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Research in French

The Department of French at Cambridge produces world-leading research in a very wide range of areas in French Studies (French literature from early medieval texts to contemporary French writing, the history of the language and linguistics, early modern and modern French thought, cultural history, and cinema). Cutting-edge international research is fostered in an environment that provides exceptional research facilities and extensive opportunities for exchange and debate in seminars and colloquia. Mentoring and close collaboration have facilitated the cohesion of a changing and dynamic community of researchers who carry forward a long tradition of excellence. The intellectual breadth of the Department is reflected in its various thriving research areas: History of the French Language and French Linguistics; Early and Late Medieval French and Occitan; Renaissance and Neo-Latin studies; Early Modern French; Nineteenth-century Cultural History; Modern French Thought and Philosophy; Film and Visual Culture.

Research Projects


Medieval Francophone Literary Culture Outside France

This project was awarded a substantial research grant of £850,652 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to investigate the nature of multiple francophone literary cultures, centred not on France (often meaning Paris) but on two other important axes for the transmission of francophone textual culture: one that goes from England across Flanders, Burgundy and beyond; and another across the Alps to Northern Italy, into the Mediterranean and further afield to Cyprus and the Levant.  Project outputs will include an on-line database, a series of seminars and conferences, publications, and an exhibit at the Cambridge University Library.  It will run until September 2014 and includes four investigators:  Simon Gaunt (PI, King's London), Bill Burgwinkle (Cambridge French), Jane Gilbert (University College London), and Paul Vetch (Centre for Computing in the Humanities, KCL); two Research Associates: Nicola Morato (Cambridge) and Dirk Schoenaers (UCL); and a Research student, David Murray (MML alumnus in French and German, now at KCL).

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Latest News

The Sixth Cambridge Conference on Language Endangerment

6 July 2016

The Sixth Cambridge Conference on Language Endangerment 'Curriculum Design and Evaluation for Endangered Languages', organised by Dr Mari Jones, Reader in French Linguistics and Language Change, will take place on 6th July 2016.

Singing the King's Death

26 November 2015

In order to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Louis XIV's death, members of Ars eloquentiae and Nick Hammond of the French department will be presenting a lecture recital of street songs sung at the time of Louis's death.