BA (Oxford); MèsL (Paris IV-Sorbonne); PhD (Columbia)
Summary of research interests and expertise
My research first focused on interconnections between small and major literary and ethnographic reviews across the European continent in the first half of the 20th century. Its particular focus was the work of Jean Paulhan, the milieu he established around the Nouvelle Revue Française, and the connections between this review and the broader moment of cultural change in Europe. One major output from this work was The Extreme In-Between: Jean Paulhan’s Place in the Twentieth Century (Legenda, 2006). These interests brought me to Paris and to how the French capital has functioned as a crossroads for the circulation of literary and cultural ideas around the world.
Since then I have led a series of collaborative projects, taking the form of conferences and edited collections, such as May 68: Rethinking France’s Last Revolution, with Julian Jackson and James S. Williams (London: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2011). In 2010, I also started working more directly on contemporary migration, drawing on methodologies from human geography and cultural translation to develop fieldwork and experimental workshops. These aim to consider translation’s role as a creative process of decentring that might also be therapeutic or helpful in buffering the difficult realities faced by many migrant people today. This work led to the creation of the Paris Centre for Migrant Writing and Expression.
In parallel to these developments, I write more experimentally in French from the vantage point of northern-eastern Paris. This work has given rise to a book entitled 75, an experiment in urban poetics and history published by Gallimard in 2016, and a recent venture in collective writing and production with people living in forced displacement, which has resulted in a series of one-off books called the Numimeserian Collection. This emerging collection is housed by the Vaclav Havel Public Library and has formed the basis for a range of public-engagement projects. I’m also an active member of Quartiers Solidaires.
Co-editor, Contemporary Fiction in French, with Russell Williams, Cambridge University Press, 2021
Co-author, The New Internationalists, with Sue Clayton, Goldsmiths/MIT, 2020
‘Getting a Future: Fiction and Social Reproduction’ in Contemporary Fiction in French, with Russell Williams, Cambridge University Press, 2020
‘Le banc public : une infra-structure de/dans la migration’ in L’Objet de la migration, C. Alexandre-Garnier and A. Galitzine-Loupet (eds.), Presses universitaires de Nanterre, 2020, pp. 171-181
'Accumulation versus Dispersion: Perec and "his" diaspora' in Georges Perec's Geographies, Ch. A. Leak and R. Philips (eds.), UCL Press, 2019, pp. 78-94
‘Sylvain George’s Minor Mode, or Cinema at the Margins of its Fragile Community’ in France in Flux, ed. A. Blatt and E. Welch (eds.), Liverpool University Press, 2019, pp. 92-112
Editor, Plural Cultures and Spatial Politics: Situating the Institut des Cultures d'Islam in the Postcolonial Landscape of Paris, Francosphères, 7.2, 2018
'Between 'Culture' and 'Culte', the Institut des Cultures d'Islam is "here"', in Francosphères, 7.2 (2018)
‘Accueil inconditionnel. "Mobile People"’ in Vacarme 83, (2018), pp. 26-31
Co-editor and interview, L’ailleurs en temps de globalisation/Elsewhere in Times of Globalisation, with Ch. Forsdick and J.-M Moura, Revue critique de fixxion française contemporaine, (16), 2018
‘From Cultural Translation to Clinical Consultation. Working between languages, working between disciplines’ in Critical Multilingualism Studies, 5.1 (2017), pp. 7-31
75, Gallimard, 2016
‘Café Kaplan’ in Leslie Kaplan, ed. M. Hilsum (ed.), Classiques Garnier, 2016, pp. 113-127
Co-editor, The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of Paris, Cambridge University Press, 2013
‘Unsheltering Language’ in Francospheres, 1.1 (2012), pp. 69-96
Co-editor, May 68: Rethinking France’s Last Revolution, with Julian Jackson and James S. Williams, London: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2011
‘The Singular Banlieue’ in Esprit créateur, 50.3 (2010), pp. 53-69
Research projects & supervisions
Currently supervising a LAHP collaborative doctoral project with the Pôle d’exploration des ressources urbaines (PEROU) entitled Hospitality as Intangible Cultural Heritage?Concept and Practice in La Chapelle, Paris (Rachele Shamouni Naghde, from September 2019)
Leverhulme Doctoral Scholar working on Narratives of Intergenerational Mobility in Athens (Katherine Phipps, from September 2020)
Previous supervisions were in 20th-century French literature and critical theory, and interwar history of forced displacement.