Chair of French
Faculty of Arts & Humanities
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.
|University of Paris|
Master of Arts
|To be updated|
Bachelor of Arts
|To be updated|
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-).