ReFrance: Centre for the Study of Contemporary France
Research Excellence Framework 2014
UoA No:D28 French/Modern Languages
UoA Coordinator: Professor Jean-Pierre Boulé
The French unit is located within the College of Arts and Science and is part of History, Languages and International Studies within the School of Arts and Humanities. Staff specialise in contemporary politics, culture, philosophy, literature and society with extensive synergies between researchers. Research is organised under the umbrella of the research centre: ReFrance: Centre for the Study of Contemporary France. By means of individual and collaborative research, ReFrance focuses on the processes of cultural change, intellectual and political debates, social trends and tendencies, activisms, struggles and everyday contexts that inform contemporary France. We have developed a project on 'The Crisis in France' with a website which provides a space for continued debate, discussion and collaboration. Our group is strongly informed by multidisciplinarity, seeking new forms of synergy between researchers and disciplines, as can be seen, for example, in the political, cultural, sociological, philosophical contributions and responses to the Crisis website.
The team comprises:
- Dr Allwood (Reader in Gender Politics)
- Professor Boulé (Professor of Contemporary French Studies- Chevalier dans l’ordre des palmes académiques)
- Dr Braganca (Lecturer in French)
- Dr Martin (Senior Lecturer in French Language)
- Dr McCaffrey (Reader in French)
- Dr Reynolds (Senior Lecturer in French and European Studies)
- Professor O'Shaughnessy (Professor in Film Studies)
- Professor Pratt (Professor of French and International Studies).
This is a centre for the study of the processes of cultural change, intellectual and political debates, social trends and tendencies, activisms and struggles that inform contemporary France. As its title suggests, its remit extends beyond traditional 'French Studies' parameters, in that it provides a reference point for external engagement with France today – a country grappling with reform, reconsideration, reinvention in balance with tradition, Republican values and resistances.
The centre is founded specifically within the key areas of cultural and socio-political developments, cinema studies, and gender studies, yet is strongly informed by multi- and inter-disciplinarity, seeking new forms of synergy between researchers, disciplines, and outcomes. The centre aims to organise research seminars and workshops, to facilitate capture of external grants and to be a focal point for postgraduate students.
The results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise found that:
- 75% of research in French at NTU is deemed to be recognised internationally, and 30% of that research was judged to be internationally excellent
- 15% of research in French at NTU was considered to be world leading in terms of peer-esteem and international recognition
- The results for French, place NTU second in terms of new universities for research
- The French panel commented: 'The outputs were found to have significant evidence of international excellence and recognition, with positive evidence of national recognition'.
Acknowledging the need for current research to be flexible and innovative in its engagement with the terrain, and in finding new forms of collaboration, methodologies and dissemination, the centre also plans to shape itself as an 'observatory' on contemporary events in France, offering dynamic platforms for contextualisation, commentary and analysis.
Members of the Centre contribute to teaching in French and European Studies.
We offer consultancies in:
- French language training
- social and cultural issues in France, Switzerland, Canada and the Francophone Pacific
- understanding change in France: Politics, society, literature and culture.
News and events
The centre runs regular research seminars with internal and external speakers and organises research workshops.
Website on 'France and the Crisis'. The site comes out of the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France organised at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) in September 2010. It aims to make some of the discussions at that conference available to a wider audience and to provide an ongoing forum for the exchange of information about, and discussion of, the crisis and French responses to it. The site has blogs, video material, discussion papers, recommended links and suggested readings. It is aimed at academics and their students, school teachers keen to update their knowledge of contemporary France and a wider public interested in French responses to the crisis.
The French research team at NTU:
- Professor Jean-Pierre Boulé (Co-Director)
- Dr Gill Allwood
- Dr Manu Braganca
- Dr Alison Martin
- Dr Enda McCaffrey (Co-Director)
- Professor Martin O'Shaughnessy
- Professor Murray Pratt
- Dr Chris Reynolds
Associate members of ReFrance from within NTU:
- Dr Arnaud Genon, European School, Karlsruhe, Germany
- Dr Joe Hardwick, University of Queensland (NSW), Australia
- Dr Owen Heathcote, Honorary Visiting Reader, University of Bradford
- Dr Ann Miller, University Fellow in French, University of Leicester
- Dr Denis Provencher, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA
- Dr Alistair Rolls, University of Newcastle (NSW), Australia
- Dr Marie-Laure Vuaille-Barcan, University of Newcastle (NSW), Australia
- Dr Renaud Olivero, University of Nottingham