Research Seminars 2018-2019

Semester 2 | 2019

February 7

sombre / vox ghost tongue

Prof. Yasser Elhariry (Dartmouth College, USA)

Taking its cue from the title of Ryoko Sekiguchi’s La Voix sombre (P.O.L, 2015), this talk offers a close reading of the polysemia of the French word sombre by way of an overview of theories and practices of listening. It alternates between transhistorical intertextual silences and vocalizations, and close readings of poetry by Sekiguchi, Luc Bénazet, and Christophe Tarkos, interweaving them in the process with a pop cultural landscape composed of the hauntings of memory and the unlocatability of the sound object. Trailing throughout this soundfield are all manners and shadows of ghost: the talk closes with late perfomer-poet Tarkos’s very first public appearance at cipM on 14 May 1993.

March 14

Samuel Beckett and (post)colonial France: the politics of domesticity

Prof. Hélène Lecossois (Professor of Irish Literary Studies, University of Lille, France)

ORB 1.24 @ 17.00

March 21

Women, Immigration and Transnational Identities in Recent Quebec Culture

Prof. Juliette Rogers (French and Francophone Studies, Macalester College, USA

March 29


Dr Arthur Asseraf, Trinity College, Cambridge (UK)



Semester 1 | 2018

November 28 - Research Seminar

A Tale of Two Monuments: Commemorating the First World War in Algerial and France

Dr Dónal Hassett - Department of French

ORB G.27 @ 4pm


September 13 

Claude Pélieu: On All Frequencies

James Horton (École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France)

(in collaboration with UCC Library and the Claude Pélieu exhibition)

Research Seminars 2017-2018

Semester 2 | 2018

March 8 - French Symposium

- Professor Kate Marsh, University of Liverpool

‘Policing the Other: Anti-Colonial Agitators and Dangerous Revolutionaries in Interwar Le Havre’

- Dr Maria Flood, Keele University

‘Critics and Controversy: Two Francophone films on Terrorism’ 

ORB 1.24 @ 16.00


March 6 - French Film Festival Masterclass

with Gaël Morel

CACSSS Seminar Room G27 @ 16.00


March 1 - Research Seminar

Are jobs and professions gendered in France?

Prof. Joëlle Popineau, Université de Tours

ORB 1.24 @ 16.00


Semester 1 | 2017

November 9 - Research Seminar and Workshop on Conflict Violence and Gender

hosted by Department of French UCC and the CASiLaC Research Cluster Conflict, Gender and Violence

- 3-4pm: Nicoletta Mandolini, Department of Italian:

‘Hypergendered Victims and Genderless Perpetrators: Journalistic Representations of Feminicide in Italy'

- 4-5pm: Caroline Williamson, Department of French:

‘What is really unspeakable? Gendered editorial interventions in Rwandan genocide testimonies’


Research Seminars 2016-2017

Semester One

26-27 September 2016 International workshop organised by Caroline Williamson (Department of French, UCC). ‘On Pandering to a Western Readership: Building a Network around Activist Translation’. O'Rahilly Building, CACSSS Seminar Room (G27). An Irish Research Council New Foundations Project

October 14-16 Department of French hosts Annual Conference of the Association des Études Françaises et Francophones d’Irlande (ADEFFI). This year’s theme is ‘Obéissance’ and the conference will see delegates from Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Romania, Spain, Tunisia, the UK and the US.

November 10. Research Seminar. Patrick O’Donovan (Department of French, UCC), ‘Certeau’s landscapes: the image and the agency of form’.  ORB 1.24, 17.00.

November 23. Guest Lecture. Olivia Walsh (University of Nottingham), ‘Linguistic Purism in France and Quebec’. Elect Eng. L1, 11.00. Co-hosted with BA World Languages.

November 24. Research Seminar. Patrick Crowley (Department of French, UCC), ‘The Conflict of Memories: the National Museum of the History of Immigration, Palais de la Porte Dorée, Paris’. ORB. 1.24, 17.00. Co-hosted with the CASiLaC Memory Studies Cluster and ISS21 Migration and Integration Research Cluster.

