Dr Julia Dobson
Reader in French Film and Performance
Telephone: (0114) 222 2877
Email : email@example.com
BA French and Russian, MA Critical Theory, PhD (Nottingham)
I completed my first degree, BA Joint Hons French and Russian, at the University of Nottingham and remained there to complete an MA in Critical Theory before combining all of these in a PhD on ‘The Construction of Poetic Identity in the Theatre of Hélène Cixous and Marina Tsvetaeva’. Both postgraduate degrees were funded by the British Academy. My first teaching post was at the University of Wolverhampton in 1992. I taught at the universities of Nottingham, Warwick and Leeds before joining the Department of French in Sheffield in 2004.
My research engages primarily with shifting dynamics of relationships between self and other and with the mapping of cultural constructions of alterity. Such questions inform my research in two fields: contemporary theatre and contemporary film.
- The writing and theatre of Hélène Cixous and her collaborations with the Théatre du soleil
- Cultural constructions of alterity in contemporary philosophical discourse, French film and performance
- Contemporary puppet theatre and the shifting parameters of performing objects – particularly the relationship between body, agency and voice
- New configurations of the auteur in contemporary French film – with particular reference to the work of Jacques Audiard
- The role of genre in articulating political discourse in contemporary French cinema
- Documentary film and first person documentary practice.
Current and Recent Research Projects
- I have recently completed a monograph: Negotiating the Auteur: Dominique Cabrera, Noémie Lvovsky, Laetitia Masson and Marion Vernoux, to be published with Manchester University Press. This research focuses on the re-mappings of generic, gender and filmic discourses in constructions of personal, social and political identities. I was invited to take part in a roundtable discussion ‘Women’s filmmaking in France in the 2000s’ at the Institut français in 2010. See http://womenfilmfrance.wordpress.com/programme/
- I am currently working on a series of linked projects that explore both the major trajectories of contemporary puppet theatre in France and the wider constructions of challenges of performing objects with a particular focus on questions of agency, voice and embodiment.
- Within this series a focus has emerged on uninhabited bodies and the use of mannequins and dummies in theatre. I gave a paper at a recent conference on this topic in relation to the work of Gisèle Vienne in collaboration with the Institut International de la Marionnette.
- I am continuing to work on documentary film - particularly the phenomenon of first-person documentary and tropes of the confessional and of therapy.
- A recent KToF award enabled a collaborative project, 'French through Film for Schools', which brought together local schools, Docfest, the Showroom cinema and the Department of French.
Key Recent Publications
- Negotiating the Auteur: Dominique Cabrera, Noémie Lvovsky, Laetitia Masson and Marion Vernoux (Manchester: Manchester University Press, forthcoming 2012)
- ‘Ideal Suspects? The Investigation of Romance in Laetitia Masson’s Guilty (Coupable)’ Studies in European Cinema, forthcoming 2013.
- ‘Asserting Text, Context and Intertext: Jill Forbes and French Film Studies' in Higbee and Leahy (eds) Studies in French Cinema. Perspectives 1985-2000 (Bristol: Intellect, 2011). See www.intellectbooks.co.uk/books/view-Book,id=4708/
- 'Cixous' Theatre and the Returns of the Dead' in Hutton (ed) Redefining the real: The fantastic in Contemporary French and Francophone Women's Writing, (Bern: Peter Lang, 2009) See www.peterlang.com/download/datasheet/50449/datasheet_11567.pdf
- 'Jacques Audiard: Contesting Filiations’ in ‘K. Ince (ed) Four Directors: Auteurism from Assayas to Ozon, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2008) See www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/catalogue/book.asp?id=1204109
- 'Timely Resistance in the Documentary Work of Dominique Cabrera’ French Studies, LXII (3) (2008), pp. 290-300.
- ‘Jacques Audiard and the Filial Challenge’ Studies in French Cinema, vol 7.3, (2007) pp. 179-189.
- ‘The Scenes of Writing: Poetic Identity in Cixous’ Recent Theatre’ republished in Hansen and Cahill (eds) French Feminists: Critical Evaluations in Cultural Theory, (London and New York: Routledge, 2007).
- The Scene of Writing: Hélène Cixous and the Theatre, (Bern: Peter Lang, 2002) See www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?event=cmp.ccc.seitenstruktur.detailseiten&seitentyp=produkt&pk=48398
- Member of Editorial Board, Studies in French Cinema
- Invited editor and commissioner of special issue celebrating 10 years of Studies in French Cinema, vol. 10 (1) (2010)
- External examiner Modern Languages, University of Exeter 2011
- External examiner for PhD theses: Cambridge, Edinburgh, UCL
- RSA Fellow
- Reviewer for French Studies, Modern Drama, Modern and Contemporary France
- Visiting Researcher, Forum des Images, Paris
- Research Fellow, Institut International de la Marionnette
- Member of French Studies Executive Committee 1995-1999
- Svea Schauffler ‘Investigating subtitling strategies for the translation of wordplay in Wallace and Gromit’ 2009 -
- Martin Elms ‘Contemporary Algerian Visual Art’ 2011 –
Potential areas for supervision: contemporary French film including documentary film, French theatre (post-1950), cultural theory and gender studies.
- FRE6653/4 French Cultural Studies
- FRE6692 Approaches to Cultural Studies
- FRE6672 Gender Studies II
- MDL 6009 Constructions of the Body (MA European Gender Studies)
- FRE107/8 French Studies
- FRE283 / 4 French Documentary Film
- FRE305/6 French Film
- FRE373/4 Contemporary French Theatres
- FRE201/2 French language
- FRE301/ 2 French language