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 modern French literature (especially of the nineteenth century) and the medical humanities, with a focus on the illness narrativethe relationship between language and disease, the relationship between medical writing and literature, and literary representations of death.


    From April 2018 - January 2019 I was an AHRC Leadership Fellow working on a project entitled Global Disease: Language(s) and the Literary Imagination. As part of this Fellowship, I organised two conferences on the role that research from a modern languages perspective can play in understandings of illness and disease, and an outreach event on Languages and Cultural Knowledge in Global Healthcare.


    I am currently working on two major projects:

    (i) a monograph 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. Initial primary research associated with the project was funded by a British Academy grant.

    (ii) a guest-edited special issue of L'Esprit Créateur on French Thanatology, with Prof. Enda McCaffrey (to appear in Spring 2021).


    I recently 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: 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. 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 modern (19th/20th/21st-century) French illness/patient narratives.


    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 three PhD students working on various nineteenth-century-based topics, 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 am also the supervisor of two MRes projects: one on The Panopticon Effect in 19th-Century French Literature; and one on The Theological Turn in Contemporary French End-of-Life Narratives.  


    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 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 Advisor of Studies and Exams Liaison Officer (ELO) in French Studies. From February 2019 I will be Convenor of the MRes in Arts and Humanities 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 2, 2018-19): Tuesday and Wednesday, 11-12Appointments for meetings at other times should be made in advance by email:


    Willingness to take PhD students


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