A Reader in French and Comparative Literature and Culture, I am Director of Student Experience for the School of Humanities (2022-). Prior to this I was Programme Director for Comparative Literature and Culture degrees (2012-2021) and departmental Senior Tutor (2019-21). I design, convene and teach modules across Modern Languages, Comparative Literature and Culture, Translation Studies and Liberal Arts.
I embarked on postgraduate education in 1999, bringing ten years’ professional skills as a translator and as a Group Account Director in international marketing and advertising following my first degree in French with Italian (Leeds 1989). I achieved a distinction in my MSt in European Literatures (Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford; 2000), and my AHRB-funded DPhil in French was awarded 2004 (Hastings Senior Scholar, The Queen’s College, Oxford). Before joining Royal Holloway in 2006 as Lecturer in French, I was Kathleen Bourne Junior Research Fellow at St Anne’s College and Stipendiary Lecturer in French at The Queen’s College, Oxford.
My transdisciplinary research is at the nexus of literary and cultural criticism and modern languages, comparative, food and critical disability studies, exploring questions of production and consumption: of texts, of food and drink, and of the critical potential of representations of them in fiction, thought and the visual arts.
- I joined Royal Holloway to teach post-War French literature, film and thought and advanced translation.
- I also spearheaded the development of RHUL’s unique Comparative Literature and Culture BA programmes, of which I was Progamme Director 2012-21, most recently developing World Literatures strands.
- I also develop teaching and learning for and teach on the Modern Languages, Liberal Arts and Translation Studies BA programmes, and the Integrated Foundation Year.
- I supervise PhD and Masters by Research students of French and of Comparative Literature and Culture working often in interdisciplinary ways on post-war and contemporary literary and visual cultures, as well as on food cultures and postcolonial issues of consumption and globalization.
- I also mentor ECRs: Matt Phillips, Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, Depressive Texts: Mental Well-Being and the Modern French Novel'. January 2019-June 2022.
Teaching and Pastoral Prizes and Awards
- College Team Teaching Prize: Commendation, 2020.
- Educational Support Award for Outstanding Individual, 2015.
- Educational Support Award for Outstanding Individual, 2014.
- Student Union ‘Apple for the Teacher’ Excellence Prize, 2011.
- College Team Teaching Prize, 2009.
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2009.
External Engagement and Knowledge Exchange
Awareness raising, charity collaboration and campaigning on eating disorders
- Prominent Twitter presence foregrounding OSFED: Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders, the most prevalent but least well-known eating disorder (and other eating disorder/ mental health issues).
- Relationship building with CEO and clinical lead of national eating disorder charity Beat and Manager of local eating disorder charity Seed.
- Training: March-May 2021 (Beat), ‘Introduction to Campaigning’; The Changes we are Campaigning For’; ‘Getting Your Voice Heard in the Political System’; June 2021, ‘Getting Your Voice Heard in the Health Services’; July 2021 (Seed), Toolkit Webinar.
Charity collaboration using critical questioning of French food for social capital building
- Invited blog for high profile ‘Lockdown Series’ for Registered Charity, The Rimbaud and Verlaine Foundation, ‘Leftovers in Lockdown: From Literary Haunts to Re-thinking Eating and Drinking in French Thought’, 20/7/2020 .
- Co-organiser and Speaker - Public Engagement Restaurant Pop-up with Registered Charity The Rimbaud and Verlaine Foundation, ‘Revolutions in French Food’, 3/12/16, London.
- Invited Panellist - ‘Frogs and Snails’, Westminster Difference Festival, University of Westminster, 26/2/18.
- BBC4, France on a Plate, Consultant, 2008.
Promoting inclusion, diversity and accessibility via uptake of literature in translation
- Judge - Society of Authors/Scott Moncrieff Prize for Translation, 2018 and 2010 (2018: Awarded the Society’s first ever translation prize for a graphic novel).
- Moderator: Institut Français de Londres Book Club, Bonjour Tristesse, 19/6/14.
Boosting Secondary MFL/Literature teaching via teacher CPD
- Plenary Lectures for Prince’s Teaching Institute Newly-qualified Teachers Days, London, 21/11/15; 29/11/14; 30/11/13 and Manchester, 7/12/13l CPD Day, London, 30/11/12.
- Co-organiser and Speaker x 2 Literature Study Days, RHUL 2017
- Organiser - Comparative Literature and Culture Year 12 Art Writing Competition 2015 and 2014.
- Organiser - x 2 Year 5 Routes into Languages Days, 2014.
Invited Papers at International Conferences/Symposia (last 5 years)
- Houellebecq’s Dead Meat?: (Inter)textual Consumption and Carno-phallogocentrism in La Carte et le territoire’, at Houellebecq in Focus, Villanova University USA, 20/3/21.
