Decentring France: Multilingualism and power in contemporary French cinema (Manchester University Press, 2017). Order here.

In a world defined by the flow of people, goods, and cultures, many contemporary French films explore the multicultural nature of today’s France through language. From rival lingua francas such as English to socio-politically marginalised languages such as Arabic or Kurdish, multilingual characters in these films exploit their knowledge of multiple languages, and offer counter-perspectives to dominant ideologies of the role of linguistic diversity in society.

Decentring France is the first substantial study of multilingual film in France. Unpacking the power dynamics at play in the dialogue of eight emblematic films, this book argues that many contemporary French films take a new approach to language and power, showing how even the most historically-maligned languages can empower speakers. This book offers a unique insight to academics and students alike, into the place of language and power in French cinema today.

Journal articles

‘Contemporary French cinema and the langue de passage: from Dheepan to Welcome’, French Cultural Studies, vol. 29:1, 2018, pp. 31-46.

With N. Edwards and C. Hogarth, ‘Introduction: migrations across media’, French Cultural Studies, 29:1, 2018.

‘No laughing matter? Navigating political (in)correctness in Intouchables’, Francosphères, vol. 6:1, 2018.

En français, s’il te plaît: the linguistic battlegrounds of Entre les murs (Laurent Cantet)’, Contemporary French Civilization, vol. 42:1, 2017, pp. 31-46.

‘Code-switching as power strategy: multilingualism and the role of Arabic in Maïwenn’s Polisse’, The Australian Journal of French Studies, vol. 52:2, 2015, pp. 162-73.

‘The power of the treacherous interpreter: multilingualism in Jacques Audiard’s Un prophète’, Linguistica Antverpiensia, vol. 13, 2014, pp. 78-92.

Book chapters

‘Transnational French cinema and the multilingual film’, C. Forsdick and C. Launchbury (eds), Transnational French Studies, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2018.

‘Merry Christmas in no man’s land: European borders, language barriers and front lines in Christian Carion’s Joyeux Noël’, M. Gott and T. Schilt (eds), Cinéma-monde: Decentred Perspectives on Global Filmmaking in French, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017.

‘Multilingual pilgrimages: language and trans-Mediterranean cultural identity in Ismaël Ferroukhi’s Le Grand Voyage’, C. Launchbury and M. MacDonald (eds), Urban Bridges, Global Capital(s): Trans-Mediterranean Francophonies, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2017.

‘Langues désancrées: le rôle du français dans London River ’, Genre, Text and Language: Mélanges Anne Freadman, T. Do, V. Duché and A. Rizzi (eds), Paris: Librairies Garnier, 2016, pp. 317-26.

‘Decentring France: multilingualism and the French language in Welcome’, M. Abecassis and G. Ledegan (eds). De la genèse de la langue à Internet, Oxford: Peter Lang, 2015, pp. 221-42.

Reviews and encyclopaedia entries

This was Hasankeyf’, Journal of Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia, 4:2, 2017.

Super Women’, Journal of Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia, 4:1, 2017.

‘Juliette Gréco’, ‘Charles Aznavour’ and ‘Fréhel’, M. Abecassis (ed). Je chante donc je suis’: An Anthology of French and Francophone Singers, from Abd Al Malik to Zazie, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2017.

Baraka Paths’, Journal of Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia, 3:1, 2015, pp. 90-1.

The Good Son’, Journal of Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East & Central Eurasia, 2:2, 2014, pp. 254-5.

‘Emmanuelle Riva’, ‘Niels Arestrup’ and ‘Yolande Moreau’, M. Abecassis and M. Block (eds). French Cinema in Close-Up: La vie d’un acteur pour moi, Dublin: Phaeton Publishing Ltd, 2014, pp. 11, 301 and 345.

‘What else is lost with memory loss? Memory and identity in Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’, Bright Lights Film Journal, vol. 79, 2013.

‘The dark side of Paris: the second Festival du film fantastique and the fourteenth Festival des cinémas différents et expérimentaux’, Senses of Cinema, vol. 66, 2013.