Dr Clemence O'Connor
Dr Clemence O'Connor

Dr Clemence O'Connor

Agrégation (Paris IV Sorbonne, ENS Ulm), PhD (St Andrews)



Office: Taylor A52 Office phone: (01224 27)2635 School of Language and Literature University of Aberdeen King's College Aberdeen AB24 3UB


I started working at the French Department in 2009, first as a Teaching Fellow and then as a Lecturer, despite daily harrassment from the seagulls outside my office window. I also taught French language, literature and history at the universities of Cambridge and St Andrews. Before that, I lived in Morocco, Brittany and Paris.

Internal Memberships

  • Course coordinator for FR1029 and FR1529.
  • I have curated several exhibitions and public outreach projects on poetry and the visual arts and on individual responses to transnational mobility in the oil and gas industry.

Research Overview

My work examines postwar French poetry in dialogue with visual culture, philosophy and translation studies. I am particularly interested in bilingual or bicultural poets.

My doctoral and subsequent research (2005-9) has cultivated synergies between contemporary French poetry and the fields of visual culture, philosophy, gender studies, translation and bilingualism studies, as well as memory and identity studies. My research monograph on Heather Dohollau encompasses four connected and interdisciplinary issues: text-image interactions, representations of place, exile and memory, poetic performances of philosophical interrogations, bilingualism and the boundaries of language. In this book, they are primarily explored through the work of contemporary Welsh-French poet Heather Dohollau.

I have also published on Marie-Claire Bancquart, André du Bouchet and Béatrice Bonhomme.

Current Research

  • Heather Dohollau: Poetry Between Languages, in press.
  • ‘Heather Dohollau: La poésie comme “langue inconnue”’, in Traversées poétiques des littératures et des langues, ed. Cristina Pîrvu, Béatrice Bonhomme and Dumitra Baron (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2013), pp. 197-229.
  • ‘Étoilement du poème: légèreté et punctum d’une écriture’, in Béatrice Bonhomme: Le mot, la mort, l’amour, ed. Peter Collier and Ilda Tomas (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013), pp. 127-141.
  • ‘“Qui ceint l’énigme”: L’inhumain dans la poésie de Marie-Claire Bancquart’, in Dans le feuilletage de la terre: Sur l’œuvre poétique de Marie-Claire Bancquart, ed. Jacques Moulin et al. (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013), pp. 355-377.
  • ‘Dossier Heather Dohollau’ (introduction, interview with the poet in collaboration with Suzanne Allaire, edition of ten texts, bibliography), Friches, 110 (2012), 15-35.
  • ‘“Un manquement comme bien”: The Unsaid as Poetic Resource in Heather Dohollau’, French Forum, 37 (2012) (special issue entitled Poetic Practice and the Practice of Poetics in French since 1945, ed. Hugues Azérard et al.), 237-255.
  • ‘Translating Non-Figuration: Heather Dohollau’s Poems on Pure Visuality’, French Studies,64 (2010) (special issue entitled New Ekphrastic Poetics, ed. Susan Harrow), 276-289.
  • ‘Les îles d’une écriture’, in Heather Dohollau: L’évidence lumineuse, ed. Daniel Lançon (Bédée: Folle Avoine, 2006), pp. 16-34.
  • ‘Biographie’, co-written with Heather Dohollau, in L’évidence lumineuse, ibid., pp. 161-164.


  • Review of Jean-Claude Mathieu, Philippe Jaccottet: L'évidence du simple et l'éclat de l'obscur, in French Studies, 62 (July 2008), 360-1.
  • Review of Emma Wagstaff, Provisionality and the poem: Transition in the Work of du Bouchet, Jaccottet and Noël, in Forum for Modern Language Studies, 43 (July 2007), 327-8.
  • Review of Margaret Rigaud-Drayton, Henri Michaux: Poetry, Painting, and the Universal Sign in Forum for Modern Language Studies, 42 (October 2006), 467.
  • Review of Glenn W. Fetzer, Palimpsests of the Real in Recent French Poetry in Forum for Modern Language Studies, 42 (October 2006), 463.

Funding and Grants

I have obtained various grants towards events I have organized, such as Women In French In Scotland (2009) and the poet Heather Dohollau's tour of Edinburgh, St Andrews (for the StAnza Festival) and Aberdeen.

February 2009      Runner up (second place) for the Gapper Graduate Essay Prize 2008, Society for French Studies.

2005-2008           Three-year Ph.D. Scholarship, University of St Andrews.


Teaching Responsibilities

  • Undergraduate language and option courses (levels 1 to 4).