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Research in French Studies

We maintain a dual strategy of encouraging new work in traditional areas of literary, textual and historical scholarship across a wide chronological range, and promoting the development of original interdisciplinary work in established and emerging areas of French and francophone culture, society and thought.

Staff in French Studies are members of the editorial or advisory boards of leading journals and book series, including the International Journal of Cultural Policy, Francophone Postcolonial Studies, Renaissance Studies and Film-Philosophy.

Support for postgraduate work is essential to our research culture. Students share ideas, attend seminars and benefit from joint research initiatives through the Centre for Arts Doctoral Research Excellence, and the Humanities Research Centre.

Colleagues' research has been supported by a range of external funding bodies, including the British Academy, AHRC, The Leverhulme Trust, Modern Humanities Research Association and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

In 2016-17, French Studies hosts 9 PhD students. Our postdoctoral researchers are funded by the British Academy, the Newton International Fund, and the AHRC.

Professor Ingrid De Smet

Professor Ingrid De Smet

Director of Research: French Studies

REF 2014 Research Excellence Framework

79.7% of our work was ranked in the highest categories of 4* or 3*, meaning our research outputs were ranked 5th in the UK.

Research areas

  • Medieval literature and culture
  • Renaissance, early modern, and 18th-century studies
  • Literature, culture and society in the long 19th century (1789–1914)
  • Cultural memory (especially postcolonial and transnational)
  • Contemporary representations of bodily differences, gender and sexuality
  • Modern French philosophy
  • French film studies
  • Cultural policy studies, political thought and social history