Our research

Our research and publications are distinctive in employing a broad range of disciplinary approaches, in covering the whole discipline of French Studies from the medieval period through to the present day, and in embracing Francophone Studies in their global diversity.  Colleagues at Leeds pursue cutting-edge individual and collaborative research of international standing in the fields of literature, history, politics, medical humanities, thought, cinema and visual cultures, postcolonial/francophone studies, cultural studies, and language, linguistics and translation studies.

We have particular strengths in cultural memory, popular culture, 19th and 20th century literature, critical theory, film, and the study of colonial and postcolonial Algeria and Morocco. Colleagues in French have secured funding from the AHRC, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, Wellcome Trust, Paris City Council, the Institute for Advanced Study, Paris, and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

We frequently host international conferences and have a regular research seminar series with invited speakers from the UK, France, and beyond. We welcome postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers to join our vibrant research community.  Our staff pages provide further information on our fields of interest, funded research and collaborative projects.

Impact and engagement

Researchers in French are involved in a diverse range of activities with non-academic partners. For example, Professor Sarah Waters’s Suicide Voices project has involved working with healthcare organizations and trade unions in France and the UK aiming to shape public health policy agendas. In partnership with researchers at the European Observatory of Health Systems and Policies, she submitted a paper to the UK Parliament Health Committee on suicide prevention. 

Dr Nina Wardleworth’s research on Colonial Subjects in the French Resistance has included teaming up with Imperial War Museum North to stage an exhibition of photographs about diversity in the French army and giving a public lecture on women from the French Antilles (National Army Museum, London).

Dr Jason Allen-Paisant has been working with the Leeds West Indian Community on the memory of colonial violence in Jamaica, notably the massacre of 439 Black Jamaicans in 1865 under British Colonial Governor Edward John Eyre.

Dr Jim House advised the French government on François Hollande’s speech of 19 March 2016 commemorating the end of the Algerian war of independence, and he has worked with many civil society organizations, as well as journalists and film-makers in Algeria, Morocco and France to disseminate historical knowledge on colonial history.   

Our expertise

Research projects and groups

Centre for Translation Studies
Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures
Centre for World Literatures
Performance, Politics and Piety
Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
Institute for Medieval Studies
Popular Cultures Research Network
Writing 1900