School of Modern Languages

Staff Profiles

Professor Shirley Jordan

Professor of French Studies

Background

BACKGROUND

Introduction

I joined Newcastle University as Professor in French Studies in August 2017.

My research interests include 20th and 21st Century French and Francophone literature and visual culture, especially new women’s writing in French, feminisms, life writing and photography.

I am author of books on the art criticism of Francis Ponge, on new women’s writing in French and on the work of Goncourt-prize-winning author Marie NDiaye. I also recently edited a book on visual culture and interruption in global cities.

I am Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing (CCWW) in London University’s School of Advanced Study, a role which involves fostering new research on contemporary women’s writing and overseeing the organization of related events and activities in London and, more especially, in institutions in the North. This role will enable an exciting partnership between Newcastle University and the CCWW. 

Background

Before coming to Newcastle in 2017 I spent ten years as Reader, then Professor of French Literature and Visual Culture, at Queen Mary University of London. Prior to that, I worked for ten years as Senior Lecturer in French at Oxford Brookes University.

Roles and Responsibilities

Qualifications

  • PhD in French, The Art Criticism of Francis Ponge (Univesity of Hull)
  • BA Hons, English and French, First class with oral distinction (University of Hull)
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Previous Positions

At Queen Mary University of London I served as Director of Research for the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film, Head of the Department of French and Deputy Head of School.

Research

RESEARCH

Research Interests

My broad research interests include 20th and 21st Century French and Francophone literature and visual culture, especially new women’s writing in French, feminisms, life writing and photography, including experimental urban photography and portraiture / self-portraiture. I have also published on installation art.

Other Expertise

I have conducted pedagogic research on intercultural learning and ethnography for advanced language learners.

Current Work

I am currently completing a book entitled Intimacy and Excess in French Women’s Self-Narrative Experiment, which explores life writing, film and installation art by major figures such as Annie Ernaux, Christine Angot, Agnès Varda and Chantal Akerman. I am interested in how private or socially taboo issues are presented in the public domain, and with what consequences. The book has several chapters on the life-writing and self-portraiture of old age and is a stepping stone to my next major project concerning ageing, ageism, old age and care in French literature, theory and visual culture. I am also in the final stages of co-editing a book entitled What Forms Can Do about the complex ways in which form, both in literary and visual culture, connects us with lived experience in the world beyond the text. Both books will be published by Liverpool University Press.      

Future Research

I plan to build on my current research on ageing, ageism, old age and care, to form a major collaborative project which will be interdisciplinary and cross-cultural and which will highlight the value of humanities research in the area. In the short term, I am organizing other projects such as a seminar on disorderly eating in contemporary women’s writing which will run at the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing in December.  

Current Research Roles and Contributions to the Wider Research Community

  • Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing (CCWW) and Director of the French seminar series (CWWF) at London University’s School of Advanced Study.
  • Associate Fellow of the Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London

Member of:

  • Editorial Board of French Studies

  • Editorial Committee of Legenda Research Monographs in French Studies

  • Editorial Committee of Collection monographique Rodopi en littérature française contemporaine (Brill)

  • Editorial Advisory Board of French Cultural Studies

  • University of London in Paris (ULIP) Research Advisory Board

 

PhD Supervision

I have supervised PhDs on a wide range of contemporary French and Francophone writers, especially on life writing by women.  

I am interested in research proposals pertaining to contemporary women’s writing in French, life writing, installation art, photography (urban or portrait), and projects situated at the visual / literary interface. I would especially welcome projects which address the key issues of ageing, ageism, old age and care.

Teaching

TEACHING 2017-18

Undergraduate Teaching

  • FRE2012 Contemporary Life Writing in French: Textual and Visual Experiment
  • SML1018 Introduction to Literature
  • FRE2061 Level C (HE Advanced) French

I am also devising a final-year module entitled ‘Approaches to Photography: French Thought and Practice’ that will run in 2018-19