Laura Kennedy

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Research Focus

The Prosthetic, The Dubbed, The Metrolingual: The Politics and Poetics of Language in Francophone and Anglophone World Literature 

My thesis examines how – and why – the imperial languages of French and English are manipulated and recast in World Literature. I explore how novelists from French and British ex-colonies, non-metropoles and the metropolitan margins have re-appropriated these languages, and how they employ a range of non-standardised modes of expression in their work, often drawing on other languages to do so. Focusing on the language manipulation that animates novels from six different literary contexts, my project uses these literatures to put into question colonial ideologies such as linguistic authority, belonging and ownership.

The six contexts studied in this project are those found in the spaces of the Caribbean (Martinique and Jamaica), North and Sub-Saharan Africa (Algeria and Zimbabwe), and internal metropolitan ‘peripheries’ (the banlieues of Paris and Derry, Northern Ireland). The points of commonality and tension between these diverging literary realms are unearthed through close, comparative readings of the literature of authors originating from and working within these spaces, with Chapter 1 comparing the work of Patrick Chamoiseau with that of Marlon James, Chapter 2 placing the fiction of Kamel Daoud in conversation with that of Tsitsi Dangarembga, and Chapter 3 opening a dialogue between the literature of Faïza Guène and Frances Molloy.

Research Interests

• World Literature (francophone and anglophone)
• Comparative Literature and Studies
• North and Sub-Saharan African Literature (francophone and anglophone)
• Caribbean Literature (francophone and anglophone)
• Contemporary Irish Literature 
• Postcolonial Literature and Theory 
• Translation Theory and Studies 
• Literary language politics in contemporary novels
• The global circulation and marketisation of literature 
• The preservation of minority languages and vernaculars through literature


I have taught in the QUB French Department since 2021, teaching (both online and in-person) on the language modules 'FRH1101: Comprehension, Translation and Writing' and 'FRH2101: Translation and Comprehension', as well as the literary and cultural modules 'FRH1004: Introduction to French', and 'FRH2035: Algeria & France: Trauma, Forgetting, Re-Membering'.

In 2022, I was also a learning development assistant at the QUB Learning Development Service.

I was nominated for a QUB Staff Excellence Award in the 'Making an Impact' category in 2022. 


I can be contacted at:

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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