Bill Marshall was appointed to Stirling in 2008 from a Chair in Modern French Studies at the University of Glasgow. he had previously worked at the Universities of Southampton and Liverpool. Since August 2011 he has been on secondment to the School of Advanced Study at the University of London as Director of the Institute of Modern Languages Research (formerly Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies).
Professor Marshall’s research interests lie on the interface of culture and politics in the French-speaking world since 1900, using theory to explore that relationship. His first book,Victor Serge The Uses of Dissent(1992), explored the novels and thought of a Franco-Russian anti-Stalinist revolutionary, who was born in Belgium and died in exile in Mexico. In particular, Mikhail Bakhtin's theories on dialogism and the novel helped him to pinpoint the differences between political and literary language, in Serge's writings and in general. His second book,Guy Hocquenghem(1996), looked at one of the founders of the contemporary gay movement in France, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1988. Hocquenghem was a great iconoclast who refused to fit into the orthodoxies of either gay 'identity' or the vaguely left-wing social and political settlement that emerged in France in the aftermath of May 1968 and Mitterrand's first election victory of 1981. The close engagement with the thought of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, who were very influential on Hocquenghem, was a great help to his next project, onQuebec National Cinema(2000). Here he tried not only to bring some very interesting films (popular comedies as well as works by auteurs such as Denys Arcand and Robert Lepage) to the greater attention of those working in French and Film Studies, he also tried to sort out what we mean by 'national cinema' and the tensions contained in the concept. These three book projects, while seemingly disparate, were all ways for him to work out ideas on the key political questions of class and revolution, gender and sexuality, and nationhood. He has also written widely on various aspects of French film and media, including a contribution to Manchester University Press' French Film Directors series on André Téchiné. His current work develops the theme of mobile, diasporic ‘Frenchness’ with particular relation to the Atlantic: he edited an Encyclopedia,France and the Americas, which appeared in 2005, and hisThe French Atlantic: Travels in Culture and History was published by Liverpool University Press in 2009. His current writings are on parkour and photography, film and ethics, and the French theorist Jacques Rancière.