Research and Teaching Strengths

Staff in the Department of French Studies have expertise in a wide range of research areas in French and Francophone Studies.
We train students in French language, linguistics, the analysis of the literature and cinema, cultures and societies of the French and Francophone world and offer courses stemming from our own research on topics that include: Linguistics, eLearning, Contemporary French history and Politics, Theatre and Performance, The Sociology of Literature and Culture, Nineteenth-Century literature and culture, colonial and postcolonial studies, Francophone Asia, Franco-Arab Studies, Film and Media studies, World Cinema, and Gender and Sexuality Studies. All units of study involve a variety of approaches so that students receive a globally oriented education through our programs.

As a result of these research and teaching strengths, Honours and Doctoral students develop creative, original and competitive thesis topics.
The communicative approach and the critical thinking skills that we value play a key role in developing an interdisciplinary approach that proves to be invaluable to a variety of career paths such as business, law, education, medicine, government, international relations and the arts.

The Department has strong interdisciplinary links with several research clusters, departments and teaching programs across the School of Languages and Cultures, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the University, including: the Law and Society research network; the network ‘Religion, State and Society in the Muslim World’; Medieval Studies; International and Comparative Literary Studies; European Studies; Film studies, Germanic Studies, International and Global Studies; Arabic Languages and Cultures; and South-East Asian Studies.

The Department hosts a program of research seminars which include University of Sydney academic staff, postgraduate students and invited visiting scholars from other Australian and international universities.

Research Areas of our Academic Staff

  • Contemporary French and Francophone literature
  • Francophone Studies and Postcolonial Studies
  • French narrative, cultural, social and political history from the 17th century to the 21st century
  • French and Francophone social media
  • Literary Hoax Theory
  • Literary Criticism (authorship, deconstruction and poststructuralism)
  • Theatre and Cinema Studies
  • French, European and World cinema
  • Popular Culture
  • Life Writing
  • Photography and Subjectivity
  • Women's Cultural Practices in Nineteenth Century France
  • French Feminist History, Discourse and Theory
  • International politics, including feminist approaches to international relations
  • Political Sociology and Social Movement Studies
  • Sociology of Literature and Culture
  • LGBT Studies
  • Systemic Functional Linguistics
  • Discourse Analysis of Media texts and Literary Texts
  • Translation Studies from a Systemic Functional Perspective
  • Creative Writing
  • Teaching French as a second language (pedagogy and methodology)
  • eLearning pedagogies
  • Language of the workplace
  • Feminist linguistics
  • Landscape linguistics
  • Roman Noir / Detective Fiction

Academic Staff Research Projects in Progress

  • Surrealism and Colonialism (Martine Antle) Historiography of the Surrealist Lesbian (Martine Antle)
    Orientalism in the Orient: Franco/Arab Dialogues (Martine Antle)
  • The Francophone social media: characteristics and place in the world (Marie-Thérèse Barbaux)
  • Social media and collaborative learning (Marie-Thérèse Barbaux)
    The trialogic relationship between digital learning spaces, tasks and student interactions (Marie-Thérèse Barbaux)
    Taxonomy of language assessment tasks and language curriculum design (Marie-Thérèse Barbaux)
  • The Transcendental Power of Simone de Beauvoir’s Language (Alice Caffarel- Cayron)
    The Translation of Second-order Meanings (i.e., symbolic meanings such as ideological and philosophical meanings; Alice Caffarel-Cayron)
  • Creativity and Creative Writing Classes (Françoise Grauby)
    New Textualities (BD, blogs, ebooks and on-line publication; Françoise Grauby)
    The Birth of Literary Vocation (Françoise Grauby)
  • Comparison of the language of the law and the language of the media (Caroline Lipovsky)
    Linguistic landscape as a symbolic construction of the public space: The cases of the Parisian neighbourhoods of Belleville and La Goutte d’Or (Caroline Lipovsky)
  • ‘Sensoriality in the Cinema of Marguerite Duras’ (Michelle Royer)
    ‘The Cinema of Marguerite Duras: Feminism and Transnationalism’ (Michelle Royer)
    Stars in World Cinema: Film Icons and Star Systems (Michelle Royer with Andrea Bandhauer)
    Senescence in World Cinema (Michelle Royer)
  • Reinterpretation of the Vernon Sullivan Affair (France, 1946-1950) through the (new) lens of literary hoax theory (Clara Sitbon)
  • The Quartier of Belleville in Contemporary Film and Roman Noir (Carolyn Stott)
    Migration, Public Policy and Gentrification in Paris (Carolyn Stott)
    Transition of Language Students from the Secondary to the Tertiary Sector (Carolyn Stott)
  • Curating the self: La Chambre de Jeune Fille in Late Nineteenth Century France (Sonia Wilson)
    Diary Writing, Mobility and Production of Feminine Gentility (nineteenth century) (Sonia Wilson)
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Human Rights and Political Asylum (Bronwyn Winter)
    The Medium-term Impacts of 9/11 and its Aftermath for Women (Bronwyn Winter)
    Race, gender, politics and representation in France (Bronwyn Winter)