In this series of posts, we’re introducing you to our editorial board team. In this first post, co-editors Martin O’Shaughnessy and Patrick Young.
I am Professor of Film Studies at Nottingham Trent University, UK and was previously Professor of French Cinema. I am also the research leader for the Media and Communications team.
Although my work has ranged quite widely around French, francophone and other cinemas, my main focuses have been the work of Jean Renoir, on whom I’ve written two books, and political cinema, the subject of my book, The New Face of Political Cinema (2007). The latter interest also pushed me to wirte my Laurent Cantet (2015). Cantet seems to me to be one of the most interesting voices in contemporary French film, not least because of his capacity to allow multiple voices into works that always seek to unsettle preconceptions. I am more broadly interested in film and the workplace, film in the (current) Crisis, cinema and neo-liberal / indebted subjectivities, cinema and the gift.
Books that inspire me: so many! Anything by Jacques Rancière, but especially Le Maître ignorant a book that serves as a wonderful counterbalance to the Bourdieusian analysis of all that makes education a tool for social reproduction. Both these positions, and the tension between them, inform Cantet’s marvelous Entre les murs (2008). More recently, I have been drawn to the work of Maurizio Lazzarato. His La Fabrique de l’homme endetté (2011) is a seminal work for understanding the current moment while his Signs and Machines (2014) points to a whole ‘machinic’ dimension of contemporary subjection largely ignored by critical theory.
It’s hard to single out articles in Modern and Contemporary France that have influenced me more than others: as co-editor of the journal, I read a lot of what comes in and I find that the articles collectively help make sure I keep a strongly grounded sense of a French context that provides a vital counterbalance to my own filmic and theoretical flights of fancy.
I am an Associate Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in the US, and serve also as faculty for the University’s Gender and Global Studies curricula.
My main research interest lies in questions of place and displacement within Modern French and European History, and my published work has integrated cultural, social and environmental history. My first book, Enacting Brittany: Tourism and Culture in Provincial France (Ashgate 2012) examined the historical conversion of France’s westernmost region of Brittany into an arena of modern place promotion and tourist exchange. My second book, a co-edited collection entitled Place and Locality in Modern French History (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014), analyzed the changing resonances and possibilities of local connection in modern and contemporary France. My current book project investigates colonial dynamics and conflicts of mobility, as those played out in the Atlas Mountains during the period of the French Protectorate (1912-1956).
I have also published articles in French Historical Studies, The Journal of Social History and other scholarly journals, as well as multiple chapters in edited collections.