Claire Boyle

Lecturer in French and Deputy Postgraduate Director of LLC

  • French and Francophone Studies
  • Department of European Languages and Cultures
  • School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Contact details

Address

Street

Room 3.49
50 George Square

City
Edinburgh
Post code
EH8 9LH

Availability

  • I hold Office Hours (in Semester 1) from 10.30-11.30am on Tuesdays, and from 3.30-4.30pm on Thursdays during teaching weeks, so please feel free to drop by then. If you would like to see me at another time, please email me for an appointment.

Background

Claire Boyle completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Cambridge, and then taught at the University of Oxford for a spell, before securing her first permanent lectureship at the University of Stirling in 2005. She joined the University of Edinburgh in January 2008. She is a specialist in post-war French literature, thought and cinema, but has experience in teaching French literature from all periods from the medieval to the contemporary, as well as post-war European cinema.

Qualifications

MA, MPhil, PhD (Cambridge)

Undergraduate teaching

  • Teaching French language and twentieth-century French literature, thought and film on French 1B and French 4 courses
  • Intimate Exposures: Fifty Years of French First-Person Cinema (4th year undergraduate option course)
  • Picturing the Self: Contemporary French and Francophone Life Writing (4th year undergraduate option course)

Postgraduate teaching

Claire Boyle additionally offers teaching and supervision on French cinema, feminism and queer theory for courses on the School's MSc programmes in Film Studies and Comparative Literature.

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?

Yes

Areas of interest for supervision

Claire has long experience of supervising students at Masters and PhD level and would welcome applications from students planning to undertake postgraduate research on projects relating to her research interests (as summarised in the 'research' section of this profile page); she is especially open to applications involving research within the following broad areas: post-war or contemporary French cinema, queer theory and film, French autobiography studies, French feminist thought (especially Cixous and Irigaray).

Current PhD students supervised

Claire is currently supervising PhD students working in French and Francophone Studies, and also in Comparative Literature. They are working on the following topics: Mapping Postcolonial Memory Spaces in Francophone Cities and Visual Culture; Memory and Spatiality in French and German Literary Discourses; The Political Uses of Autofiction in French, Italian and American Literature.

Past PhD students supervised

Claire has previously supervised PhD students who have successfully completed doctoral theses on French cultural identity and popular culture, and has also collaborated with colleagues in Scandinavian Studies to supervise a PhD in Scandinavian Studies on gender and colonialism in the work of Danish author Karen Blixen. 

Research summary

Claire's research centres on explorations of selfhood and subjectivity in twentieth-century and contemporary French and francophone literature and film. Her interest in self-writing caused her to choose this subject for her PhD research, which subsequently led to the publication of her monograph, _Consuming Autobiographies: Reading and Writing the Self in Post-War France_ (Legenda, 2007).

Latterly, and as part of her broad interests in the cultural inscription of subjectivities, her research focus has shifted to personal testimony and expressions of selfhood in French and francophone cinema. One strand of her research concerns queer testimonies in French cinema, which flows from a long-standing engagement in her published work with queer French cinema, theory and literature. A second strand investigates the preoccupations of autobiographical or first-person cinema by film-makers such as Agnès Varda or Chantal Akerman. She has published widely on these topics, including in journals such as _Modern & Contemporary France_, _French Studies_, _Paragraph_ and _Esprit créateur_.

 

Claire's research expertise is concentrated in the following areas:

  • French and Francophone film of the post-war / contemporary period (especially queer cinema, first-person cinema, autobiographical / testimonial films, and filmic explorations of marginalised subjectivities )
  • French autobiography / autofiction of the post-war / contemporary period
  • Post-war and contemporary French memory culture
  • Twentieth-century French thought and critical theory, especially queer and feminist theory

 

Claire has long experience of supervising students at Masters and PhD level and would welcome applications from students planning to undertake postgraduate research on projects relating to her research interests (as summarised above); she is especially open to applications involving research within the following broad areas: post-war or contemporary French cinema, queer theory and film, French autobiography studies, French feminist thought (especially Cixous and Irigaray).

Research activities

View all 3 activities on Research Explorer

Project activity

Claire Boyle’s first research activities were in the field of post-war French autobiography studies. Against a backdrop of the commodification of the self and an anxious interrogation into the essence of personal and collective identity in France in the latter part of the twentieth century, the main emphasis of her research in this domain has involved examining the expression, negotiation and construction of identity and subjectivity in French autobiographical writing. Approaching these questions from a variety of theoretical perspectives, a particular focus of her work has involved tracing the impact that issues of testimony, gender, sexuality, identification and alterity have on the ways in which identity is forged. She has explored these themes principally with reference to the literary work of Nathalie Sarraute, Georges Perec, Jean Genet and Hélène Cixous. The developments, renewals and negotiations of autobiography as a literary genre that have taken place in France over the last half century provide another axis to her research.

Her current research projects focus on the construction of subjectivities and representations of identity in the cinema (particularly queer identities). This has led to a number of article-length studies being published, and is also at the heart of her next major research project, which will explore the uses of the first-person in contemporary French cinema.

View all 13 publications on Research Explorer