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Christopher Johnson

Professor of French and Francophone Studies, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

It is with deepest sadness that the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies has to record that Chris Johnson, Professor of French, died on Wednesday, May 17th 2017. Chris was extremely well-liked and deeply respected in the School, with many close colleagues and friends in French and beyond. He will be very much missed.

Teaching Summary

My specialist teaching is mainly focused on French thought and intellectual history.

In the first year I have lectured on the Enlightenment and the Encylopédie.

In the second year I teach a module on Nineteenth-Century French Fiction, which includes the novels of Balzac, Flaubert and Zola.

In the final year I have taught two modules:

Representations of the Exotic - this module looks at French representations of non-Western, 'exotic' cultures from the early modern period up to the twentieth century. Writers studied include Montaigne, Montesquieu, Diderot, Chateaubriand, Flaubert and Lévi-Strauss.

Intellectuals in Post-War France - this module looks at three important French thinkers of the post-war period, Jean-Paul Sartre, Claude Lévi-Strauss and Jean-François Lyotard, representing three intellectual movements: existentialism, structuralism and post-modernism.

I am able to supervise postgraduate study and research in the following areas:

Contemporary French thought

Science and technology in post-war France

Translating French thought

The role of the interview in post-war French thought

Research Summary

My main areas of research interest are contemporary French thought and the philosophy of technology. I have published books on Derrida and Lévi-Strauss, and a number of shorter pieces on… read more

Current Research

My main areas of research interest are contemporary French thought and the philosophy of technology. I have published books on Derrida and Lévi-Strauss, and a number of shorter pieces on science/technology-related subjects: biotechnology, machine translation, cybernetics, the space age. I am currently preparing a book on the French ethnologist and prehistorian André Leroi-Gourhan, a project funded by the Leverhulme Trust (Major Research Fellowship). I am a founding member of the Science Technology Culture Research Group and the Translating Thought Research Group.

See my discussion of BRICOLAGE at http://www.wordsoftheworld.co.uk/videos/bricolage.html

Past Research

My past research has focused on the following aspects of contemporary French thought:

Derrida and deconstruction;

Lévi-Strauss, structuralism and anthropology;

Jacob, Monod and the language of molecular biology;

French intellectuals and the role of the interview in post-war French thought.

Future Research

The history of cybernetics, in particular the reception of cybernetics in France.

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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