Prof Mairead Hanrahan

Prof Mairead Hanrahan

Chair of French


Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2006

Research summary

My research interests focus primarily on twentieth- and twenty-first-century French writing, with a special emphasis on poetic fiction. I am known in particular for my work on Jean Genet and Hélène Cixous, but I have also published on a range of other modern authors from Rimbaud to Duras. Most of my research can be described as close reading of texts, strongly underpinned by a theoretical framework informed above all by psychoanalysis, deconstruction and gender studies. Issues of gender and sexuality have been a constant focus in my work, as has the relation between art and politics. Nearly all my work deals in some way with literature's relationship to its various others: psychoanalysis, philosophy, mathematics, politics, etc.

My principal current research project is a book under contract with Legenda entitled Genet's Genres of Politics. I am also working on two other genre-related projects, one relating to the politics of genre and the other, provisionally entitled 'Genres of Grief', exploring tragedy in the light of trauma studies. I am happy to supervise students in these or other areas of modern French Studies and Comparative Literature.

Teaching summary

Over my career, I have taught the full range of undergraduate courses: language and translation courses, First Year introductions to French literature, civilization and history, Second Year literature courses (eighteenth century, nineteenth century and the contemporary period), and various BA options in my own area of specialization. I have also taught on a wide variety of MA courses, including both disciplinary and interdisciplinary programmes such as Gender and Sexuality, European Studies, and Comparative Literature.


University of Paris
Doctorate, Doctorat | 1994
To be updated
Other higher degree, Master of Arts | 1984
To be updated
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts | 1983


Following my BA amd MA in University College Dublin I went to France to pursue my doctoral studies at Paris 8, before returning to the Department of French in UCD where I worked as Lecturer and subsequently Senior Lecturer. I moved to a Chair of French in UCL in 2006, where I was appointed Head of the French Department (2008-12). I have been Visiting Professor at the Universities of Paris 8, Iowa and Paris 3. I am currently Director of Research and Graduate Tutor in the School of European Languages, Cultures and Society.

I have served as President of the Society for French Studies (2014-16), as a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of University Professors and Heads of French (2008-13) and as President of the Association des Études Françaises et Francophones d’Irlande (2003-05). I am a Permanent Fellow of the London Graduate School (2010-) and for many years have been an Associate Member of the Département d'Etudes de Genre (formerly the Centre de Recherches en Études Féminines) of the Université de Paris 8 (1999-).

I am currently a member of the Editorial Board of Paragraph (2002-); I have also been a member of the Editorial Board of The Irish Journal of French Studies (2000-2003). In addition, I am a member of the Comité Scientifique of GLAD: Revue sur le langage, le genre, les sexualités (2016-).