Tant que la lecture est pour nous
l'initiatrice dont les clefs magiques nous ouvrent au fond de nous-mêmes la porte des demeures
où nous n'aurions pas su pénétrer, son rôle
dans notre vie est salutaire.
(Marcel Proust, Sur la lecture)
The French Department at Aberdeen provides a stimulating and supportive research environment within a very dynamic and friendly Department with a track record of excellence in research and a broad experience of postgraduate supervision.
The Department was ranked the leading French department in Scotland in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2008), following its a 'starred five' (the highest possible rating) in RAE200. We offer a wide range of specialisation for postgraduate research, leading to the degrees of MLitt and PhD. All full-time staff are active in research and research-led teaching.
Members of the Department are closely involved in a number of recently established taught MLitt programmes in Comparative Literature; in Visual Culture; in Early Modern Studies; and in Medieval Studies.
Main areas of research strength include 'Modern Literature and Thought' (Àine Larkin, Christopher Fynsk, Nadia Kiwan, Michael Syrotinski); 'Comparative Literature' (Christopher Fynsk, Àine Larkin, Michael Syrotinski, Bruno Tribout); 'Contemporary French Politics and Society' (Nadia Kiwan); 'Francophone Literature and Film' (Michael Syrotinski); 'Early Modern Literature and Thought' (Alison Saunders, Bruno Tribout); 'Medieval Studies' (Glynn Hesketh, Margaret Jubb); French cinema (Katherine Groo, Margaret Jubb, Laura McMahon, Bruno Tribout); Literature and Photography, with particular reference to Marcel Proust (Aine Larkin); Contemporary women writers in French (Aine Larkin, Clémence O’Connor, Margaret Jubb); French Poetry (Margaret Jubb, Clémence O’Connor).
We also welcome interdisciplinary research involving more than one Department: recent postgraduates have, for example, worked on topics combining French with Philosophy, English, Film and History of Art. The successful and popular MLitt in Comparative Literature, launched in 2007, was one of the first of its kind in the United Kingdom.
The College of Arts and Social Sciences provides an induction course for new research students, which all our postgraduates attend. Students have full access to the resources of the University library with its holdings of one and a quarter million items. The Library has excellent holdings in all fields of French Studies. Additionally, it has built up particularly rich resources in the areas of emblem studies, contemporary French theory and French-speaking Caribbean and African literature and culture. Students are provided with computing facilities and an e-mail address, and all full-time postgraduates are normally offered office space with their own PC. They are also welcome to take part in the University's extensive Professional Development programmes of training courses and workshops covering areas as diverse as time management, web authoring, career planning etc.
Postgraduate degrees in French typically lead to careers in University teaching and research in this country or abroad (doctoral graduates have been appointed to lectureships in Florida, London, Dublin, Belfast, Trinidad and Sheffield), but they can equally lead to careers in, for example, academic administration, the civil service, the EU, international organisations, industry or the media.
A fully-funded 3-year AHRC scholarship in French will be available in 2012. The College of Arts and Social Sciences offers a range of other competitive funding opportunities, including Research Project Award Schemes, and an open funding scheme. Students applying for a PhD in French are eligible to apply for the Isabella Middleton top-up scholarship in French. Some additional funding is available to support research and conference travel. Research students may be offered the opportunity to undertake a small amount of paid undergraduate teaching.
Professor Christopher Fynsk concentrates on intersections between modern literature and philosophy, and has a special interest in French psychoanalytic theory. He has written on a number of authors in the French post-structuralist movement, and has dedicated himself to the writings of Maurice Blanchot throughout much of his career.
Dr Glynn Hesketh is the editor of a 3-volume Anglo-Norman theological encyclopedia, La Lumere as Lais (1996-2000) and of an Anglo-Norman Life of St Katherine of Alexandria (2000). He is currently working on further Old French theological and encyclopedic texts. He also works in Linguistics and is currently supervising (jointly with English) a PhD thesis on accommodation theory in conversational analysis. He would welcome research projects in mediaeval language and literature, in the history of the French language, or in linguistics.
Dr Margaret Jubb specialises in the study of mediaeval French Crusade historiography and of literary representations of the Crusades, and has published The Legend of Saladin in Western Literature and Historiography (2000). She has also worked on the Vie de saint Alexis as part of an interdisciplinary project on the St Albans Psalter launched on the Web in July 2003. She would welcome research projects on any aspect of mediaeval French literature, and more particularly on Crusade texts; the development of prose writing in the vernacular; the interface between epic and historiography; the adaptation of medieval texts by writers in later centuries; interdisciplinary work with History of Art on the relationship between illustration and text in mediaeval manuscripts.
