‘I’m writing a book about love letters’: My MHRA Research Scholarship

Pitching your book proposal to an editor is apparently a bit like appearing on the game show ‘The Bachelor’ (according to Rachel Toor’s article, ‘The Reality of Writing a Good Book Proposal’). ‘The Bachelor’ is a reality TV show where a man has to pick one woman to take out on a date, rejecting the …

One hundred years of Roland Barthes

One of the most often quoted intellectuals of the twentieth century, Roland Barthes’s name resonates far beyond the French-speaking world – whether for his Marxist-semiotic analysis of the ideology of French consumer society (Mythologies, 1957), as one of the main representatives of structuralism, a linguistic-formalist approach to literature and other cultural phenomena, as a celebrator …

Internationally-renowned cultural theorist Luce Irigaray to speak at Nottingham Conference on Living and Speaking Together

The Conference Luce Irigaray introduces the concepts behind the conference she is co-organising with CLAS head of school Judith Still: Many imagine that building a world culture requires us to use a conceptual and abstract universal language which would be capable of dominating the complexity of the world as it is today. Certainly, this corresponds …

Chinese Cultural Impact in Benin

Dr Catherine Gilbert (Research Fellow, Department of French and Francophone Studies) The future of China-Africa relations will increasingly be determined by the interactions of people on the ground. Cultural presence plays a vital role in sensitising African peoples to the diversity of Chinese culture and dispelling many of the myths that are currently in circulation, …

Charlie Hebdo editors double down on their principles in first issue since attacks

The latest edition of Charlie Hebdo is nothing out of the ordinary. Today’s response to the attack on its offices on January 7 is precisely what sets it apart from other newspapers. The front cover, a cartoon of a weeping prophet Muhammad holding a sign reading “Je suis Charlie” that was released in advance, is …

Sarkozy sets his sights on 2017 election as rivals flounder

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been re-elected as leader of the opposition party the UMP. His candidacy for the 2017 presidential election is still not certain but his rivals are in a state of disarray and may not be able to stop him standing in 2017. On the eve of the presidential election in …

Routes into Languages: a student ambassador’s experience

Fresh from her speech at the recent Routes into Languages national training event, Hayley Smith (BA Economics with French) speaks about her experience as a student ambassador for the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies. Routes into Languages”is a consortium of universities working together with schools and colleges to enthuse and encourage people to study languages. …

How the far right landed in the French Senate

As if the French president, François Hollande, didn’t have enough woes, elections for the senate have dealt him another blow. Three years after Hollande’s socialists won the first ever majority for the left in the upper house, the right wing has taken back an assembly it believes to be its own. And worse still, among …

Building Images: AHRC funds a new project to study relations between China and Africa from the perspective of cultural exchange and translation

The intensification of China’s involvement in Africa over the last fifteen years has prompted much debate in media reports worldwide, as well as in academic circles, and interpretations of what China is ‘doing’ in Africa vary widely. The Independent’s choice of words in a 2009 article, in which China’s involvement in Africa is referred to …

Nottingham Advantage Award: Students Become Teachers!

During the Autumn Semester 2013-14, and fresh from their year abroad as British Council Language Assistants, three CLAS final-year undergraduate students – Olivia Gowie and Matthew York from the Department of German Studies, and Melissa Watson from the Department of French & Francophone Studies – undertook a language-teaching project at Greenfields Primary School, Nottingham, as …