December 8. Research Seminar. Margot Spencer (Department of French, UCC), ‘Increasing Language Diversity in Ireland and its Impact on the Translation Professions: the 2011 Census’. ORB. 1.24, 17.00

Semester Two

Tuesday February 21, Kate Hodgson (Department of French): Screening of the film Belle Ville, winner of the ‘Best World Short’ award at IndieCork 2016, followed by discussion via Skype with Franco-Korean director Jung Wonhee. 2.30-4pm, Boole 5. In partnership with the ISS21 Migration and Integration research cluster.

 Monday March 6, Film Masterclass with Yann Arthus-Bertrand  4-6pm in ORB G27 in partnership with the Cork French Film Festival.

 Wednesday March 8Azouz Begag (Writer, Politician, Sociologist and former delegate French Minister for Equal Opportunities) 5pm in Elect Eng. L1   (title tbc)

 Wednesday 8 March, Professor Stef Craps (Ghent University): ‘The Trouble with Trauma’ at 6pm in partnership with the CASiLaC research cluster on Violence, Conflict and Gender.

 Thursday March 23, Professor Celia Britton (University College London): ‘Sexuality and Racial Politics in Maryse Condé’s La Belle Créole'. ORB 1.24, 16.30,.

 Thursday March 30, Matthieu Saladin (Université de Paris 8 and practitioner): ‘La capture de l'inaudible’, ORB, 1.24, 16.30,.


French Research Seminars 15-16

CASiLaC Research Forum, Paul Hegarty (Department of French),‘Foucault and War’ORB 1.24 16. 30, January 14, 2015

Professor Christophe Gillissen, Université de Caen, ‘Vers une histoire de la laïcité’, , Kane AL 19, 11.00, January 15.

Dr David Keane, (Middlesex University), ‘Cartoons, Comics and Human Rights after the Charlie-Hebdo Massacre’ Chair / Discussant: Dr Patrick Crowley, Department of French, CACSSS Seminar Room G27, (Ground floor) O’Rahilly Building, Monday January 19, 12.30-2pm. Organised in conjunction with the Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights, School of Law, UCC.

Guy Debord, Diagrams of Revolution’. An exhibition on Guy Debord organised in conjunction with the UCC Library across February and March 2015. This event will involve colleagues from the BNF and further collaboration with the Triskel Arts Centre and the Cork French Film Festival. The event opens on February 4 in the Foyer of UCC Library. A range of films on, and by, Debord will be shown. Experimental, sometimes shocking, always provocative, these films are rarely screened. This exhibition will allow many to view these for the first time. La Société du Spectacle will be screened as part of the Cork French Film Festival on March 5 at 18.00 in the Film Studies Auditorium, Windle Building UCC; Guy Debord. Son art et son temps will be shown at the Christchurch, Triskel Arts Centre (Monday March 2 at 14.45) and this will be followed by a reading of poetry by Alice Debord; on Thursday March 5 there will be a screening of Hurlements en faveur de Sade (13. 00, Sisk Gallery, Glucksman, UCC) and in the same venue and time In girum will be shown on Thursday March 12.

Guy Debord: Diagrams of Revolution: Seminar and Film  March 2

10.00am        ‘Guy Debord through his archives’. A seminar on Guy Debord by Laurence Le Bras, Dept. of Manuscripts, Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF),  CACSSS Mary Ryan Meeting Room, O’Rahilly Building, University College Cork

14.45pm        Guy Debord. Son art et son temps.  This film will be shown in the Christchurch, Triskel Arts Centre, and followed by a reading of poetry by Alice Debord. Entry is free.

Guy Debord: Diagrams of Revolution Thursday  March 26 UCC Library

12.00am       ‘What have we learned from the spectacle of Guy Debord?’   by Carl Williams, Counter Culture expert at Maggs Bros., one of London’s oldest and most important antiquarian booksellers.,  Library Board Room, UCC Library, University College Cork (

14.30pm       ‘1968, Guy Debord and all that’, a response to Guy Debord: Diagrams of Revolution at UCC Library by Danny Morrison, Belfast writer, critic and commentator.  Library Learning Zone, UCC Library, University College Cork.


