Skip to main content

PhD in French Studies

The School offers a PhD in French Studies (four years full-time; seven years part-time). To find out more, click on the links below or scroll down:

Possible areas for doctoral research

Work for a PhD and other research degrees can be done in any of the areas where we can offer expert supervision (please consult the staff list for a full overview of current research interests). However, the Department would particularly like to encourage applications in the areas indicated below -click on the staff member's name to go to his/her webpage.

A: Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern literary, historical, and cultural studies (pre-1800)

Dr Emma Campbell

  • Old French and Anglo-Norman literature

Dr Ingrid de Smet

  • Polemicists, pamphlets and print culture of the French Wars of Religion
  • Early Modern intellectual culture / thought
  • French Neo-Latin literature (including studies in the Classical Tradition and the History of Scholarship)
  • Women and belief

Dr Kate Astbury

  • Reception of women writers and of writings by women in the eighteenth century
  • The Theatre of the French Revolution and/or the Napoleonic era

B: Twentieth-Century French Intellectual History

Professor Jeremy Ahearne

  • Pierre Bourdieu
  • Michel de Certeau

Professor Seán Hand

  • Emmanuel Levinas: ethics, philosophy, literature
  • Twentieth-century critical thought

Professor Nick Hewlett

  • Political thought on the left since 1945, especially Badiou, Balibar, Bourdieu and Rancière

Dr Oliver Davis

  • Jacques Rancière

C: Modern Cultural Studies (literature, film, cultural history, cultural theory)

Dr Pierre-Philippe Fraiture

  • Ethnography and fiction

Dr Samantha Haigh

  • Representations of disability
  • French and Francophone feminism and women's writing

Dr Douglas Morrey

  • French cinema, especially from the New Wave to the present, and in particular the legacies of the New Wave in contemporary French cinema
  • Contemporary French writing and the 'nouveaux réactionnaires', especially Michel Houellebecq and Maurice G. Dantec
  • Science fiction in contemporary French culture
  • Intersections of scientific research and cultural production in modern and contemporary France, especially the life sciences
  • Popular culture, popular music and celebrity in Fifth-Republic France

Professor Jeremy Ahearne

  • History of education; history of the media; education and media debate

Dr Oliver Davis

  • Critical theory
  • Queer theory
  • Contemporary French fiction

Dr Jessica Wardhaugh

  • Street politics; popular theatre; right-wing culture

D: Francophone postcolonial studies

Dr Pierre-Philippe Fraiture

  • Francophone culture from Belgium
  • Colonial writing and the exotic imagination
  • Post-colonial Sub-Saharan fiction and thought

Dr Samantha Haigh

  • Writing from the francophone Caribbean (including Haiti)

E: French politics and Cultural policy

Professor Jeremy Ahearne

  • Cultural and educational policy debates

Professor Nick Hewlett

  • Politics since 1945, especially the left and far left

Dr Jessica Wardhaugh

  • Modern French history; street politics; popular theatre; right-wing culture

Current doctoral research

Staff supervise a broad range of doctoral research projects.

  • 'French Literature on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict' (R Vince)
  • 'Napoleonic Prisoners of War and their Theatricals, 1803-15' (D Cox)
  • 'Maurice Blanchot: Art and Technology' (H Langstaff)
  • 'The Development of La Rochelle's Culture and Identity c. 1560-1630' (R Pilliere)
  • ‘Enlightening Insects: Insects and the Formation of the French Enlightenment 1700-1789’ (E Wallmann)

Completed doctoral research

PhD dissertations successfully completed in French Studies include:

  • Reframing Drag Performance: Beyond Theorisations of Drag as Subverting or Upholding the Status Quo (K Stokoe)
  • 'Nomads' Land: Space and Narrative in the Work of Tierno Monénembo' (Hannah Grayson)
  • 'Rewriting History through the Performance of Tragedy, 1799-1815' (C Siviter)
  • 'Shifting Identities: An Examination of French Caribbean Texts in Translation' (S Scales)
  • 'Travelling Saints and Religious Travellers in 12th-14th Century Francophone and Occitan Literary Texts' (M Everitt)
  • 'Guy Debord's Situationism: Theory, Politics, Ethics, Protest' (A Corcos)
  • 'The Heuristics of Narrativity in the Works of Jean-Philippe Toussaint' (W Crichton)
  • 'The militant politics of Auguste Blanqui' (P Le Goff)
  • 'Early Modern French Women's Theatre: A Study in Aesthetics' (Jonathan Durham)
  • 'The memoirs and novels of French noblewomen émigrées of the Revolution (1789-1830)' (L Philip)
  • 'Vichy on screen: the portrayal of life under Pétain in documentary andnewsreel film, 1940-1944' (D Lees)
  • 'Jacques Maritain, 'l'esprit dur et le coeur doux' - his legacy to Catholic-Jewish relations, as shown in Le Paysan de la Garonne' (L Casey)
  • 'La poétique du couple ou la pathologie de l'imposture: Les normes à l'épreuve de leurs représentations' (V Sauzon)
  • 'Representations of the Saracen in Medieval French and Occitan Literature' (V Turner)
  • 'Interwar Trotskyist trade unionism' (C Blakey)
  • 'French Revolutionary Prints as Spectacle' (AHRC collaborative doctoral award) (C Trevien)
  • 'Political Islam and the Decolonisation of Algeria' (M O'Byrne)
  • 'Bourdieu and Literature' (J R W Speller)
  • 'Representations of sexuality in the films of François Ozon (1998-2005)' (A Stanley)
  • 'Tradition, Transformation and Translation: the effects of local language and customs upon the translation of Francophone women’s literature from Senegal' (PhD in Translation Studies) (G Collins)
  • 'La Fable postcoloniale' (V Bruyère)
  • 'Evil in the Late Novels of Victor Hugo' (P. Mines)
  • 'The Fictional and Theoretical Writings of Pierre Klossowski' (I. James)
  • 'The Culture of Colonialism: France and Indo-China' (N. Cooper)
  • 'Music in the Novels of Roger Laporte and Maurice Roche' (T. Deller)
  • 'Presidentialism under the Fifth Republic'
  • 'Jean-Luc Godard's Other History of Cinema' (D. Morrey)

For further information or to discuss your proposed research in more detail, please contact:

Dr Oliver Davis, Director of Graduate Studies (French Studies)
O dot Davis at warwick dot ac dot uk