Dr Nigel Saint


I read French at Durham University and went on to University College London to study for my PhD. From 1996–97 I was a Temporary Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. Then I moved to Royal Holloway, University of London, as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, from 1998–2001. In 2002 I joined the French department in Leeds as a Lecturer.


As well as contributing to our provision of language teaching, I currently teach on the following courses:

  • Final-Year Project and Iconic Images [Convert, JR and Pernot; with Garat, Bourouissa, Bardot and Houellebecq taught by colleagues] (Level 3); 
  • 20th/21st-Century French Fiction [Camus, Despentes, Louis], Foundations of Modern French Thought and Age of Extremes (Level 2);
  • Introduction to French Studies: Resistance and Desire (Level 1).


My research focuses on modern French thought, the visual arts and literature. I followed up my work on Marguerite Yourcenar and the visual with a series of articles and papers on Louis Marin's theories of representation. I am currently working on a study of the visual philosophy of Georges Didi-Huberman, with a focus on his writing on contemporary art, his reading of art historiography, his interest in the politics of the image and his exhibitions. Concurrently I am studying the poetics of memory and the politics of history in the sculptures, films and writings of the artist Pascal Convert. To date I have published a series of articles on Didi-Huberman and Convert.

I am interested in supervising research in the following areas: modern theories of representation and the visual from painting to film; writing on the visual arts since Balzac and Delacroix, including art theory, art criticism and literature; the visual in 19th- and 20th-century fiction; and modern and contemporary fiction (notably Marguerite Yourcenar, Georges Perec, Jean-Philippe Toussaint and Sophie Calle). 


Edited books

Edited Journal Special Issue

  • Louis Marin, ed. Alain Cantillon and Nigel Saint, Early Modern French Studies 38: 1 (July 2016).


  • 'L'Ecrivain et sa source: l'essai sur l'Histoire Auguste', Bulletin de la Société Internationale d'Études Yourcenariennes (Tours: Université de Tours), 13 (June 1994), 71–84.
  • 'The Body's Contract or Realism's Revenge: Peter Greenaway's The Belly of an Architect', Interfaces (Dijon: Université de Bourgogne, Cahier du Centre de Recherches "Image Texte Langage"), 7 (April 1995), 185–197.
  • 'Speaking volumes: Poussin's water colours', Interfaces, 10 (February 1996), 15–23.
  • 'Et in Arcadia Ego: Yourcenar devant les tableaux de Poussin', in A. de Medeiros et B. Deprez (ed.), Marguerite Yourcenar: Ecritures de l'exil (Louvain-la-Neuve: Academia Bruylant, 1998), 201–210.
  • '"Drame de juillet, tragédie de l'été": Perec et Roland-Garros', French Cultural Studies, 10: 2 (June 1999), 173–178.
  • 'Pour l'amour d'un plaisir sévère: Following Louis Marin', in M. Heusser, M. Hannoosh, C. Schoell-Glass and D. Scott (ed.), Text and Visuality: Word and Image Interactions III (Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 1999), 65–75.
  • 'Livres à la limite', in Mauricette Berne (ed.), Livres de Pierre Lecuire (Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 2001), 124–5.
  • 'Sarah Farmer: Martyred Village: Commemorating the 1944 Massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane' (review article), Patterns of Prejudice 36: 3 (2002), 79–82.
  • Georges Didi-Huberman', in Christopher J. Murray (ed.), Encyclopedia of Modern French Thought (New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2004), 173–176.
  • 'Louis Marin', in Christopher J. Murray (ed.), Encyclopedia of Modern French Thought (New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2004), 456–458.
  • 'Esthétique et temporalité dans les réflexions théoriques de Louis Marin sur les idoles,' in R. Dekoninck and M. Watthee-Delmotte (ed.), L'Idole dans l'imaginaire occidental (Paris, L'Harmattan, 2005), 49–56.
  • 'Pierre Lecuire and the artists,' in M. Heusser, M. Hannoosh, E. Haskell, L. Hoek, D. Scott and Peter de Voogd (ed.), On Verbal / Visual Representation: Word & Image Interactions 4 (Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 2005), 83–93.
  • 'Pascal Convert and the Family: History, Conflict and Creativity,' in M-C Barnet and E. Welch (ed.) Affaires de famille: The Family in Contemporary French Culture (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007), 151–168.
  • 'Reading Stendhal's Vie de Henry Brulard: Louis Marin and the Limits of Representation', Dalhousie French Studies 80 (Fall 2007), 59–67.
  • '"This is my body": the words of the Eucharist in the work of Louis Marin and Jean-Luc Nancy', in Thomas Baldwin, James Fowler and Shane Weller (ed.), The Flesh in the Text (Bern: Peter Lang, 2007), 243–259.
  • 'Poussin aux Etats-Unis d'Arcadie', in Hélène Merlin-Kajman (d.), La Littérature, le XVIIe siècle et nous: dialogue transatlantique (Paris: Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle, 2008), 283–292.
  • 'Space and Absence in Sophie Calle's Suite vénitienne and Disparitions', L'Esprit Crateur 51: 1 (Spring 2011), 'Watch this Space: Women's Conceptualisations of Space in Contemporary French Film and Visual Art', ed. M-C Barnet and S. Jordan, 125–38.
  • 'Louis Marin, Poussin and the Sublime', Art History 34: 5 (November 2011), 914–933.
  • ‘Joseph Epstein (1911–1944): The case of the forgotten French Resistance hero rescued by the artist Pascal Convert’, French Cultural Studies 24: 4 (November 2013), 398–416.
  • ‘Écrire l’art : enjeux esthétiques, stylistiques et politiques dans l’œuvre de Georges Didi-Huberman’, in Existe-t-il un style Minuit?, eds K. Germoni et al. (Aix-en-Provence: Presses de l'Université d'Aix-Marseille, 2015).
  • ‘Introduction’ and ‘Legacies of Sublime Poussin: Louis Marin’s Plea for Poussin as a Painter’ in Louis Marin, ed. Cantillon and Saint, Early Modern French Studies 38: 1 (July 2016), 2-10 and 59–73. 
  • ‘Georges Didi-Huberman: From non-savoir to the Atlas’, Images, Imagini, Images 5/2015 (2017), University of Bucharest, Special Issue: 'Georges Didi-Huberman: Déplier l’image', ed. Laura Marin, 39–62.
  • ‘Figure and Agency in the Work of Georges Didi-Huberman’, in Usages de la figure, régimes de figuration, eds. Laura Marin and Anca Diaconu (University of Bucharest Press, 2017), 97–107.


  • Laetitia Fieschi-Vivet, 'Investigation of a mystery: Cinema and the Sacred in Hlas pour moi', in Michael Temple and James S. Williams (ed.), The Cinema Alone: Essays on the Work of Jean-Luc Godard 1985–2000 (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2000), 189–206.
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Research groups and institutes

  • French
  • Literary studies
  • Centre for World Literatures
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>