seminars all over the world, as well as at the Conseil d’Europe and Tate Modern, for instance. You will also find us writing biographies, contributing to the Times Literary Supplement, being interviewed on French radio, acting as consultants for the BBC and language advisors for film adaptations, curating and writing catalogues for international art exhibitions and editing and presenting DVD releases.
Our work is at the cutting edge of our fields, so we are members of the most important scholarly societies and academic networks, sit on the boards of prestigious presses and peer-reviewed journals and win major AHRC funding bids. We also boast a recent winner and runner up of The Society for French Studies’ top research accolade, the Gapper Book Prize.
We always welcome postgraduate researchers, and the extensive range of our research interests and our world-class reputation mean that we can offer excellent supervision for PhD and Masters by Research students in French, Francophone and Comparative topics. Recent research undertaken by postgraduates spans Auvergnat troubadours, Bonnefoy, cultural memory, Duras’s fiction and cinema, ethics and spectatorship in contemporary French cinema, female responsibility in Levinas, Irigaray and the family in nineteenth-century French art and literature, Houellebecq, Mérimée, Modiano, scandal in Aymé, Genet, Nimier and Vian, Occitan dialogue poems, Proust, Racine, and Zola and representations of food in late twentieth-century fiction, and of Japan in Francophone fiction .
Our Masters by Research offers graduates a rare opportunity to conduct a substantial piece of academic research at Masters level. We welcome both full and part-time students, who find that these degrees offer a powerful way to explore their individual research interests in the kind of depth and breadth not normally achievable within the constraints of a taught MA. Some students use the Masters by Research as the first building block for subsequent doctoral study, while others use it to develop writing and research skills that are sought after in a wide range of careers.
We are always delighted to talk about our research and welcome applications and expressions of interest for full- and part-time study from near and far, so to find out more about us and our research activities, take a look at our profiles and contact us directly |or the School’s Director of Graduate Studies, Dr Sarah Wright, sarah.wrightrhul.ac.uk.