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See the list below for the people in the Department of French Studies.

  • Natalie Edwards

    A native of Wales, UK, Natalie Edwards holds a PhD from Northwestern University and was Associate Professor of French at Wagner College, New York, before joining the University of Adelaide in 2012.  She specialises in 20th and 21st literature by women and minorities, feminist theory and visual culture.  She is the author of Voicing Voluntary Childlessness : Narratives of Non-Mothering in French (2016) and Shifting Subjects : Plural Subjectivity in Contemporary Francophone Women’s Autobiography (2011).  She is a passionate teacher of language and literature and has won awards for both her teaching and her research.

  • Jean Fornasiero

    Jean Fornasiero is Professor Emerita of French Studies at the University of Adelaide. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and an Officer in the Order of the Palmes académiques. She specialises in the history of ideas in nineteenth-century France, from the Revolutionary period to the Second Empire, and has also published on life-writing and crime fiction. She has worked extensively on French exploration in Pacific, notably the Baudin expedition to Australia (1800-1804). She is a co-author of Encountering Terra Australis (2004; 2010) and French Designs on Colonial New South Wales (2014), both award-winning books on the Baudin expedition.

  • Ben McCann

    Born and educated in England, Ben McCann is Associate Professor and Head of French Studies at the University of Adelaide.  Since arriving at the university in 2006, he has published extensively on French cinema, including Le Jour se lève (2013), Ripping Open the Set: French Film Design 1930-1939 (2013) and Julien Duvivier (2016).  He is currently writing a book on the 2002 film L’Auberge espagnole / The Spanish Apartment, focusing in particular on the film’s treatment of the ‘European’ project and EU integration.  Future work includes a history of French horror cinema and a biography of the French production designer Alexandre Trauner.

  • Peter Poiana

    As a graduate of the University of Adelaide, Peter Poiana joined the Department of French in 1995 after completing a PhD in Aix-en-Provence and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Sydney. He has taught language courses at all levels, including the Honours language programme, and many culture courses on the Francophone world and 20th Century literature, including courses on the Surrealists, Proust, Beckett, Camus and Apollinaire. His book Éthique et littérature, which was published in 2003, was followed by several published journal articles on topics such as the question of violence and representation, scandal and shame, and the notion of voice and subjectivity in modern poetry and narrative.

  • John West-Sooby

    John West-Sooby is Professor of French Studies at the University of Adelaide. He completed his undergraduate studies in French and Mathematics at the University of Newcastle (NSW) and did his doctorate at the Université de Grenoble. He held posts at the University of New England and at La Trobe University before taking up a position at the University of Adelaide in 1991. His interests include the 19th-century French novel, crime fiction, and the history of French exploration in the Pacific. He is a co-author of Encountering Terra Australis (2004; 2010) and French Designs on Colonial New South Wales (2014), both award-winning books on the Baudin expedition.

Department of French Studies
Level 7, Napier Building



T: +61 8 8313 4249
F: +61 8 8313 4341
School of Humanities