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Professor Claire Gorrara

Professor Claire Gorrara

Dean for Research and Innovation for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor of French Studies

School of Modern Languages

Email
gorrara@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 4955
Campuses
2.30, 66a Park Place, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3AS
Comment
Media commentator
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

I work on narratives and memories of the Second World War in France and Britain. I am interested in particular to understand how visual forms of representation, such as photography and comics, shape the ways in which French and British writers, photographers and artists transmit war stories. I have published three monographs and four edited collections of essays on French memory cultures of the Second World War.

Alongside my research on the Second World War, I work on projects that support language learning in Wales and the UK. I am the Academic Lead for projects that work in partnership with secondary schools, policy networks, educational consultancies and digital agencies to raise the uptake of modern languages in Wales. This has led to commercialisation opportunities to develop training material and services. 

My work on modern languages has led to policy and advocacy work with the Welsh and UK Governments, the British Academy, the British Council, the University Council of Modern Languages and partner organisations in Spain, as well as mentorship support for a sister project promoting Physics in schools in Wales.

Biography

I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Leeds. I completed a Masters in European Literature in 1991 and a DPhil on French women's writing and the Second World War in 1994, both at Oxford University

After teaching in France, I was appointed a Lecturer in French at Cardiff University where I was made a Professor of French in 2008.

I was the founding Head of the School of Modern Languages at Cardiff University in 2014.

I was the first Dean of Research Environment and Culture at Cardiff (2019-2021).

I am currently Dean of Research and Innovation for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (2021-24)

Honours and awards

2021: Academic Lead of the MFL Mentoring project, shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Award for Widening Participation or School Outreach project of the year

2018 (April): Visiting Research Fellow, KU Leuven

2017: Academic Lead for the MFL Student Mentoring Project, winner of the Chartered Institute of Linguists Threlford Cup http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/news/view/997055-threlford-cup

2017 (April): Visiting Research Fellow, KU Leuven

2015: Cardiff University, Celebrating Excellence Awards: Outstanding Contribution to Leadership

2012: Elected Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales

2011: Elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

2011: Visiting Fellow, Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory, Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London

Funding

2022: ESRC IAA (PI and institutional lead): Local Acceleration Fund (LAF): £49,984 

2021-23: ESRC IAA (PI and institutional lead): Commercialising Research out of Social Sciences (CRoSS): £100,000

2021-2022: Welsh Government £230,000: Raising the Profile of Modern Foreign Languages: A Mentoring Initiative: Phase VI 

2020-2023: UKRI: Future Leadership Fellows Network Training: £280,000: Cardiff Co-Investigator (Project led by the University of Edinburgh: £2.8M)

2020-21: Welsh Government £230,000: Raising the Profile of Modern Foreign Languages: A Mentoring Initiative Phase V: A Digital Programme

2019-2020: Department for Education, UK: £430,000: Digital Languages Mentoring, further roll out

2018-19: Department for Education, UK: £94,000: Pilot Digital Languages Mentoring project

2019-20: Welsh Government: £180,000: Raising the Profile of Modern Foreign Languages: A Mentoring Initiative Phase IV

2019: AHRC: £1,500: 'Rethinking the Languages Pipeline in the Era of Brexit, Language Acts and World-Making, Open World Research Initiative

2018-2020: HEFCW: Physics and Mentoring in Wales: £8,565: project consultant and advisor

2018-19: Welsh Government: £139,000: Raising the Profile of Modern Foreign Languages: A Mentoring Initiative Phase III

2018: AHRC: £1,500: 'Language Learning Opens Doors to Other Worlds: Memory Acts through Digital Technologies'. Language Acts and World-Making, Open World Research Initiative

2018: Institute of Modern Languages Research: £2,090 (with T. Allbeson): Photography and the Languages of Reconstruction, 1944-49

2018: AHRC: £2,900: 'Evaluating the effectiveness of e-mentoring and a digital languages platform for FLL in Wales', Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies (MEITS) Open World Research Initiative

2018: Welsh Government: £40,000: Turbo-Tutoring: Supporting Attainment in AS Level French: Phase II

2017-18: Welsh Government: £228,548: Raising the Profile of Modern Foreign Languages: A Mentoring Initiative Phase II

2017: Welsh Government: £40,000: Turbo-Tutoring: Supporting Attainment in AS Level Modern Foreign Languages: Phase 1

2015-16:Welsh Government: £117,305: Raising the Profile of Modern Foreign Languages: A Mentoring Initiative Phase I

