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Martina Williams

PhD in French Studies, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

I completed my MA by research on aspects of ethics in four plays by Hélène Cixous in 2012. In September of 2012, I moved to Paris, where I worked as a lectrice at the Université Paris VII and began part-time research on my PhD. In the summer of 2013 I moved back to Nottingham, and started to work full time on my doctoral thesis on ethics and politics in the theatre of Hélène Cixous. I expect to submit my thesis in April or May of 2016.

Teaching Summary

I am currently teaching first and second year language classes, as well as the first year module Introduction to French and Francophone Studies. In the past, I have also taught on the second year… read more

Research Summary

I am currently working on my PhD, which looks at the ethical and political questions that the critic, author, and playwright Hélène Cixous addresses and raises in her theatre. These can be broken… read more

Recent Publications

Below is a short summary of my publications and conference presentations to date.

Publications

'Review of Echo's Voice: The Theatres of Sarraute, Duras, Cixous and Renaude, by Mary Noonan', French Studies, 69.2 (2015), p. 262.

'For John Locke, memory was a condition, sine qua non, for selfhood. To what extent is this idea prefigured, referenced, critiqued and/or parodied in Montaigne's Essais, Du côté de chez Swann and Molloy', French Studies Bulletin, 123 (2012), 32-7.

'Review of Cixous's Semi Fictions, by Mairead Hanrahan', Modern and Contemporary France (forthcoming).

'Lesbian Performance', entry in The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies (forthcoming)

Conference Papers

'Translating Cultures: Creating "India" for the Theatre in Hélène Cixous's L'Indiade ou l'Inde de leurs rêves'

Society for French Studies Conference, University of Cardiff, June 2015.

'Looking Again at La jeune née: Feminine Poets in Hélène Cixous's Voile Noire Voile Blanche'

Women in French Conference, Leeds, May 2015.

'Marginalité et la communauté dans Les Naufragés du Fol Espoir d'Hélène Cixous'

Journée d'études sur la marginalité, Université de Pau et des pays de l'Adour, April 2014.

I am currently teaching first and second year language classes, as well as the first year module Introduction to French and Francophone Studies. In the past, I have also taught on the second year module, Post-War French theatre. My office hour this semester is on Monday from 11-12.

Current Research

I am currently working on my PhD, which looks at the ethical and political questions that the critic, author, and playwright Hélène Cixous addresses and raises in her theatre. These can be broken down into four main groups of questions: 1) ethical and political questions related to writers and the writing process, 2) questions related to the creation of new communities in response to ethical and political problems identified in the old community, 3) how theatre can be used to provide a moral education for its audience, and 4) the ethics of the gesture of self-sacrifice, traditionally associated with the tragic hero.

Past Research

My MA by research looked at aspects of ethics in four plays written by Cixous for the influential theatre group, the Théâtre du Soleil

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