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Research in French

research in French

French at Royal Holloway has a world-class reputation for research excellence and for the depth, breadth and strength of our interests. 

Our cutting-edge work ranges from the medieval to the 21st century and spans literature, cinema, thought and the visual arts.

Recent publications

Find out more about our recent publications in French Studies here.

Interdisciplinary approaches

Our research is characterised by innovative interdisciplinary approaches and methods and by original and exciting themes. 

Current research in French is concerned with subjects such as the representation of the body, consumerism, disability, food, the Holocaust and globalisation.

Other focal points for our work include cultural memory and marginality, gender and spectatorship, philosophy and ethics, the postcolonial and the transnational, and critical theory and post-theory.

Our academics

Our teaching and research culture is informed by the international conferences, colloquia and seminars we organise. Our recent themes have been as diverse as ‘Animality’ in 17th century France, Contemporary French Women’s Writing, Global Cities and Visual Culture, May 1968, Proust and the Society for French Studies’ annual conference.

We also deliver plenary papers and speak at conferences and research seminars across the globe, such as at the Conseil d’Europe and the Tate Modern. You will find us writing biographies, contributing to the Times Literary Supplement, being interviewed on French radio, acting as consultants for the BBC and language advisors for film adaptations as well as curating and writing catalogues for international art exhibitions and editing and presenting DVD releases.

Our work is at the cutting edge of our fields, so we are members of the most important scholarly societies and academic networks, sit on the boards of prestigious presses and peer-reviewed journals and win major Arts and Humanities Research Council funding bids. We also boast a recent winner and runner up of the Society for French Studies’ top research accolade – the Gapper Book Prize.

Opportunities for postgraduates

We always welcome postgraduate researchers and the extensive array of our research interests and our world-class reputation mean we can offer excellent supervision for PhD and Masters by Research students in French, Francophone and Comparative topics.

Recent research undertaken by our postgraduates includes:

• Auvergnat troubadours

• Bonnefoy

• Cultural memory

• Duras’s fiction and cinema

• Ethics and spectatorship in contemporary French cinema

• Female responsibility in Levinas

• Irigaray and the family in 19th century French art and literature

• Houellebecq

• Mérimée

• Modiano

• Scandal in Aymé

• Genet

• Nimier and Vian

• Occitan dialogue poems

• Proust

• Racine, and Zola 

• Representations of food in late 20th century fiction

• Japan in Francophone fiction.

Our Masters by Research offers graduates a rare opportunity to conduct a substantial piece of academic research at Masters level. 

We welcome both full- and part-time students who find that these degrees offer a powerful way to explore their individual research interests in the depth and breadth not normally achievable through a taught MA.

Some of our students use this course as the first building block for subsequent doctoral study, while others use it to develop writing and research skills that are sought after in a wide range of careers.

We are always delighted to talk about our research and welcome applications and expressions of interest  for full- or part-time study from near and far

Take a look at our research profile and contact us or the School’s Director of Graduate Studies  Dr Sarah Wright directly.

Ruth Cruickshank research


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