2015: Welsh Government: £56,184: Raising the Profile of Modern Foreign Languages: A Mentoring Initiative Phase I

2008: Cardiff Humanities Research Institute (CHRI): £1,680: Cardiff Distinguished Visiting Fellow scheme: to fund the visit of Dr Maurizio Ascari (Bologna University) as part of the Crime Narratives in Context Research Network activities

2007: Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France: £350.00 Conference support: ‘The Lost Decade: the 1950s in European History, Society, Economy and Culture’, Cardiff University, 11-13 July 2007

2007: British Academy small grant fund: £2,292. Research support for the project: ‘Reconstructing France: Popular Culture, Crime Fictions and National Identity, 1946-58’

2002: Cassell Foundation funding: £700 and Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France funding: £200 Conference support: ‘Cultural Intersections: Noir Fiction and Film in France and Italy’ conference at the Institute of Romance Studies, London

2001-2: Leverhulme Research Fellowship: £15,646

Professional memberships

2020-22: Chair, Education Working Group for SHAPE campaign (Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts for the People and the Economy)

2018-2021: Chair, University Council of Modern Languages: https://university-council-modern-languages.org/

2017-18: President of the Association of University Professors and Heads of French: http://www.auphf.ac.uk/

2016-18: Executive Committee member of the Society for French Studies

2015-2017: Executive Committee member of the Association of University Professors and Heads of French

2014-2019: Academic Director of Routes into Language Cymru, pan-Wales advocacy group for modern languages: http://routesintolanguagescymru.co.uk/

2011-2014: University Council of Modern Languages representative for Wales

2007-2014: Peer Review College member of the AHRC

Academic positions

2021-2024: Dean of Research and Innovation, College of Arts, Humanities and Spcial Sciences, Cardiff University 

2019-2021 University Dean of Research Environment and Culture, Cardiff University

2014-16: Founding Head of the School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University

2012-14: Acting Head, then Head of the School of European Languages, Translation and Politics, Cardiff University

2008-2012: Director of Research, School of European Languages, Translation and Politics, Cardiff University

Speaking engagements

I have given over 60 conference and research papers to date, including 20 invited addresses. Most recently:

2021: 'Black Boxes, Exercise Books and Glue: Archiving the Wartime Past in Nora Krug's Heimat', An interdisciplinary symposium celebrating the work of Colin Davis, Royal Holloway, July 2021

2020: 'Children, Childhood and Story Telling: Representing the Transmission of Holocaust Memories in 21st Century French Comics and Picture Books', Stranmillis University College, Belfast, January 2020

2018-19: 'Languages Advocacy and Activism: The View from Wales', University of East Anglia, December 2018, University of Bristol, February 2019, University of Hull, March 2019

2018: 'Cherchez la femme: Lee Miller, Vogue and Fashioning the Liberation of France', Monash University, Australia, May 2018

2018: 'Public Engagement, Digital Scholarship and Language Learning: How Digital Platforms are Supporting Language Learning in Wales', KU Leuven, Belgium, April 2018

Committees and reviewing

2020-23: Council Member, Learned Society of Wales

2018-2021: Scrutiny Panel Member, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Learned Society of Wales

2018-20: External Advisor, School of Languages and Applied Linguistics, Open University

2018-22: Expert Adviser to the National Assembly for Wales within the framework agreement for the provision of research and briefing services in relation to Brexit. Area of expertise: multilingualism, internationalisation and language policies

Publications

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2016

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2005

2004

2003

2000

1998

1997

1996

1995

0

Teaching

My teaching responsibilities for 2021-2 are:

Undergraduate

First Year: team taught: National and Global Perspectives on France

Final Year French Dissertations: bilingualism and language policy in Wales, Quebec and Brittany

Postgraduate Research

I have co-supervised 9 PhDs to completion and 1 MPhil on the following topics:

  1. 'Myths and Oppression of Gendered and Racialised Subjects in the Prose Fiction of Rosario Castellanos' (passed May 2003)
  2. 'Representations of Travel and Memory in 1960s and 1970s French- and German-Language Literature' (passed April 2004), AHRC-funded studentship
  3. 'Comparative Perspective on the Poetic Course of Arthur Rimbaud, William Blake and Sohrab Sepehri' (passed 2006)
  4. 'Constructions of the Algerian War Appelés in French Cultural Memory' (passed April 2012) AHRC-funded studentship
  5. 'Cultural Representations of Italians in Wales (1920s-2010s)' (passed April 2012)
  6. 'Sapphic spectres: Interwar German women’s fiction’ (MPhil, passed April 2014)
  7. 'A Study of Scanlation and Japanese Manga' (passed March 2015)
  8. 'The Orphan Story of British Women in Occupied France: History, Memory, Legacy' (passed October 2018)
  9. 'The Western in French Comics: Translation, Adaptation and Localisation' (passed May 2020)
  10. 'Translating French Memories of the Holocaust' (passed July 2020)

I am currently co-supervising 5 PhDs, funded by the Wales ESRC Doctoral Training Centre, in partnership with the British Council Wales and the Welsh Government, the AHRC South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, and the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards and the Imperial War Museum.

