• Room 03.002 - 10 University Square

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

French Studies Medical Humanities; French literature (19th century to the present) and illness, disease, disability, pain, suffering, death; French Thanatology; Literary representations of medical practice, care and experience; Literature and religion, especially in the 19th century; Bibliotherapy and scriptotherapy


Research output per year

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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, contributes to cultural and global understandings 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. My monograph, The Language of Disease: Writing Syphilis in Nineteenth-Century France, will appear with Legenda in May 2020: http://www.mhra.org.uk/publications/Language-Disease. 

In recent years, my research has been externally funded by the AHRC (Leadership Fellowship  entitled Global Disease: Language(s) and the Literary Imagination, including an outreach event on the importance of Languages and Cultural Knowledge in Global Healthcare), the British Academy and the MHRA (Modern Humanities Research Association).

I am currently working on three guest-edited special issues of the following journals:

(i) Modern and Contemporary France, on the theme of 'L'Imaginaire médico-religieux', to appear in autumn 2020.

(ii) Australian Journal of French Studies (with Loic Bourdeau, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Natalie Edwards, University of Adelaide), on 'The Care (Re)Turn in Contemporary French and Francophone Cultural Productions', to appear in autumn 2020.

(iii) L'Esprit Créateur (with Enda McCaffrey, Nottingham Trent), 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


Contribution to International Research Networks and Organisations

I am a member of the Editorial Board of Modern and Contemporary France, having previously served as Assistant Editor of French Studies Bulletin (2017-20). I am also a member of the Peer-Review College for the AHRC, the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) Scheme, and the British Academy's Knowledge Frontiers Programme: International Interdisciplinary Research Projects I am on the executive committee of ADEFFI (Ireland's scholarly association for French and Francophone studies), and was a previous two-term executive member of the Society of Dix-neuviémistes. I am also a member of the International Health Humanities Network.  


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 have supervised to successful completion PhD theses on The Mythopoetics of Bodily Representation in the Works of George Sand (James Illingworth, 2018), Multimodality in Contemporary French Women's Writing (Poppy Boyd, 2018), and Idées Masculines: The Poetics of Non-Normative Masculinity in Decadent French Literature (Mathew Rickard, 2020). I am currently primary supervisor for four 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 MRes projects on Flaubert and Zola.  


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 French Novel' (at Level 3), and a final-year filière on 'Figures de l’altérité' (Mme de Duras, Ourika; Mérimée, Carmen)



Administrative Responsibilities

I am on research leave in semester 2, 2019-20. I was previously Subject Lead for French Studies at Queen's, and have 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 recruitment lead for Modern Languages.


Contact Details

Office: 10 University Square, Room 301

Tel: +0044 (0)28 9097 1401


Appointments for meetings may be made by email: steven.wilson@qub.ac.uk


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Research Output

French Autopathography

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

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

  • "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
  • 316 Downloads (Pure)
  • Review of L’Imaginaire de la prostitution: de la Bohème à la Belle Époque. Par Mireille Dottin-Orsini et Daniel Grojnowski. Paris: Hermann, 2017. 268 pp.

    Wilson, S., 01 Oct 2018, French Studies, 72, 4, p. 621-622.

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationBook/Film/Article review


    AHRC Leadership Fellow

    Wilson, Steven (Recipient), 2018

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    Appointment to Executive Committee of ADEFFI

    Wilson, Steven (Recipient), Oct 2018

    Prize: Appointment

    ASMCF Schools' Liaison and Outreach Award

    Wilson, Steven (Recipient), 24 Sep 2018

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

    Wilson, Steven (Recipient), 02 Nov 2015

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    Institute for Modern Languages Research (IMLR) Regional Conference Grant

    Wilson, Steven (Recipient), 08 Apr 2020

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


    Modern and Contemporary France (Journal)

    Steven Wilson (Editorial board member)

    01 Jan 202031 Dec 2021

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

    ADEFFI Spring Forum

    Steven Wilson (Speaker)

    06 Mar 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    AHRC Peer Review College (External organisation)

    Steven Wilson (Member)

    01 Jan 202031 Dec 2023

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of peer review panel or committee

    The Pathological Body: European Literary andCultural Perspectives

    Steven Wilson (Keynote speaker)

    20 Sep 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference

    AHRC Leadership Fellows Conference

    Steven Wilson (Invited speaker)

    11 Feb 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    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


    Against the Grain: The Poetics of Non-Normative Masculinity in Decadent French Literature

    Author: Rickard, M., Jul 2020

    Supervisor: Moran, C. (Supervisor), Wilson, S. (Supervisor), Sumpter, C. (Supervisor) & Jeannerod, D. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

    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