School of Modern Languages

Staff Profiles

Cécilia Gil

  • Former Research Student

Doctoral Student in French Literature


Prof Máire Cross and Dr Kathryn Robson

Monstrosity in post-1990 French women’s writing: A case study of four authors

My PhD thesis examines the work of four women writers – Régine Detambel, Louise L. Lambrichs, Lorette Nobécourt and Amélie Nothomb – who started publishing in France in the 1990s. Contrary to the literary celebrations of the body which were more typical of women’s writing of the previous decades, the female authors of the “new generation” have populated their stories with more unsettling, disturbing images of human embodiments. My interest lies in how these new monstrous characters, born of the contemporary demands and anxieties of fin-de-siècle France, are represented.  My project seeks to critically analyse these new monstrous bodies through a theoretical framework that draws on psychoanalytic and post-structural theory to locate and define them within a renewed understanding of self-other relations, of socio-cultural limits and boundaries, and of the (embodied) life-cycle.

Research Interests

Monstrosity; Contemporary women’s writing; French literature; Writing of the body; Psychoanalysis

Research Groups

Contemporary Women’s Writing in French Seminar


At the School of Modern Languages, Newcastle University:

FRE 1064 – French Beginners
FRE 1065 & FRE 1066 – Level A French General Language
FRE 1071 – Level B French General Language
FRE 2061 – Level C French General Language
FRE3004 – Translation for Exchange Students
FRE 4005 – Modern French Literature
Medical French
PARTNERS Assessed French Summer School

At other universities:

Language Tutor at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Sunderland
Reserve language tutor for a residential school, The Open University


‘“Who’s the monster?” Amélie Nothomb’s re-assessed dynamics of criminality, monstrosity and bodily violence’, presented at “Bodies of Evidence: Crime, Gender and Representation”, 2 April 2012, Newcastle University.

‘Guilty victims and murderous saviours: Amélie Nothomb’s re-assessment of monstrosity’, presented at “Re-thinking the Monstrous: Violence and Criminality in Society”, 1-3 July 2011, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich.

‘Monstrous bodies in Lorette Nobécourt’s Nous and En nous la vie des morts’, presented at “A Decade of Women’s Writing in France: Trends and Horizons 2000-2010”, 14-16 October 2010, IMLR (Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing), University of London.

‘Producing doubles, creating monsters: visions of the contemporary mother-daughter relationship in Louise L. Lambrichs's A ton image’ presented at the School of Modern Languages Research Seminar Series, 7 October 2010, Newcastle University.

‘Clones and other monstrous creations of the contemporary mother-daughter relationship in Louise L. Lambrichs’s A ton image’ presented at “Hybrids, Monsters and Other Aliens in 20th and 21st Century Writing”, 9-11 September 2010, IMLR, University of London.


Cécilia Gil, ‘Ecrire la vieillesse dans l’oeuvre de Régine Detambel’, in Aventures et expériences littéraires: Ecritures des femmes au début du vingt-et-unième siècle, ed. by Amaleena Damlé and Gill Rye (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2014).


Conference organisation: postgraduate helper at:

“The Society for the Study of French History”, Twenty-Fourth Annual Conference, 27-29 June 2010, Newcastle University.

“A Decade of Women’s Writing in France: Trends and Horizons 2000-2010”, 14-16 October 2010, IMLR (Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing), University of London.

Other academic experience:

Editor (French) for E-pisteme, 2007-08, Newcastle University.

Translation of academic paper (English to French), June 2012, Newcastle University.

Academic Background

MLitt (Merit) in English Literature at Newcastle University.

BA (Hons) in English Literature, Language and Linguistics at Université de Pau, France.