Postgraduate research in French Studies

As a research student in French Studies you will enjoy a thriving research culture, supported by staff with specialisms stretching across history.

Why Manchester? roundel

Benefit from creative professional development via a dedicated Graduate School and have access to one of the UK's leading research libraries, as well as the resources of the University's state-of-the-art Language Centre.

View our range of programmes, and the support available for our postgraduate researchers.


Finding a supervisor

Our postgraduate research students benefit from a very wide range of supervision, thanks to the diverse expertise of our academic staff. We also have a strong record of success in joint supervision, allowing you to work with two supervisors who have complementary specialist fields.

Our team's research interests include:

  • 20th and 21st century French and francophone society
  • Popular music and visual culture
  • French cinema
  • Post-war French philosophy
  • Holocaust culture and philosophy
  • 19th century French literature and painting
  • Performance and critical theory, contemporary dance and qualitative audience studies
  • Representations of ethnicity, gender, sexuality and their reception
  • French linguistics, pragmatics and discourse analysis
  • Text editing
  • Art and science

See our French Studies staff list

Current PhD students

  • Sarah Davison – ‘Re-viewing Terrorism: Contemporary French Approaches to Representing Terror in Film (2001 - 2018)'
  • Katherine Goodson Walker – ‘The Manufacture of Nostalgia in French Court Ballet'

Past PhD students

  • Farah Abou Bakr: 'Framing Palestinian Collective Memory in Speak Bird, Speak, Again, Qul ya Tayer Arab Folktales from Palestine and Israel'.
  • Chris Bamford: 'Investigating the Figural: Jean-François Lyotard’s Writings on Art'. Supervised by Dee Reynolds, co-supervision with Art History and Visual Studies. PhD awarded 2011. Aims to identify aspects of the figural, as used principally by Jean-François Lyotard in his writings from the early 1970s, which continue to perform a critical function within contemporary art theory and practice. 
  • Adi Bharat – ‘Representations of Jewish-Muslim Relations in Contemporary France’
  • Fabienne Cheung – ‘Identity in Play: Michel Leiris, Georges Perec, and Marcel Bénabou’
  • Louise Crowther: 'Diderot and Lessing as exemplars of a post-Spinozist mentality'. Supervised by David Adams, with German Studies. PhD awarded 2008. Published by Legenda (Oxford, 2010)
  • Kaya Davies Hayon, 'Representations of people of Maghrebi origin and the body in contemporary cinema'.
  • Justyna Drobnik-Rogers: 'Krysztof Warlikowski’s Theatre and the possibility of Encounter'.
  • Shantel Ehrenberg: 'The Dancing Self/Other: Kinesthesia and Dancing Self-images in Three Dance Styles'.
  • Bob Gillan: 'Transgression in French Literature from Sade to Bataille'. Supervised by David Adams. PhD awarded 2006.
  • Uwe Groschel: 'New Paradigms for Researching Theatre Audiences at Contact Theatre, Manchester'.
  • Pauline Henry-Tierney: 'Gynocentric translation: Establishing a corpus of gender-conscious translation strategies in the translation of recent French and francophone women's writing'.
  • Emma Heywood, 'Foreign Conflict Reporting Post-9/11 and Post-Cold War: A Comparative Analysis of European Television News Coverage of the Middle East Conflict'. Supervised by Joseph McGonagle, co-supervision with Russian and East European Studies. PhD awarded July 2014.
  • Claire Humphrey: 'Representing Feminine Subjectivities in Contemporary Paris'. Supervised by Ursula Tidd and Darren Waldron. PhD awarded 2011. Explores the relation between female subjectivities and the urban spaces of Paris, using texts in different media from 1980 to the present.
  • Klem James: 'Surrealism and Sublimation: Art and literature between Psychoanalysis and Alchemy'. Supervised by Dee Reynolds, co-supervision with Art History and Visual Studies. PhD awarded 2010. Sets out the arguments for Surrealism’s non-repressive reading of sublimation in order to counter the prevailing view of the movement as foreclosing the sexual and the material (in other words, the desublimatory).
  • Luciana Kaross: 'The lyrics translation of Morrissey's songs in Brazilian Portuguese'.
  • Joshua Thomas Kirby: 'Natural Law in the Encyclopédie (1751-1765): The Role of Ethnographic Paradigms'.
  • Monika Kukolova - 'Generational Conflict in Contemporary Francophone African Cinema: Effects of Globalisation' (co-supervised with Darren Waldron).
  • Amélie Mons: 'The Experience of the Real in Jan Fabre's and Romeo Castellucci's Theatres'.
  • James Murphy: 'Apologies in political discourse'.
  • Lucy Neat Ward– ‘Concern, Compassion, Curiosity: Understanding Care and Nonhuman Animals in Early Modern France'
  • Katherine Roy: 'Cartographies of the "East" and "West" in the Works of Emine Sevgi Ozdamar and Leïla Sebbar'. Supervised by Barbara Lebrun, co-supervision with German Studies. PhD awarded 2009. A Deleuzian and comparative study of ‘minority’ female writing between German-Turkish and French-Algerian authors, looking at representations of the female, foreign-speaking ‘Other’ in contemporary writing.
  • Deirdre Russell: 'Narrative identity in contemporary French literary and filmic autobiographical texts'. Supervised by Ursula Tidd and Darren Waldron. PhD awarded 2008.
  • Lucy Stone: 'Consoling Encounters: Men, Masculinity and the Female Rebel in French Women's Fiction, 1900-1913'.
  • Nick Treuherz: 'French exiles in Enlightenment Germany and the spread of atheism (1685 – 1789)'.
  • Karen Wood: 'Audiences, Screen Dance and Kinesthetic Empathy'.
  • Matthew Yeo: 'The acquisition of books by Chetham's Library 1655-1700'. Supervised by David Adams. PhD awarded 2009. Published by Brill (Leiden, 2011)