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Dr Joanne Brueton, Lecturer (ULIP)
Dr Joanne Brueton, Lecturer in French Studies

I completed my undergraduate degree in Modern and Medieval Languages at St John’s College, University of Cambridge, and pursued my postgraduate studies at University College London where I was awarded a PhD in French Literature in 2016.

My research focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century French and Francophone literature. I specialize in the politics of identity in Jean Genet, and a monograph entitled Geometry and Jean Genet: Shaping the subject is forthcoming next year with Legenda. Last year, I co-authored a book on modern French poetry and mathematics, Le compas et la lyre (Paris: Calvage et Mounet, 2018), in which I explore how Mallarmé, Baudelaire, Beckett and Barthes exploit the figure of zero to make sense of the ineffable.

My current research explores neo-colonial politics within contemporary Moroccan literature. Authors including Tahar Ben Jelloun, Abdellah Taïa, Abdellatif Laâbi, Leila Slimani and Mohammed Choukri often evoke canonical works of French literature in their texts: sometimes ventriloquizing dominant French intellectuals, or rewriting exoticising narratives that reduced them to Arab objects of French fantasy. I am interested in the transnational possibilities of Maghrebi French writing, and ask how these authors contest and redefine the cultural heritage of a diasporic Francophone world. As a recipient of the ASMCF early career award, I spent the summer at the Archives d’Outre Mer in Aix-en-Provence researching the political correspondence surrounding Moroccan Independence from French colonial rule.

I started teaching at ULIP in 2017, where I deliver undergraduate courses on gender and sexuality, contemporary French politics and civilization, and an introduction to French literature, as well as postgraduate modules on exiles and outsiders. I have also taught gender politics, postcolonial writing, and contemporary French thought at the Ecole normale supérieure, the American University of Paris and Université Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle.

Teaching Specialisms:

  • Politics of gender, sexuality and queer theory
  • Twentieth and twenty-first century French literature, thought, and critical theory
  • Postcolonial, transnational and diaspora literature in the Francophone world
  • Urban politics of exile and displacement                                                                                 


PhD in French Studies, University College London, awarded with no corrections in 2016



  • Geometry and Jean Genet: Shaping the Subject (Oxford: Legenda, 2021)
  • Le compas et la lyre : Regards croisés sur les mathématiques et la poésie  (Paris: Calvage et Mounet, 2018). Co-authored with Antoine Houlou-Garcia and Bernard Randé. 

Journal Articles:

  • “Drifting with direction: Going astray with Jean Genet”, in ‘On Drifting’, Performance Research, Taylor & Francis, Vol.23, 8 (December 2018)
  • “Une rose des vents politique: The Southern winds of Jean Genet’s poetic compass”, Artl@s Bulletin, Purdue University Press, Vol 8, 2 (September, 2019)
  • “Genet’s Palestinian folklore”, in ‘Reframing Exoticism in European Literature’, Modern Humanities Research Association, Working Papers in the Humanities, Vol.14, 3 (Autumn 2019)
  • “Manufacturing the self in contemporary female autobiography”, in ‘Aux frontières du réel : Littérature et réalité au XXIe siècle’, Australian Journal of French Studies, Liverpool University Press, Vol.58, 2 (July 2021)

Selected book review:

  • Arka Chattopadhyay, Beckett, Lacan and the Mathematical Writing of the Real (London: Bloomsbury academic, 2019), French Studies, 73.4 (December 2019)
  • Antoine Houlou-Garcia, Le monde est-il mathématique ? Les maths au prisme des sciences humaines (Paris: Honoré Champion, 2015) French Studies, 70.3 (July 2016)

Book chapters:

  • ‘A stitch in time: Temporal threads in Genet and Derrida’ in Matters of Time: Material Temporalities in twentieth-century French culture, eds. Lisa Jeschke & Adrian May (Oxford; New York: Peter Lang, 2014)

French-English Translations:

  • Co-translation of Christian Biet and Christophe Triau, What is Theatre? (Oxford: Routledge, 2018)
  • Christian Biet, “The evolution of French Tragedy in the 17th and 18th centuries, from scenic cruelty to the dramatic poem”, in A Cultural History of Tragedy, ed. Rebecca Bushnell (London: Bloomsbury, 2019)
  • Olivier Neveux, ‘Contre le theatre politique’ (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021)

Recent conference papers and talks:

  • Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies Annual Conference 2019 (15 – 16 November 2019) Postcolonial Realms of Memory in the Francophone World. “Je n’ai qu’une langue, ce n’est pas la mienne”. Ventriloquising French authors in contemporary Moroccan writing’
  • The Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France (4 – 6 September 2019) The Transnational City. ‘The wounds of migration in contemporary Moroccan literature: shame, syncretism, and sexuality’.
  • University of Oxford (May 19th 2019) Queer Cosmopolitanisms. ‘Queer Palimpsests in Tahar Ben Jelloun and Abdellah Taïa’.
  • Ecole normale supérieure, Interdiscplinary seminar, January 14th 2019. Trop sensibles, L’écriture du corps adolescent dans la littérature contemporaine d’expression française. “Le désir du corps chez Jean Genet”
  • Paris Nanterre, Study Day for AHRC Literature Under Constraint (8th June 2018). Aux frontières du réel : Littérature et réalité au XXIe siècle. ‘The self-constraint of self-writing in Anne Garréta, Annie Ernaux, and Nathalie Sarraute’
  • Paris 3, NYU, Paris 7, (April 12th – 14th 2018). Penser la littérature et le cinéma à travers la culture visuelle. ‘The rhythms of visual poetry in Beckett’s Quad’
  • ENS, Département Littérature et langages, Département d’Histoire et Théorie des arts, (January 18th – 19th 2018). Le défi de Caliban : l’espace artistique et littéraire du « Sud ». ‘Le Sud vu par Genet’