I joined Aston in September 2011 after nearly eight years at Reading University where I worked first as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and thereafter as a lecturer and teaching fellow in French Studies. At Reading I taught French language, translation practice, Contemporary French Politics and French political and intellectual history 1815-1958. At Aston, I will be working in both the French and Translation Studies Departments.
Areas of Research Interest
At the heart of my research since my PhD has been the necessity to reshape literary or cultural taxonomies hitherto based on confessional labels which marginalize or exoticize Catholic literature in France and England. This necessity has inspired my recourse to secularization theory and to the writings of Charles Taylor and William T. Cavanaugh concerning the philosophy of the individual and socio-ecclesial theory. I have also drawn theoretical concepts from the writings of René Girard to problematise the themes of French Catholic literature in the ways that explore its attempts to speak to the individual and societal ramifications of secularization.
Another strand of my research concerns the French Far Right and the morphology of nationalism and national identities. I am the editor of National Identities in France which was published by Transaction Publishers in December 2011.
As of early 2012, I have begun a new project on writers such as Gabriel Marcel and Jacques Ellul who, in their writings about technology, provide a kind of Christian humanist rearguardduring a period in which the concept of the human is brought increasingly under question.
Catholic Literature and Secularization in France and England 1880-1914 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011), 256pp.
Recent scholarly articles and chapters
2011 — ‘A Room with a View: Window Images and “Open Immanence” in the writings of Adolphe Retté and G. K. Chesterton, Literature and Theology, 2011, 1-15, doi:10.1093/lithe/frr026.
2011 — ‘The Untameable Provence of Charles Maurras’, Nottingham French Studies: L’Invention du Midi, ed. Nicholas Hewitt and Tina Woloshyn, 50, 1 (Spring 2011), 19-30.
2010 — ‘Restaurer ou se révolter? La renaissance des lettres catholiques dans le contexte de la modernité’, Résistances à la modernité dans la littérature française de 1800 à nos jours, ed. by Christophe Ippolito (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2010), 229-244.
2010 — ‘Régis Debray and René Girard: At Large among the Dialogical Dilemmas of Post-Secular Society’, French Studies Bulletin, 31, 114 (2010), 13-15.
Other publications as editor
National Identities in France, (New Jersey: Translation Press, 2012), 310pp.
Scholarly engagements by invitation
‘Retté, Chesterton and Open Immanence’, Modernism and Christianity Seminar Series, University of Bergen, Norway, October 2011.
‘Girardian Patterns in the short stories of Georges Bernanos’ Desire, Deceit and The Novel Colloquium, St John's College, Cambridge, May 2011.
‘L'irréalisme du pays réel: Girardian mythe and the montée aux extrêmes in the late works of Georges Bernanos’, Catholic Intellectuals in France in the Mid-Twentieth Century, Magdalen College, Oxford ,March 2011
'Parallels between the French and English Catholic Literary Revivals'. Table Ronde: A Divine Entente Cordiale, College des Bernadins, Paris, October 2009
Guest-lecturer at the Seton Hall University Summer School at Oxford in 2009 and 2011.
Interview on Radio Notre Dame in Paris, 'Emission: Le Grande Temoin', 15th October 2009
2008 External Examiner for students of BSc Engineering with French at the University of Bath.