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, photography and installation art. I am currently working on the exploration of ageing, ageism, gender and care across media and in comparative perspective.  

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 have also published 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 is enabling 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

  • Director of Research for SML (from September 2018)
  • Member of cross-Faculty leadership team of NUCoRE (Newcastle University Centre of Excellence) for Ageing and Inequality
  • Steering Committee of NUHRI (Newcastle University Humanities Research Institute) 
  • Associate Fellow of the Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London
  • Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing (CCWW)
  • Editorial Board of French Studies 
  • Editorial Board of Legenda Monographs in French Studies

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 (2010-17) 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. I am currently working on the exploration of ageing, ageism, gender and care across media and in comparative perspective

Other Expertise

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

Current Work

I am currently preparing my next major monograph on ageing, ageism, old age and care in French literature, theory and visual culture since the publication of Simone de Beauvoir's La Vieillesse (1970). I am also undertaking a range of projects relating to the photographs of older people made by Belgian-born Magnum photographer Martine Franck. I am preparing a sole-edited special issue of the journal French Studies on Ageism, Ageing and Old Age in Contemporary French Culture which will appear in 2021. In addition I am co-editing a book entitled Women and Power in Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures and Societies which examines the shifting terrain of women's power as articulated in a wide range of media and practices.       

Future Research

I plan to build on my current research on ageing, ageism, gender 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. I am also keen to bring to greater prominence the extensive, but largely neglected body of photographic work in which Martine Franck documents the lives of older people. I also continue to promote a wide range of research projects on contemporary women's writing in French and in comparative perspective by co-organizing the themed seminars which run each year at the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing.  

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.

I am currently supervisor for Jemima Jobling, who is conducting research on class identity in the work of Annie Ernaux, Christine Angot and Virginie Despentes, and Tomohide Mitsumori who is undertaking ethnographic research on rental maids and butlers in Tokyo.

Teaching

UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING

I convene the following modules:

  • FRE2013 Ethnography for Language Learners (French)
  • FRE4016 Contemporary Life Writing in French: Textual and Visual Experiment
I also teach on:
  • SML1018 Introduction to Literature


Publications