Caroline Williamson (Department of French) ‘Gender, identity and posttraumatic growth in Rwanda: A new reading of trauma’ Research Seminar, ORB 1.24 March 23, 16.00

Mary Noonan (Department of French) and Martín Veiga (Department of Hispanic Studies), ‘Poetry: what gets lost in translation.’ A round table discussion on the art of translating poetry, followed by readings.

Sarah Hayden (IRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of English) ‘Translating Céline Arnauld (This is not a recovery project)’

Niamh Sweeney (Department of French), 'Fictitious Capital': Proudhon, Ferry and the (un)making of Second-Empire Paris’

Other speakers and events to be confirmed.

French Research Seminars 2014

 Angela Ryan (Department of French) Medea Today/Médée, aujourd’hui, featuring Fiona Shaw CBE, Council Room, 14. 30, 5 September. Contact

Diana Knight (Professor of French, University of Nottingham), 'Midlife crises and the conversion narrative of Barthes's Vita Nova', ORB, 1.24, 4. 30, September 18

Mary Noonan, launch of Echo's Voice: The Theatres of Sarraute, Duras, Cixous and Renaude (Oxford: Legenda, 2014), Social Area, Outside ORB 202, Second Floor, O’Rahilly Building.Wine reception – all welcome.

‘Stage Presence: Marguerite Duras and the Theatre’. A major international conference on Duras’s contribution to theatre, 21-22 November 2014.Contact

Table ronde autour de Patrick Modiano Nobel Laureate for Literature 2014. Professor Patrick O’Donovan  (Department of French) will begin the discussion with a brief presentation — ‘“Il était temps”: Modiano’s project’ and this will be followed by an informal discussion on Modiano’s work: how it intersects with our research, our interests, our teaching. ORB 1.24 Wednesday December 10 @ 10. 30.

Staff / Research Interests

Dr Patrick Crowley

Modern and contemporary French literature, postcolonial francophone studies; French historiography; critical theory

Dr Dònal Hassett 

My research interests are focused in the areas of Colonial History, Commemoration of Conflict and Veteran Studies. My first book, Mobilising Memory: The Great War and the Language of Politics in Colonial Algeria, 1918-1939, is due for publication with Oxford University Press in late 2019. I have written widely on the legacies of the Great War in the French Empire and am currently planning a new project which will seek to build a global history of the colonial war veteran.

Dr Kate Hodgson

Postcolonial Francophone literature and culture, the Caribbean, travel writing, slavery and abolition, history, memory and commemoration.

Dr Martin Howard

Second language acquisition; variationist sociolinguistics; French language; applied linguistics; language pedagogy

Dr Mary Noonan

Modern and contemporary French theatre; voice and the auditory; performance theory; French feminist theory; psychoanalysis

Professor Patrick O'Donovan

Modern and contemporary French literature; history of ideas; modern critical theory; linguistics and literature

Dr Hannah Silvester

Translation Studies, specifically Audiovisual Translation

Dr Caroline Williamson Sinalo

Psychological trauma, women and gender issues, post-colonial identity and post-traumatic growth and recovery in Africa

PhD Students

Jennifer Browne

Toleration and pluralism in absolutist France: a historical and critical commentary of Pierre Bayle’s France Toute Catholique.
An examination of Pierre Bayle’s France Toute Catholique (1686) as a response to the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, consisting of a contextual analysis of the religious debate, concomitant intellectual developments, and a discussion of Bayle’s rhetorical organisation. This will be accompanied by an annotated translation of Bayle’s text.

Paula O'Donovan

Language Policy and Planning and Immigration of Allophones to Canada and Québec.

The project's central aim is to analyse the position of Allophones in Canada generally with specific reference to their sociolinguistic integration within Québec. Chinese and Italian immigrants are the main focus as they represent the two largest linguistic groups within the Allophone community.