External Examiner for PhDs

University of Kent (2010 and 2016), University of Leeds (2010), Birkbeck, University of London (2011), Université de la Bretagne Occidentale (2011), University of Auckland (2014), University of Durham (2018).

I am interested in visual cultures of war and the ways in which popular forms of representation shape how viewers and readers understand legacies of war. I am currently working on:

  • Photographic representations of the end of the Second World War with T. Allbeson (Cardiff). This work will be forthcoming in a co-edited special issue of the Journal of War and Culture Studies (2022).
  • Graphic novels and representations of war in anglophone and francophone cultures. This work is focusing on graphic novels that interrogate intergenerational transmission of war memory into the 21st century.

Knowledge Exchange, Consultancy and Public Engagement

I am the academic lead for the MFL Mentoring project, a pan-Wales project that uses mentoring to improve the attitudes of Welsh pupils towards modern languages and increase take up at GCSE. This project is funded by the Welsh Government and has been developed in partnership with the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Trinity Saint David and Swansea in collaboration with the Welsh educational consortia. https://www.mflmentoring.co.uk/home

The project trains undergraduate modern linguists to act as mentors to pupils in Year 8 and 9 to choose languages at GCSE. The project promotes the broader benefits of intercultural communication and supports aspirations towards university study for more disadvantaged groups. It was extended to the East Yorkshire and West Midlands regions of England in 2018-20 as 'Language Horizons'.

The success of the project was recognised by being shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Awards in 2021 in the category of Widening Participation or School Outreach project of the year.

My work on languages and mentoring has generated

I regularly speak and present at briefings and policy events devoted to teaching/learning modern languages in Wales, the UK and globally.

Wider Contribution to the Academic Community

Co-series editor of two series with University of Wales Press: French and Francophone Studies with H. Diamond (Cardiff University) and International Crime Fiction with G. Pieri (Royal Holloway, University of London) and S. Godsland (Amsterdam University).

Referee for the following journals: French Studies, Romance Studies, Modern and Contemporary France, Modern Language Review, Journal of Law and Society, Feminist Review, Témoigner, History, Lublin Journal of Modern Languages, Forum for Modern Language Studies, Australian Journal of French Studies, The Translator, Contemporary French Civilization, Journal of War and Culture Studies. Genealogy, Modern Language Notes

Reader and reviewer for the following publishers: Oxford University Press, Routledge, University of Wales Press, University of Manchester Press, Berghahn Books, Palgrave/Macmillan, Liverpool University Press.

Supervision

  • Language policy, multilingualism in Wales and globally
  • Memory, culture and war in France
  • Comics and graphic novels
  • Visual cultures of war

Past projects

  • Lisa Davies, 'Myths and Oppression of Gendered and Racialised Subjects in the Prose Fiction of Rosario Castellanos' (awarded May 2003)
  • Kathryn Jones, 'Representations of Travel and Memory in 1960s and 1970s French- and German-Language Literature' (awarded April 2004), AHRC-funded studentship
  • 'Comparative Perspective on the Poetic Course of Arthur Rimbaud, William Blake and Sohrab Sepehri' (awarded 2006)
  • Ian Mossman, 'Constructions of the Algerian War Appelés in French Cultural Memory' (awarded April 2012) AHRC-funded studentship
  • Bruna Chezzi, 'Cultural Representations of Italians in Wales (1920s-2010s)' (awarded April 2012)
  • 'Sapphic spectres: Interwar German women’s fiction’ (MPhil, awarded April 2014)
  • Matteo Fabbretti, 'A Study of Scanlation and Japanese Manga' (awarded March 2015)
  • Ayshka Sene, 'The Orphan Story of British Women in Occupied France: History, Memory, Legacy' (awarded October 2018) AHRC-funded studentship
  • Nicolas Martinez, 'The Western in French Comics: Translation, Adaptation and Localisation' (awarded May 2020)
  • Stephanie Munyard, 'Translating French Memories of the Holocaust' (awarded July 2020)