Professor Colin Davis

Personal profile

Colin Davis studied French and German at Wadham College, Oxford, and gained his DPhil in Oxford. He held posts in Cambridge, Oxford and Warwick before becoming Research Professor at Royal Holloway in 2005. He has also been Visiting Professor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure – Lettres et Sciences Humaines, Lyon, France, and the University of Indiana, Bloomington, USA.

His research focuses mainly on connections between literature, film and philosophy, with particular interests in the modern French novel, ethics, ethical criticism, philosophical approaches to literature and film, hermeneutics, literary theory, cultural memory, trauma studies and Holocaust literature.  As well as appearing in English and French, his work has been translated into Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Polish and Finnish; and he has given numerous research papers in the UK, Finland, France, the US, Canada, Norway, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Belgium, Ireland, Estonia, Latvia, Italy and the Czech Republic.

He has published eleven monographs, the most recent being Critical Excess: Overreading in Derrida, Deleuze, Levinas, Žižek and Cavell (Stanford University Press, 2010), Postwar Renoir: Film and the Memory of Violence (Routledge, 2012), and Traces of War: Interpreting Ethics and Trauma in Twentieth-Century French Writing (Liverpool University Press, 2018). 

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