Month: March 2014

Romancing the Bastille


It’s been a good week for French-themed things in the Division of Literature and Languages and our Wednesday research seminar continued the trend with our colleague Dale Townshend giving a very interesting paper entitled ‘Romancing the Bastille’, examining ‘the imaginative uptake of the Bastille, that medieval French fortress of punishment and imprisonment, in British culture of the eighteenth century.’ Dale (who is responsible for our Gothic Imagination MLitt) offered an account of the ways in which the storming of the Bastille in July 1789 was covered in the British periodical and newspaper press of the day, before considering ‘some of the dramas, Gothic, proto-Gothic and otherwise, that sought to retell this inaugurating event of the French Revolution on the Romantic stage in the early 1790s.’

Let’s hope the French theme continues after the mid-semester break…

Alison Cooper: You’re super!

Yesterday was a sad and yet oddly joyous day for us in French at Stirling because it was the last day, before retirement, for our much loved and admired administrator, Alison Cooper.

Alison has worked at Stirling for over 20 years, first as the administrator for French and then for Languages, Cultures and Religions, and most recently for Literature and Languages. Colleagues past and present got together yesterday to wish her a happy and (doubtless) very active retirement which also gave us a chance, and an excuse, , to take a ‘family photo’…
Alison farewell 200314 2

On behalf of all staff and students in French at Stirling, and in Literature and Languages, un grand merci à Alison et bonne continuation!! And thanks to Alastair Duncan for the plagiarised line from his poem in Alison’s honour that serves as a title for this blog piece!

Delphine de Vigan

It’s not every day that a leading Scottish writer gives you a tip for a French author you might want to have a look at but that’s precisely what happened yesterday and it would seem daft not to pass on the recommendation! Janice Galloway, who is Visiting Professor of Creative Writing in the Division of Literature and Languages at Stirling, gave a great lecture on ‘Memoir and Fiction’ to students on the ‘Writing and Identity’ module coordinated by Scott Hames yesterday.
As well as talking about responses to memoir and the unreliability of the very notion of genre, she also happened to mention that anybody looking to read an excellent contemporary writer engaging with these areas should try French author Delphine de Vigan. We’ll be taking Janice’s advice and buying some of her work for the library!
Delphine de Vigan

Stirling French Students to Attend Multilingual Debates

On 2 April, our Language Coordinator, Jean-Michel DesJacques, will be heading to Edinburgh with some of our current final year students to attend one of Heriot Watt University’s annual multilingual debates. The debate topic for the afternoon session our students will be attending is ‘This House believes that the fragmentation of existing member-states could endanger the future of the EU’ and the debate is conducted in a number of languages with simultaneous interpreting provided by HW final year and postgrad students.

We’ll post an account of the day’s events in a few weeks.

Erasmus Visitor

We’re looking forward to welcoming José Domingues de Almeida from the University of Porto to Stirling at the start of April. Jose will be here as part of the Erasmus staff mobility programme and will be teaching classes on our final year language and option courses during his stay. His research centres on contemporary French and Francophone literature, and he is the editor of the University of Porto’s French Studies journal Intercâmbio.

Postgraduate Bursaries in Languages at the University of Stirling

Stirling University’s School of Arts and Humanities is pleased to offer a number of £6000 per annum research postgraduate bursaries for students starting a research degree programme in the coming academic year 2014-15.

The French programme at Stirling is particularly keen to encourage strong applications from students interested in pursuing postgraduate research in any of our areas of expertise (Postcolonial Studies, Gender and Sexualities, and Visual Cultures, in particular). French forms part of the Division of Literature and Languages and further information about our teaching and research can be found via our webpages.

Full details on the bursaries, eligibility criteria and how to apply can be found here. Please note that the submission deadline is Tuesday 1 April 2014.