Professor  Margaret Atack

Professor Margaret Atack

Professor of French

+44 (0)113 343 3379

Summary: French film and fiction of the Vichy years; postwar war/occupation narratives; French women’s writing; roman/film noir; French culture of the 1950/60s; 20th century French thought and culture

 

Biography

I completed my undergraduate and postgraduate studies in French at University College London. After temporary lectureships at UCL, Southampton and Cardiff, I was appointed at the University of Leeds from 1979 to temporary lectureships and then in 1981 to a permanent lectureship in French. In 1989 I moved to Sunderland Polytechnic where I took up the post of Head of the School of Humanities; in 1991 I was appointed Director of the School of Social and International Studies and Professor of French Studies.

I returned to Leeds as Professor of French and Head of the Department of French in 1993. Since 2002 I have served as Research Dean, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research.

I was a member of the 2001 French RAE French panel, and chair of the 2008 RAE French panel. I have recently served on the Leverhulme Trust Advisory Panel and the Editorial Board of H-France; I am currently a member of the following:  Journal of War and Culture Studies Editorial Board; University of Wales Press Crime Fiction Series, Advisory Board; Comité scientifique, Cahiers Frédéric Dard.

From 2006-10 I was Principal Investigator on a major AHRC-funded research project: Narratives of the Second World War and Occupation in France: National Identity and Cultural Production, involving a team of seven colleagues in total.  Framing Narratives of the Second World War in France: New Readings, developed from the international conference held in Leeds in September 09 and co-edited with Professor Christopher Lloyd of Durham, the Co-Investigator, was published in 2012; our co-authored book: Narratives of the Second World War in France: Remapping the Landscape, is in preparation.  

 

Research interests

French film and fiction of the Vichy years, postwar narratives of war and occupation in France, French women's writing, roman noir and film noir, French culture of the 1950s and 1960s, 20th century French thought, narrative and cultural theory.

 

Current Research

Current projects include: 

  • Completing chapters on the development of the novel on the occupation postwar to the present, history in the postwar novel on the occupation, and everyday life in the occupation novel for the co-authored Narratives of the Second World War in France;
  • Researching the novels and other writings of Jean-François Vilar for a study of his work: Theatres of Crime.
  • A study of the memory of the Second World War in France.
  • The occupation novels of Valentine Goby.
  • The films of the mode retro.
  • French Feminism 1975 and after: new readings, new texts, volume co-edited with Alison Fell, Diana Holmes and Imogen Long.
  • Making Waves: French Feminisms and their Legacies 1975-2015, volume co-edited with Alison Fell, Diana Holmes and Imogen Long.

 

Teaching 2015-6

  •    The Occupation in French Fiction and Film, final year
  •    Supervision of 2 final year dissertations
  •    Lectures on Sartre and on French Feminism for Year 2  Foundations of Modern French Thought  
  •    Seminars on 1st year Resistance and Desire and final year language modules
  •    Existentialism(s): Beauvoir, Camus, Sartre, final year

 

Research supervision

I have supervised or co-supervised MAs by research and PhDs on Katherine Mansfield; the First World War in Crime Fiction; the Early Films of Godard, Resnais and Marker, Oradour and 17 October 1961, The Essays of Simone de Beauvoir, Nature and Culture in the works of Simone de Beauvoir, Women Intellectuals 1968-1986, Second World War Crimes Trials in France, Phenomenology in the Works of Robbe-Grillet, Guilt and Shame in Fiction of the Second World War 1939 to the present, and Memories of Colonialism in French and Algerian Literatures post-1962.

I welcome enquiries from potential applicants wishing to discuss a research project in the fields covered by the culture, fiction, film and thought of twentieth- and twenty-first century France.

 

Publications

Books

  • Literature and the French Resistance: Cultural Politics and Narrative Forms 1940-1950, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1989.
  • Contemporary French Fiction by Women: Feminist Perspectives, edited by Margaret Atack and Phil Powrie, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1991.
  • May 68 in French Fiction and Film: Rethinking Representation, Rethinking Society, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Framing Narratives of the Second World War in France: New Readings, Durham Modern Language Series, Manchester University Press, 2012.
  • Women, Genre and Circumstance: Essays in Memory of Elizabeth Fallaize, edited by Margaret Atack, Diana Holmes, Diana Knight, Judith Still, Legenda, 2012.

Special issues

  • Crime and Punishment: Narratives of Order and Disorder, French Cultural Studies special issue edited by Margaret Atack, 12: 3, October 2001.
  • War and Occupation 1940-1944: Other Stories/Stories of Otherness, French Cultural Studies special issue edited by Margaret Atack, 22:3, 2011. 

 Chapters and articles since 2000

  • 'The Experience of Occupation: Northern France in Two World Wars', in J. Bourne, P. Liddle, I. Whitehead, (eds.), The Great World War 1914-1945, vol. 1, Lightning Strikes Twice, Harper Collins, 2000, pp. 533-550.
  • 'Introduction' to French Cultural Studies special issue, Crime and Punishment: Narratives of Order and Disorder, vol. 12, part 3, pp. 233-36, 2001
  • 'L'Affaire Dominici: Rural France, The State, The Nation', French Cultural Studies special issue, Crime and Punishment: Narratives of Order and Disorder, vol. 12, part 3, 2001, pp. 285-301.
  • 'Julia Kristeva', The Literary Encyclopedia (on-line publication), 2003.
  • 'The politics and poetics of space in 'Les Passagers du Roissy-Express', Modern and Contemporary France, vol. 15, no. 4, Nov 2007.
  • 'Sins, Crimes and Guilty Passions in France's stories of war and occupation', Journal of War and Culture Studies vol.1, no.1, Sep 2007.
  • ‘Representing the Occupation in the Novel of the 1950s: Ne jugez pas’, Cincinnati Romance Review, vol 29, Fall 2010, pp. 76-88.  
  • ‘Streets and squares, quartiers and arrondissements: Jean-François Vilar and the poetics of contestation’, in Capital Crimes, edited by Lucy Andrew and Catherine Phelps, University of Wales Press, 2012.
  • ‘Introduction’ to War and Occupation 1940-1944: Other Stories/Stories of Otherness, French Cultural Studies special issue, 22:3, 2011, pp. 83-5.
  • ‘Unnatural Bedfellows: Sexuality and Otherness in Representations of Germans’, French Cultural Studies special issue, 22:3, 2011, pp. 251-261.
  • ‘Romans inachevés de l’Histoire et de la mémoire: les FTP-MOI et l’Affiche rouge’, in Marc Dambre (ed.), Mémoires occupées: fictions françaises et seconde guerre mondiale, Presses Sorbonne nouvelle, 2013, pp. 175-182.
  • ‘Résistantialisme, résistancialisme, and the politics of memory of the Resistance’ in Peter Tame, Dominique Jeannerod and Manuel Bragança (eds.), Mnemosyne and Mars: Artistic and Cultural Representations of Twentieth-century Europe at War, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013, pp. 59-74.
  • 'From Meurtres pour mémoire to Missak: Literature and Historiography in Dialogue', French Cultural Studies, 25: 3-4, 2014, pp. 271-280.
  • 'Criticism and critique: a view from French Studies', H-France Forum on Scholarly Critique, vol 7, issue 20, 2015. web.
  • 'Littérature de guerre', in Jean-François Murracciole and Guillaume Piketty (eds.), Encyclopédie de la seconde guerre mondiale, Bouquins, 2015.