Diane Otosaka

Diane Otosaka


My PhD Project, entitled 'Between Distance and Proximity: Contemporary French and Francophone Holocaust Literature' is funded by a WRoCAH Network Studentship and is supervised by Prof Max Silverman (Leeds) and Dr Daniel Lee (Sheffield). As the Holocaust inevitably recedes from living memory, this project investigates whether contemporary French and Francophone Holocaust literature could be framed in terms of distance and proximity. This project looks specifically at texts that have been written in the last two decades, and by people who do not necessarily have personal memories of this traumatic event, stressing the ambivalent nature of their writings. Underpinning this research project is a reflection on notions of time and memory.


Teaching Responsibilities:

  • 2019-2020: FREN2090/5 – French Politics an Society since 1945 (French, 2nd year)
  • 2018-2019: MODL1150 – Worlds of Literature (Comparative Literature, 1st year)
  • 2018-2019: FREN1061 – Critical Questions: Approaches to Reading and Interpretation (French, 1st year) 

Conference/Event Organisation:

  • September 2019: Co-organiser (with Emily-Rose Baker, University of Sheffield) Symposium ‘Dreams and Atrocity’, Sheffield Humanities Research Institute
  • February 2019: Co-organiser Masterclass with the historian Malika Rahal, ‘The End of History? Algeria, 1962’, University of Leeds
  • May 2018: Co-organiser Conference ‘Challenging Presumptions’, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds

Selected Conference Papers:

  • ASMCF Conference, University of Leeds, September 2020 – ‘Vertical and Horizontal Dynamics of Belonging in Marie Bardet’s A la droite du père’
  • ACLA, Chicago, March 2020 – ‘Spectral Justice in Jean-Claude Grumberg’s Rêver peut-être’ [cancelled due to covid-19]
  • Symposium Dreams and Atrocity, University of Sheffield, September 2019, ‘Dreams and Spectrality in Jean-Claude Grumberg’s Rêver peut-être’
  • Third Annual Memory Studies Association Conference, Complutense University of Madrid, June 2019 – ‘Contemporary French Holocaust Memory and Spectral Justice’
  • Cambridge French Graduate Conference, University of Cambridge, April 2019 – ‘Delay, Dissonance and Non-Chronological Time in Laurent Binet’s HHhH: Thinking with Henri Bergson and Gilles Deleuze’

Other Responsibilities:

  • 2018-2020: Education Outreach Fellow in French for the Educational Engagement Team at the University of Leeds (Design and delivery of workshops on French films for Year 12 and 13 students (Louis Malle’s Au revoir les enfants, Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine) as well as workshops to promote and inspire the study of French at university)
  • 2017-2018: Editorial board member of the WRoCAH student journal

Other Projects:


Research interests

Memory studies; literature; 20th-century French philosophy


  • MSc General and Comparative Literature, The University of Edinburgh, Distinction
  • BA English, Universit√© Rennes 2, France, First-class honours