The French Department is committed to fostering research in the language, literature and culture of France and Francophone areas, and in contemporary French history and society. We have particular strengths in the early modern period, the visual arts, music, French culture in developing countries, 19th- and 20th-century Literature, and critical theory. We collaborate extensively with other departments especially in the fields of Medieval Studies, Visual and Literary Cultures, Comparative Literature, and Conflict and Culture.
The Department welcomes applications from students wishing to pursue tailor-made research to Masters or doctoral level. Research training is primarily geared to each project, but postgraduates also participate in Arts Faculty training programmes on research and writing skills and, where appropriate, on critical theory. All postgraduates are integrated into a vigorous programme of research seminars, and also into the research activities of the Department, the School of Modern Languages and the Faculty.
The Department is a regional centre of the Group for War and Culture Studies, and with the History of Art Department jointly administers the Centre for the Study of Visual and Literary Cultures in France. A number of our staff are prominent members of leading journals or subject associations. A network of partnerships has been set up with French Universities, and a co-tutelle arrangement for doctoral students may be possible in certain cases. Postgraduate students also have the opportunity to benefit from an exchange agreement with the Ecole Normale Supériure, or to take an exchange lectureship post in Bordeaux.
Dr Marianne Ailes, Medieval French literature, especially the chansons de geste and early vernacular chronicles.
Dr Edward Forman, Ethical aspects of tragedy, particularly Racine; French stage music in the 17th- and early 20th-centuries.
Professor Susan Harrow, Visual and literary cultures; Zola; modern French poetry, President of the Society for French Studies.
Dr Martin Hurcombe, 20th-century cultural representations of conflict in France; cultural politics and political engagement in the interwar years.
Professor John Parkin, 16th-century French literature and culture, especially François Rabelais.
Professor Gino Raymond, French society, ideas and the literature of commitment.
Dr Nick Rees-Roberts, Contemporary film and cultural studies.
Professor Rodney Sampson, Romance philology.
Dr Siobhan Shilton, Francophone postcolonial studies.
Dr Bradley Stephens, Cultures of 'engagement' in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Dr Rowan Tomlinson, Renaissance culture, particularly the poetics and politics of artisanship.
Emeritus Professor Tim Unwin, The 19th-century novel, with emphasis on travel and technology (Jules Verne, Gustave Flaubert).