Research in Modern Languages

Research in Modern Languages at Stirling is characterised temporally by its emphasis on the modern, post-1800 era and spatially by its ability to range across the whole of the French and Spanish-speaking worlds. Our understanding of French Studies is as a decentred space, with an emphasis on broad and deep specialisms in Francophone Studies, especially Africa and Canada/Quebec, as well as metropolitan France. These interests come together in our strengths in global Film Studies, where we bring together more specialists on more francophone areas than in any other French Studies grouping in the world. Hispanic Studies is similarly strong in film and visual cultures, with colleagues working on various aspects of peninsular Spanish and also Argentinian and Mexican cinema. Literary - including travel - writing and theory also play an important role in our interdisciplinary understanding of cultural texts and their production and adaptation across different popular genres, such as horror.

Two other major research themes are located in colonial and postcolonial studies, and in studies of gender and sexualities. The first points to a broad historical view which untangles relations of domination but also accommodation and translation in colonial and post-colonial cultures such as the Andes, Canada, and North and Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the imperial centre(s) in Europe (the resonances of colonial discourses, anti-colonial struggles and post-colonial quandaries in modern French cinema, for example). The second traces the way in which gender and sexual categories are constructed historically and are the subject of contemporary social and political controversy. Here again we bring together a distinctive concentration of specialists working on issues such as the PACs and gay marriage in France, queer theory, and queer Latin American cinema. In pursuing these research themes we work as interdisciplinary groups with colleagues in English Studies, Religion, and Communications and Media, to emphasise the continuities of inquiry that cut across language and culture.

The wider relevance of much of our research is reflected in the partnerships and relations we have developed and are developing with arts festivals and organisations (Africa in Motion, French Film Festival) and community groups (Glasgow Parkour Coaching for work on youth urban cultures, mental and physical health, and relations with the French banlieues).