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Personal profile

Research Interests

My research seeks to demonstrate some of the ways in which modern French literature, from the nineteenth century to the present, can contribute to our understanding of illness, disease, pain, medical practice and experience, and death. It is situated at the interface of French Studies and the Medical Humanities and is concerned in particular with the ways in which literary configurations of the pathological body engage with medical, philosophical, religious and aesthetic languages.   


From April 2018 - January 2019 I was an AHRC Leadership Fellow working on a project entitled Global Disease: Language(s) and the Literary Imagination. The Fellowship included an outreach event on the importance of Languages and Cultural Knowledge in Global Healthcare. My work in recent years has also been funded by the British Academy and the MHRA (Modern Humanities Research Association).


I am currently working on the following projects:

(i) monograph entitled The Language of Disease: Writing Syphilis in Nineteenth-Century France, to appear with Legenda in 2020 (further information here: http://www.mhra.org.uk/publications/Language-Disease).

(ii) guest-edited special issues of: Modern and Contemporary France, on the theme of 'L'Imaginaire médico-religieux', to appear in August 2020; the Australian Journal of French Studies (with Loic Bourdeau and Natalie Edwards), on 'The Care (Re)Turn in Contemporary French and Francophone Cultural Productions', to appear in autumn 2020; and L'Esprit Créateur (with Enda McCaffrey), on 'French Thanatology', to appear in spring 2021.


In 2016, I guest-edited another special issue of L'Esprit Créateur, on the theme of French Autopathography, which considers first-person perspectives on a range of illnesses, disabilities and disorders, and examines the role played by the patient's voice in medical knowledge as well as the phenomenon of narrative medicine. This special issue includes my co-written article on phenomonology and the French cancer narrative, and is available here: http://muse.jhu.edu/issue/33719. 


Along with Prof. Pascal McKeown (School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences), I was project leader of the QUB Health Humanities interdisciplinary research network in 2014-15. I am currently a Member of the Peer-Review Committee for the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) Scheme and the British Academy's Knowledge Frontiers Programme: International Interdisciplinary Research Projects


Postgraduate Research Supervision

I would be pleased to hear from anyone interested in pursuing postgraduate (MRes or PhD) research in nineteenth-century French literature, especially as it engages with questions of medicine, gender and/or religion; or in intersections of literary French Studies (19th century to the present) with the Medical Humanities (illness, disease, disability, pain, suffering, death, the clinical experience, bibliotherapy, scriptotherapy etc.).


I was co-supervisor (with Prof. Margaret Topping) of a PhD thesis on The Mythopoetics of Bodily Representation in the Works of George Sand (completed in 2018) and second supervisor of a thesis on multimodality in contemporary French women's life-writing (also completed in 2018). I am currently primary supervisor for five PhD students, and third supervisor (through the AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership) of a PhD project on cabaret poetry and disability studies at Durham University. I have supervised 5 MA/MRes dissertations since 2016, and am currently supervising an MRes project on the reciprocal influence of religion and heredity in Zola's writing.  


Contribution to Wider Scholarly Community

In July 2017 I took up the role of Assistant Editor of French Studies Bulletin. I am on the executive committee of ADEFFI (L'Association des études françaises et francophones d'Irlande) and am also a member of the Society of Dix-neuviémistes (having served on the Society's executive as Membership Secretary from 2012-15 and again in 2016-17), the Society for French Studies, the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France (ASMCF) and the Association for Medical Humanities. I am also a member of the International Health Humanities Network




Before taking up my current position as Lecturer in French Studies at Queen's in January 2013, I taught in the French departments of the Universities of Manchester, Exeter and Leicester. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), and the recipient of a QUB Teaching Award (2014) in the student-nominated category and a QUB Students' Union Education Award for 'Best Feedback' (2016). I was also shortlisted for the 'Excellent Use of Feedback Award' at the Students' Union Education Awards in 2019. I offer undergraduate modules on 'Paris, City of Modernity' (at Level 2), 'Ambition and Desire: The Nineteenth-Century Novel' (at Level 3), and a final-year filière on 'Figures de l’altérité' (Mme de Duras, Ourika; Mérimée, Carmen)



Administrative Responsibilities

I am Subject Lead for French Studies at Queen's. I have previously served as Level 3 (final year) convenor and Erasmus Programme Director for French Studies (British Council language assistantships, work placements, and incoming and outgoing Erasmus+ studentships), as well as staff liaison for the QUB French Society. I was also recruitment lead for Modern Languages in semester 2, 2017-18.


Contact Details

Office: 10 University Square, Room 301

Tel: +0044 (0)28 9097 1401


Consultation Hours (semester 1, 2019-20): Tuesday and Wednesday, 10-11Appointments for meetings at other times may be made by emailing me: steven.wilson@qub.ac.uk


Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Steven Wilson is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Medicine Arts & Humanities
Illness Arts & Humanities
Cancer Arts & Humanities
Nineteenth-century France Arts & Humanities
Illness Narratives Arts & Humanities
Redemption Arts & Humanities
Fictionality Arts & Humanities
Naturalism Arts & Humanities

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2014 2019

Selected Research Output 2010 2020

French Autopathography

Wilson, S. (Guest ed.), 04 Jul 2016, In : L'Esprit Créateur. 56, 2, p. 1-134

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

Illness Narratives
Medical Humanities

"Je ne sais plus du tout qui je suis": The Phenomenology of Cancer in Anne Cuneo’s 'Une cuillerée de bleu'

Wilson, S. & Hübel, S., 04 Jul 2016, In : L'Esprit Créateur. 56, 2, p. 38-51

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Nineteenth-century France


AHRC Leadership Fellow

Steven Wilson (Recipient), 2018

Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

Appointment to Executive Committee of ADEFFI

Steven Wilson (Recipient), Oct 2018

Prize: Appointment

ASMCF Schools' Liaison and Outreach Award

Steven Wilson (Recipient), 24 Sep 2018

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Steven Wilson (Recipient), 02 Nov 2015

Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

Membership Secretary of the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes (SDN)

Steven Wilson (Recipient), 2012

Prize: Election to learned society

Activities 2009 2020

Modern and Contemporary France (Journal)

Steven Wilson (Editorial board member)
01 Jan 202031 Dec 2021

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

Research Partnerships: Academia and Beyond

Steven Wilson (Invited speaker)
31 May 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Open Day Talk

Steven Wilson (Speaker)
05 Sep 2019

Activity: Other activity typesHosting a school group or open day

Adeffi Executive Committee Meeting

Steven Wilson (Board Member)
06 Sep 2019

Activity: Consultancy typesContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

University 'Taster' Session: Understanding Disease and Healthcare through Literature

Steven Wilson (Organiser)
25 Jan 2019

Activity: Other activity typesHosting a school group or open day

Press / Media

Is cara dúinn an dátheangachas nuair a théann an intinn agus an corp in aois

Steven Wilson


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

Linking Medicine, Narrative, and French

Steven Wilson


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities


Languages and Cultural Knowledge in Global Healthcare

Steven Wilson (Participant)

Impact: Societial Impact, Cultural Impact


Living Out Loud: The Mythopoetics of Bodily Representation in the Works of George Sand

Author: Illingworth, J., 2019

Supervisor: Topping, M. (Supervisor) & Wilson, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy