Department of French Studies
Throughout history and to this day, French language and culture have had a great influence on the world. French remains the second most studied foreign language in the world.
French artists, writers, thinkers, filmmakers, politicians, fashion designers and philosophers have changed, and continue to change, the way the world thinks. The likes of Baudin, Monet, Proust, Varda, de Gaulle, Chanel, and Foucault have had a profound impact on our lives.
Throughout history and to this day, French language and culture have had a great influence on the world.
French artists, writers, thinkers, filmmakers, politicians, fashion designers and philosophers have changed, and continue to change, the way the world thinks. Think of Baudin, Monet, Proust, Rousseau, Godard, de Gaulle, Christian Dior or Michel Foucault to realise the impact the French have had on our lives.
French is an official language of all United Nations agencies and a large number of international organisations. What’s more, French remains one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. According to the European Union, 129 million, or twenty-six per cent of the Union’s total population speak French, of whom 65 million are native speakers, with the rest being second-language or foreign language speakers. Outside Europe, French is spoken in many countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific.
We offer a knowledge and appreciation of France’s rich linguistic and cultural heritage as well as a high level of competency in both written and spoken language skills. We cater for all levels.
The development of French language skills lies at the heart of all of our courses.
Staff in the Department teach a French culture curriculum that varies from year to year, with offerings that include the study of literature from medieval times through to the twenty-first century, as well as courses in French cinema and theatre, literary adaptation and poetry, and key aspects of French history and society.
The Department of French conducts research in a number of different periods and areas of French cultural production, from contemporary French society to the literature and social history of the 19th century.
Our work is cutting-edge, inter-disciplinary, and globally acknowledged.
Our research areas include:
- Author studies
- Contemporary French society
- Francophone studies
- French cinema
- French crime fiction
- French literature (from the 18th century to the present)
- French poetry
- History of French exploration in the Pacific (in particular the Baudin expedition)
- History of ideas in the 19th century
- Literature and politics (from the 19th century to the present)
- Romanticism, surrealism, existentialism, post-structuralism, autobiography
- French and francophone women’s writing
- 20th century continental philosophy
The Department of French Studies offer both Masters and PhD research degrees.