Steven Wilson
      Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 1401

      For media contact email
      or call +44(0)2890 973091.

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      Research Interests

      My research interests lie in nineteenth-century French literature and the medical humanities, with a particular focus on the illness narrative (especially autopathography), the relationship between language and pain, and medico-literary contagion.


      I am currently working on a monograph project exploring the complex interactions between medicine and literature in framing disease, and in particular the role played by literature in the construction of popular and professional understandings of disease. The project takes as its case study the contagious action of syphilis in nineteenth-century France, one of the most deadly, disfiguring diseases of its time. Primary research associated with the project is funded by a British Academy grant.


      From April 2018 - January 2019 I am leading a 9-month AHRC Leadership Fellows funded project on Global Disease: Language(s) and the Literary Imagination.


      I recently guest edited a 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: This project originated with my MHRA-funded Conference on Disability, Disease and Disorders from First-Person Perspectives  (


      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.  


      Postgraduate Research Supervision

      I am currently co- or lead supervisor for three PhD students working on various nineteenth-century-based topics, and second supervisor on a project on multimodality in contemporary French women's life-writing. I would be pleased to hear from anyone interested in pursuing doctoral research in nineteenth-century French fiction, especially as it engages with questions of medicine, gender and/or religion; or in modern (19th/20th/21st-century) French illness/patient narratives.   


      Contribution to Wider Scholarly Community

      In July 2017 I took up the role of Assistant Editor of French Studies Bulletin. I am a member of the Society of Dix-neuviémistes (and served on the Society's executive as Membership Secretary from 2012-15 and again in 2016-17), the Society for French Studies, ADEFFI (L'Association des études françaises et francophones d'Irlande), the Emile Zola Society 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 offer undergraduate modules on 'Paris, City of Modernity' (at Level 2) and 'Ambition and Desire: The Nineteenth-Century Novel' (at Level 3), a final-year filière on 'Figures de l’altérité' (Mme de Duras, Ourika; Mérimée, Carmen), and convene the Level 3 core language programme. At Masters level I offer various nineteenth-century French novels and teach on the Research Methods programme on Medical Humanities. 



      Administrative Responsibilities

      I am 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 am 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

      Fax: +0044 (0)28 9097 5345

      I am on research leave until January 2019

      Appointments for meetings should be made in advance by email:



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