Dr Nadia Kiwan has an academic background in French Studies and Sociology, and works in the field of contemporary Francophone studies. She specialises in issues related to citizenship, migration, contemporary political culture and cultural production in contemporary France, particularly among North African-origin populations. Her recent publications include Cultural Globalization and Music: African Artists in Transnational Networks (co-authored with Ulrike Hanna Meinhof, Palgrave Macmillan 2011) and Identities, Discourses and Experiences: Young People of North African Origin in France (Manchester University Press 2009). She would welcome research projects in areas relating to migration, transnationalism, citizenship, new social movements, political discourse, cultural/audio-visual arts policy, and post-colonial cultural production in France.
Dr Áine Larkin’s first book Proust Writing Photography: Fixing the Fugitive in ‘À la recherche du temps perdu’ was published by Legenda in 2011. Together with text/image relations, particularly in relation to photography, her research interests include literature and medicine, the literary representation of music and dance, and contemporary women’s writing in French, and she would welcome research projects in these fields, as well as on theatre, comparative work focusing on French and English literature and film, and translation.
Dr Laura McMahon specialises in French and Francophone cinema, contemporary French philosophy and critical theory, with a particular focus on issues of community, relationality and responsibility. Her forthcoming monograph, Cinema and Contact: The Withdrawal of Touch in Nancy, Bresson, Duras and Denis (Oxford: Legenda, 2011), draws on the work of Jean-Luc Nancy in an investigation of the aesthetics and politics of touch in cinema. Her current research project explores the idea of community in contemporary French and Francophone film and thought. She is also interested in the relation between animality and moving image technologies and is currently co-editing a volume of essays (with Michael Lawrence), provisionally entitled Animal Life and the Moving Image. She would welcome research projects on: intersections between film and philosophy; French and Francophone cinema; aesthetics and politics; articulations of community in the visual arts; moving image technologies and animal life; visual culture and the senses.
Professor Alison Saunders (Emeritus Professor of French) specialises in the interdisciplinary field of emblem studies. She has recently published The Seventeenth-Century French Emblem: a Study in Diversity (2000) and the co-authored Bibliography of French Emblem Books of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (vol. I 1998, vol. II 2002). Earlier works include The Sixteenth-Century French Emblem Book: a Decorative and Useful Genre (1988) and Catalogue des poésies françaises de la Bibilothèque de l'Arsenal, 1501-1600 (1985). She is currently working on a bibliography of the 17th century French Jesuit polymath Claude-François Menestrier and a monograph on moralising French verse in the Renaissance.
Professor Michael Syrotinski has published widely in 20th century French literature, literary theory, and Francophone African literature and culture. He has published, among other volumes, an edited special issue of Yale French Studies on Jean Paulhan; a translation and critical edition of Paulhan’s best known text Les Fleurs de Tarbes; Defying Gravity: Jean Paulhan's Interventions in Twentieth-Century French Intellectual History (1998); Singular Performances: Reinscribing the Subject in Francophone African Writing (2002); and Deconstruction and the Postcolonial: At the Limits of Theory (2007). He would welcome research projects on Francophone, particularly West African literature, philosophy, culture and film; other areas of francophonie, especially the Caribbean, North Africa, 20th and 21st century French literature, philosophy, intellectual history, literary theory, translation; intersections between deconstruction and postcolonial theory. He would also be keen to supervise projects which traverse different fields.
Dr Bruno Tribout works at the interface of literature, historiography and political philosophy in seventeenth-century France. He has recently published a study on what it meant to write about conspiracies and revolts in the reign of Louis XIV – Les Récits de conjurations sous Louis XIV (Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval, 2011). He is currently working on the early historiography of the civil war known as the Fronde (1648-53) and its repressed memory in the era of Louis XIV. He would welcome research projects on any aspect of early-modern French literature and culture, and more particularly proposals relating to forms and ideologies of history and counter-history (historical novels, history on stage, Memoirs); writing the Self (correspondence, auto/biographies, diaries, confessions); and moral and political thought in theatre and prose fiction. He would also be particularly keen to discuss, as a potential co-supervisor, projects on the early-modern period with an interdisciplinary dimension involving languages or fields other than French.
French and Francophone Studies · School
of Language & Literature
University of Aberdeen · King's College · Aberdeen AB24 3UB
Telephone: +44 (0)1224-272625· Fax: +44 (0)1224-272624· Email: email@example.com
Home · Prospective students
· Prospectuses · A
to Z Index · Search