Joseph Ford

Joseph Ford

PhD Student in French and Francophone Studies

twitter: @mrjoeford

Summary: Francophone North African, particularly Algerian, literature; Francophone intellectuals; theories of representation; memory and trauma.

Location: Michael Sadler Building

Teaching Commitments: Introduction to French Studies (FREN1020); Language Awareness and Skills (FREN1010).

My Research

Supervised by Dr Andy Stafford and Dr Jim House, the principal aim of my research is to investigate the enduring place of French-language texts in a country where the French language is increasingly absent. Looking more specifically at the socio-historical place of contemporary fiction during the Algerian civil conflict of the 1990s, the research will seek to explore the performative role, and interventionist strategies, of a Francophone literature published in and out of Algeria during and after the period of the civil conflict. My corpus includes, among others, Maïssa Bey, Salim Bachi, Mustapha Benfodil and Kamel Daoud and I have been able to conduct interviews and fieldwork in and around Algiers over the course of my study. 

My wider research interests are in Camus, Postcolonial Studies, and French and Francophone intellectuals of the 20th century more generally. My work also includes assessing the value of wider critical theory in framing the study of contemporary literature; this has meant engaging with the work of thinkers such as Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Abdelkebir Khatibi, Julia Kristeva and Edward Said.          

About me

I studied French as an undergraduate at the University of Leeds, obtaining a first-class BA hons. and subsequently went on to conduct research on Albert Camus and Algeria ('Albert Camus in contemporary Algerian literature : theatre, text, myth'), which which was examined and awarded with 'distinction' in October. I'm a keen runner and cyclist, but also enjoy drinking beer. My PhD research is funded by an AHRS scholarship from the Faculty of Arts.


I teach on two first year modules (Introduction to French Studies and Language Awareness and Skills) and have recently undertaken the University of Leeds Teaching Award for postgraduates and part-time teaching staff. In 2015/16, I'll be 'lecteur' in English at the University of Paris 12 while I complete the writing-up stages of my thesis.  

Papers and publications

'Rethinking urgence: Algerian francophone literature after the "décennie noire"', Francosphères 5, 1 (2016, forthcoming).

'Transnational Memory and Traumatic Histories', special issue of Forum 4 (2015), co-edited with Christina Brennan:

'Algiers, Paris, New York: migrating terror', Bulletin of Francophone Postcolonial Studies 5, 2 (2014), 10-15.

'Figuring Camus in recent Algerian writing: between the mother and (in)justice', Journal of Camus Studies (2014), 45-60.

'Figuring the Francophone in Contemporary Algerian Literature', paper presented at Language and Identity in Francophone Worlds, Maison française/TORCH, University of Oxford, October 2014.

'Camus's Algerian afterlives: between fact and fiction, towards myth', paper presented at centenary event: 'Albert Camus: Fact, Fiction, Myth of a centenary', University of Leeds, October 2013.

‘Influence and intertextuality in the postcolonial text: Albert Camus and the case of contemporary Algerian fiction’, paper presented at SMLC PGR mini-conference, University of Leeds, 17 April 2012.


Névine El Nossery, Témoignages fictionnels au féminin: une rééctriture de la guerre civile algérienne (2012), in Irish Journal of French Studies (2014), forthcoming.

Claudia Esposito, The Narrative Mediterranean: Beyond France and the Maghreb (2014), in Bulletin of Francophone Postcolonial Studies 5, 2 (2014), 19-21. 

Alison Rice, Polygraphies: Francophone Women Writing Algeria (2012), in French Studies 60, 1 (2014), 141.

Conference report: 'War, Memory, Amnesia: Francophone perspectives on Lebanon', French Studies Bulletin 34, 129 (2013), 95-7.

Other responsibilities

Co-organiser of the 'Postcolonial Texts' reading group at the University of Leeds.