Summary: Literary depictions of the Second World War in the French Empire; Colonial subjects in the French Resistance; Cultural Representations of the Harkis; The Arab Spring in the Maghreb
Location: Michael Sadler Building
I completed a BA (Hons) in French and Arabic at the University of Exeter in 2001. I then studied for my PhD (Exeter, 2006) on Cultural Representations of the Harkis part-time while TEFL teaching in Paris. Between 2006 and 2009, I was the Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the major AHRC funded FRAME project into Narratives of the Second World War and Occupation in France 1939-2009, based at the University of Leeds. After a year-long teaching fellowship at Leeds, I was appointed as Lecturer in French at the University of Chester in 2010. After taking a career break to look after my daughter full-time I returned to Leeds as a part-time lecturer in 2013.
Current Research Project
Colonial subjects in the French Resistance commemoration and memory.
Although there has been an increasing amount of research on the role played by colonial soldiers in the Free French Army and the Provence landings and subsequent liberation of France, the presence of colonial subjects in the French Resistance remains marginalised. Initial research has revealed that there were at least 5,000 colonial resistance fighters in groups throughout France.
My research examines the memory of this contribution at a national and local level in France and in cultural depictions (graphic novels, films and novels).
I blog on this topic at www.frenchempireww2.wordpress.com
Publications (Some under my maiden name Sutherland)
Writing womens memories of World War Two; the conflict and its aftermath in Antillean Short Stories, under consideration by the International Journal of Francophone Studies.
The documentary as a site of commemoration: Filming the veterans of the Resistance in the French Empire, European Review of History, 2017.
News from the Paddy Fields: Narratives of Indochinese Workers in Wartime France, Essays in French Literature and Culture, 5, November 2017.
(with Alison Fell), The Colour of War Memory: Cultural representations of Tirailleur Sénégalais, Journal of War and Culture Studies, 9(4), August 2016.
'The Roman Maghrébin in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring', in a special issue on 'The contemporary Roman Maghrébin: Aesthetics, Politics, Production 2000-2015', Contemporary French and Francophone Studies: SITES, 20 (1), January 2016.
Faire entendre la voix de la mère marginalisée: les (auto-) biographies des écrivaines harkies, Migrances, 24, Janvier 2014.
Trois continents, une guerre, un empire: Francophone Narratives of War and Occupation in the French Empire, French Cultural Studies, 22(3), August 2011.
La Figure du traître et du bouc émissaire: linstrumentalisation des harkis par létat algérien in Algérie vers le cinquantenaire de lindépendance. un bilan, edited by Naaman Kessous, Christine Margerrison and Andrew Stafford (Paris: LHarmattan, 2009).
The Role of French Arab Women in Constructing a Postcolonial France, Al-Raida, XXIV (116-117), Winter/ Spring 2007. (Also published in French and Arabic).
Harki auto-biographies or collecto-biographies? Mothers speak through their daughters, Romance Studies, 24(3), July 2006.
I teach on the following undergraduate modules
· FREN 1061 Critical Questions Introducing students to theory (literary, gender and postcolonial) and how to use it in their analytical work
· FREN 1062 Readings in Modern French Society Teaching students to analyse political texts and rhetorical techniques
· FREN 2090/95 Politics and Society in Postwar France How has the political identity of postwar France been shaped? (Colonisation, Gaullism, May 1968, Les Banlieues, Globalisation)
· FREN 3532 Representing Empire Examination of the cultural representations of French colonialism (human zoos, adverts, paintings, films and music) and the competing commemoration of colonialism in contemporary France.
· FREN 3711 Dissertation module Supervising dissertations on the Memory of the Sétif massacre, Beurette novels, Laïcite in French schools, Islam and women in contemporary France and North-African immigration in Paris.
I have supervised and co-supervised two MRes dissertations.
Mani Sharpe L'Atlantide, les Silences du Palais and Rachida: challenging hegemonic and patriarchal colonial and postcolonial discourses through a feminised subaltern gaze (2009)
Iain Mossman Representing conflict through photography : Marc Garanger's La guerre d'Algérie vue par un appelé du contingent (2009)(Co-supervised with Dr Andy Stafford)
I could offer research supervision on Cultural Representations of French colonialism, of the French Empire during WW2 and of the Algerian War of Independence.
School engagement work
I am currently putting together resources to take the research findings of the FRAME project (http://www.frame.leeds.ac.uk/) on Narratives of WWII in France into UK secondary schools. It is envisaged that this will help students prepare for the new AS/A2 curricula which now include the compulsory study of a French novel and film, as well as providing students with a taste of research possibilities at university level, hopefully leading more to consider a languages degree. The project will produce a range of free-to-access educational materials for students and teachers (handouts on the most popular texts and films, historical timelines, maps, vocabulary lists and appropriate audio-visual source material and internet links). It will also provide ideas that we help teachers to use the Frame database (www.frame.leeds.ac.uk/database) with their students in class. This has been done successful in a pilot project to help A2 students to choose and prepare a text for their oral exam.
The first educational resources will be available in January 2017 - http://www.leeds.ac.uk/arts/info/20043/school_of_languages_cultures_and_societies/2838/resources_for_school_languages_teachers