Language and Language Studies (French)

Why a PhD or Research Masters in French Studies at Newcastle?

Alistair RollsAt the University of Newcastle, research in the area of French Studies are primarily literary. Our most specific and internationally recognised areas of expertise are Boris Vian and Crime Fiction. Staff also publish more broadly in the area of textual analysis, with an emphasis on deconstruction, post-structuralism and translation theory.

French Studies at Newcastle benefits from the Kelver Hartley bequest fund. The discipline is aligned internationally with the ReFrance research centre at Nottingham Trent University (UK).

Our academic staff publish regularly in journals rated highly by the Australian Research Council's (ARC) Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) rankings.

PhD and Masters by Research students will benefit from our strong tradition of collaborative research, including co-authoring with graduate research students.

What you can research

Research proposals are invited in the following areas:

  • Crime Fiction (French and Anglo-Saxon), especially the Série Noire
  • Translation projects, both practical and theoretical
  • Twentieth-/twenty-first century French literature, especially the works of Boris Vian

Research methodologies

Literary analysis of French texts, or of texts translated into French, including the study of the translation process itself, is at the heart of French Studies research at the University of Newcastle.

Our work is informed by post-structuralist thinkers, especially Roland Barthes, and the deconstructionists of the Yale School. More specifically, we have produced books on intertextuality and paratextuality. Typically students complete their thesis in their mother tongue, unless they can demonstrate a near-native proficiency in French.


Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

How to apply

Current Graduate Studies in Languages

There are a number of research projects being undertaken by graduate students in the area of Language Studies at Newcastle. Take a look some of the current topics:

  • Boris Vian: (non) Conformist The Translation of Two Collections of Short Stories in a Theoretical Context
  • The Hoaxer Hoaxed: Franco-Australian Post-War Literary Relationships Expanding Literary Hoax Theory
  • The Use of Multi-Dimensional Compensation Strategies from Functionalist and Literary Translation Perspectives - The Contemporary Australian Novel Stepper by Brian Castro: A Case Study
  • Georges Simenon and the Terrain Vague: Indirect Representations of War