Professor Nina Wardleworth

Professor Nina Wardleworth


I was educated at the University of Exeter (BA - French and Arabic, PhD - French), and have taught at the Universities of Exeter and Chester. I was a postdoctoral Research Fellow and Teaching Fellow at Leeds between 2006 and 2010. I then returned to Leeds in 2013, initially part-time. I became an Associate Professor in August 2020 and a full Professor in January 2023.


  • Academic Lead for Decolonising

Research interests

Current research project: Colonial subjects in the French Resistance – commemoration and memory.

Although there has been an increasing amount of research on the role played by colonial soldiers in the Free French Army and the Provence landings and subsequent liberation of France, the presence of colonial subjects in the French Resistance remains marginalised. Initial research has revealed that there were at least 5,000 colonial resistance fighters in groups throughout France.

My research examines the memory of this contribution at a national and local level in France and in cultural depictions (graphic novels, films and novels).

I am currently working with the Mémorial du Mont Valérien on an exhibition entitled “Combattants et résistants coloniaux pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale”, scheduled to open in September 2023. I also write a blog on this topic.

I welcome enquires about supervision from students interested in researching the following areas:

  • French colonial legacies in cultural representations
  • France during WW2
  • Black France
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in French (Exeter)
  • BA (Hons) in Arabic and French (Exeter)

Student education

Between January 2019 and July 2022, I was Student Success Academic Lead. In this post I promoted decolonial and inclusive curriculum design and delivery across the university in order to make the University of Leeds a positive studying environment for our diverse student body and to reduce several degree classification attainment gaps. 

This post builds on my own student education delivery. My teaching focuses on French and Francophone Studies, mainly the study of France's colonial empire and its legacy in France and the Francophone World. I also teach and lead cross-school modules in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies with a pan-European and global focus.

I am engaged in decolonial curriculum design, rethinking what a degree in Modern Foreign Langugages should mean, and how to challenge restrictive canons.

Research groups and institutes

  • French
  • Conflict
  • Gender
  • Memory, Trauma and Violence
  • War Studies
  • History
<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="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>