Dorota Rzycka

Dans le prisme de la belgitude: l’analyse des espaces poétiques chez Verhaeren et Brel

This thesis analyses the formation of poetic space in the works of the Belgian poet Émile Verhaeren (1855-1916) and the chansonnier Jacques Brel (1929-1978). In doing so the focus of my research is on the specificity of the Belgian context and the ways in which Verhaeren and Brel are influenced by, engage with, and conceptualise its historical, social, cultural and linguistic characteristics. Placing particular emphasis on myth and intertext, I argue that both poet and chansonnier contribute to the formation of the Belgian literary canon.

Sarah Hayden

Resonances of the Radical

My research concerns the multifarious means by which European avant-garde movements reconstructed concepts of the art world for the twentieth century and explores the ideological and formal influences of these revolutions upon the depictions of creativity, the artist and the art world in the work of Mina Loy.

Marie-Louise Theuerkauf

The Celtic background of the Tristan legend: the case of Tochmarc Emire

This project aims to examine the link between the Middle Irish tale Tochmarc Emire ("The Wooing of Emer") and the twelfth-century Tristan poems of Béroul and Thomas of Britain. I am particularly interested in the motif of the Dragon Slayer which we find in both both tales and am going to investigate what implications this connection might have for our understanding of medieval European literature.

Nathalie de Thibault

Research on Colette's influence on Anglophone writers, such as Virginia Woolf, and comparisons in their work

This comparative research project will be looking at some anglophone writers namely Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) who have been influenced by the work of Colette (1873–1954). It will explore topics such as of insanity, food disorders and great achievements. The point of departure is Colette’s capacity to capture the sensory qualities of life and understand people's inner thoughts and desires.

Margot Spencer

A Problematic Approach to the Methodology of Court and Community Interpreting in the Context of Recent Demographic Shift in Ireland

This research project aims to produce a set of ameliorative policy and methodology elements and strategies for delivery of training to meet the needs of the growing area of Court and Community Interpreting in an increasingly diversified Irish society.  This developing area, in addition to being a core social need, is an area of significant potential employment for languages graduates, given the right upskilling.

Dariusz Wawak

This PhD is a study of the tragic heroine in Euripides’ Hippolytus, Kochanowski’s The Dismissal of the Greek Envoys and Racine’s Phèdre et Hippolyte, using an aesthetic model drawn from Aristotle’s Poetics and Kant’s Critique of Aesthetic Judgement, and working from Angela Ryan’s scholarship in Heroism Studies.

Oliver O'Hanlon

As Others See Us: The French 'Grand Reporter' on the island of Ireland in the 20th century

For well over a hundred years, news stories written by special correspondent, known as a 'grand reporter, from and about Ireland have featured heavily in the pages of French newspapers and periodicals. This research project analyses the unique relationship that exists between Ireland and France through the work of a broad range of French journalists who visited Ireland in the 20th century to report on specific events for the French press.

Jeanna Ni Riordain

The contribution of Victor Hugo to the liberation, emancipation, and changing perceptions of women in 19th century French society.

My thesis is exploring the ways in which Victor Hugo contributed to the liberation, emancipation, and changing perceptions of women in 19th century French society both through his active involvement in the movement for womens’ rights in 19th century France  and through his diverse, dynamic, and multi-faceted representations of women in his literary and artistic works. While revealing the depth and extent of Hugo’s feminism, I also hope to reveal the inherent ambiguities, inconsistencies, and complexities of Hugo’s treatment of women. 

Mary Louise Edwards

Sartre and Flaubert

For my thesis I intend to explore the literary dialogue between Sartre, one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century, and Flaubert; nineteenth century novelist and author of Madame Bovary. In doing so, I hope to identify the nature of the influence of the novelist on the mature philosopher.

The Sartre reader cannot but notice that Flaubert’s name constantly crops up in the unlikeliest of places. By elucidating the relationship between Sartre’s existentialism and Flaubert’s literature, I hope to demonstrate how the reading of Flaubert’s literature had a formative effect on both the man and the writer that Sartre became.




Department of French

Room 1.22 Block A, First Floor, O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork