Polly Galis

Polly Galis

PhD Researcher

Summary: Sexuality and Corporeality in the Work of Annie Ernaux, Nancy Huston and Nelly Arcan

Location: Michael Sadler

Teaching Commitments: Seminar tutor & lecturer: 2017-2018: 'Worlds of Literature' (MODL1150); 'Language Awareness & Skills' (FREN1010); 2016-2017: 'Resistance & Desire: Introduction to French Studies' (FREN1020)

My Research

I am a final-year PhD researcher, funded by the Leeds 110 Anniversary Research scholarship and working under the supervision of Professor Diana Holmes and Dr Claire Lozier. My research centres on the erotic writing of contemporary Francophone women authors Annie Ernaux, Nancy Huston and Nelly Arcan. In particular, I focus on dominant sexual discourses within popular culture (such as pornography), sexual difference, intersectional feminism and the female body and its literary representation.

About Me 

I received a first-class honours in English & French from the University of Leeds in 2014, receiving the Philip Thody Memorial Prize for Intellectual Excellence. I spent my year abroad studying Philosophy and the Arts at l’Université du Quebec à Trois-Rivières, and went on to complete an MA by Research in French at the University of Warwick, examining the literature of Nancy Huston from a transnational perspective.

This year, I co-organised a conference at the University of Birmingham, 'Imagining the Body in France & the Francophone World', and assisted in the running of an International Writers at Leeds event, giving a platform to artist Fiorenza Menini and translating her scripts for a performative reading and film projection. I also recently participated in this year's CIEF conference (Conseil International d'Etudes Francophones) in La Rochelle, thanks to an AHC Research Dissemination Award. I am now preparing a special journal issue alongside Dr. Antonia Wimbush and Dr. Maria Tomlinson, forthcoming with L'Esprit créateur. 

As for institutional engagement, I currently act as seminar tutor in the School of Languages, Cultures & Societies, contribute to the Leeds Excellence in the Arts Programme (LEAP) seminar series, and am a member of the Popular Culture Research Network. I also received professional recognition last summer for my teaching, being made Associate Fellow of the HEA and UKPSF@Leeds.


[Forthcoming] ‘Challenging Normative Spaces and Gazes: the Body in 20th and 21st Century Francophone Culture’, in L’Esprit créateur, ed. by Polly Galis, Maria Tomlinson and Antonia Wimbush (2020).

[Forthcoming] Galis, Polly, ‘“Hyper-Conformity as Counter-Discourse”: Nelly Arcan’s À Ciel ouvert, ‘Sexual/Textual Boundaries: Women Writing Sexual Encounter in French, France and Canada (2000-2015)’, in L’Esprit créateur, ed. by Kate Averis and Eglė Kačkutė.

Galis, Polly, 'Carnets de l’incarnation : Textes choisis 2002-2015 by Nancy Huston (review)', in L’Esprit créateur, 58.2 (2018), 141-142.

Galis, Polly, ‘“Bon sexe, mauvais sexe”: La représentation porno-érotique dans Infrarouge de Nancy Huston’, Cahiers de l’IREF, 8 (2017), 39-48.

Galis, Polly, ‘Transnational Memory in Nancy Huston’s Fault Lines, The Mark of the Angel and Plainsong’, Retrospectives, 5.1 (2016), 2-21.

Galis, Polly, ‘“Speaking to Others” in Nancy Huston’s The Goldberg Variations and Slow Emergencies’, Exchanges: the Warwick Research Journal, 3.2 (2016), 199-215.