Isla Paterson


I graduated from the University of Leeds in BA French and Spanish in 2018. After a year as a lectrice at the Université Paris-Est Créteil, I returned to Leeds to complete an MA by Research under the supervision of Dr Andy Stafford and Dr Jim House (2019–2020) which was funded by the Sutcliffe Scholarship. 

My MA by Research thesis was entitled, Playing to the West? Representations of Picasso, the gendered body and Islamism in Kamel Daoud’s Le peintre dévorant la femme, and received first place in the Algerian Studies Master’s Prize in 2020 (Society for Algerian Studies and LSE Middle East Centre). 

I am currently a PhD Candidate in French, and my research is generously funded by the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH). 


Research interests

My WRoCAH-funded research focuses on the works of Franco-Moroccan author Leïla Slimani within the context of ‘transnational’ public spheres, in particular looking at genre, reception and representations of the body and location.


Conferences and presentations

Écrivains polémistes et essais polémiques dans la littérature mondiale (conference 20–22 October 2021, Bordeaux)

  • Presented a paper entitled ‘Playing to the West only? Comparing receptions of Kamel Daoud’s Le peintre dévorant (2018) and Cologne, lieu de fantasmes (2016) in the Franco-Algerian discursive space.’

Urban Bridges, Global Capital(s): A Symposium (19 March 2021, online)

  • Responded to ‘Part II: Marseille Multiples: Capital of Culture’ in Launchbury, C., and MacDonald, M. (eds.), Urban Bridges, Global Capital(s): Trans-Mediterranean Francosphères (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2021).


  • BA Hons (First-Class) French & Spanish
  • MA by Research (Distinction)