- ‘Feeding Flore-less Literary Posterity?: Playing with intertexts in La Carte et le territoire’, Houellebecq’s Cultural Transgressions, IMLR, London, 29/9/19.
- ‘Who’s Messed Up? Women Writing and Thinking about Food in Late-capitalist France’, Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing, School of Advanced Study, University of London, 1/12/17.
Other Papers at International Conferences/Symposia (last 5 years)
- ‘Leftovers and Lockdown: Re-thinking Eating with French Thought’, at 20th/21st-century French and Francophone Studies: An International Colloquium, Georgetown University. USA, 12/3/21.
- ‘Houellebecq, UNESCO and the Future of France: Bad Food Fictions and Questionable Cures’, Society for French Studies, Cork, Republic of Ireland, 2/7/18.
UK Invited Contributions to Symposia/Roundtables/Workshop (last 5 years)
- 'Inclusive Teaching’, at Women in German Studies Online Teaching Development Day, 8/10/21.
- ‘La France ce n’est pas Michel Houellebecq’, Modern & Contemporary France Special Issue Launch, Goldsmiths, 14/2/19
- ‘Leftover Readings: Eating, Drinking and Rethinking Fiction from Robbe-Grillet to Houellebecq’, Cambridge Modern French Research Seminar, 13/2/17.
Internal Contributions to Symposia/Workshops/Roundtables (last 5 years)
- ‘Hot Chocolate: At What Cost?’, at COP26Forum: Sustainable Eating on Campus: A Long View, Royal Holloway, 9/11/21.
- ‘Counting Thanks’, at Celebrating the Work of Colin Davis: A Symposium, Royal Holloway, 6/7/21.
- ‘Ambivalent Food Thought: Tell Me What You (Don't) Eat and I Will Tell You What You Are (Not)’, at Unpalatable, Inedible and Indigestible: Exploring Boundaries, Constructs and Communities in Human Food Practices, Royal Holloway, 19/5/21.
- Leftovers’ at Brief Interdisciplinary Encounters: Food, Royal Holloway, 12/10/20.
- Co-organiser (with Liz Schafer, Drama; Celia Martin-Puertas, Geography; and Jonathan Howe, Head of External Space), COP26 Forum: Eco Walk, Talk and Question, Royal Holloway, 8/11/21.
- Co-organiser (with Judith Hawley, English), COP26 Forum, Food and Drink on the Brink: Sustainable Eating on Campus: A Long View, Royal Holloway, 9/11/21.
- Co-organiser (with Bob Eaglestone, English; and Jon Hughes, Danielle Sands, Sarah Wright, LLC), Celebrating the Work of Colin Davis: A Symposium, Royal Holloway, 6/7/21.
- Co-organiser (with Judith Hawley, English; Andrew Jotischky, History; Stella Moss, History; Erica Rowan, Classics), Unpalatable, Inedible and Indigestible: Exploring Boundaries, Constructs and Communities in Human Food Practices’/Two-day Scoping Symposium, Royal Holloway, 19-20/5/21’
- ‘Keywords in World-Literary Studies: The "Collective”’, Prof Pablo Mukherjee, LINKS (The London Intercollegiate Network for Comparative Studies), IMLR, 6/11/18.
- ‘Cosmopolitanism' LINKS Sixth PG conference’ (The London Intercollegiate Network for Comparative Studies), 4/6/16.
- ‘Creating Creative Criticism with Dr Stephen Benson and Dr Clare Connors’, LINKS (The London Intercollegiate Network for Comparative Studies), 16/2/16.
- ‘Digesting Texts: Comparative Approaches to Food’, Roundtable and discussion, LINKS,(The London Intercollegiate Network for Comparative Studies), 20/1/15
- ‘The Value of Eating: Roundtable on Food Value and Gender: Mediated Consumption, Anxiety and Potentiality’, at HARC Dialogues, Science Museum, London, 13/3/14. http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2014/03/food-value-and-gender-mediated-consumption-anxiety-and-potentiality/
- ‘Beyond the Global City: Visual, Verbal and Virtual Experiences, International Colloquium’,London, 20-21/5/11. Open to scholars public and public and postgraduates, includes public podcast: http://beyondtheglobalcity.wordpress.com/
- ‘ RHUL Christmas Arts Faculty Seminar: Feasting: Eating Drinking and Re-thinking’, six specialist speakers followed by a roundtable with academics, food professionals, bloggers and TV producers disseminated by public podcast.
- ‘Contemporary Women’s Writing in French: Recent Fiction’, 7 March 2009: organised speakers, logistics, funding and real-time and recorded public podcast.