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About Dr Brenda Garvey

Brenda's research explores contemporary French and francophone literatures with particular reference to women’s writing, spatial identities and francophone West Africa. She is also Programme Leader for both the MA in Language, Cultures and Translation and BA French.


Brenda’s phd research focused on spatio-temporal dynamics in contemporary French fiction including works by Patrick Modiano, Annie Ernaux, Jean Echenoz and Marie Darrieussecq. She also works on West African literatures and storytelling traditions, on migration stories and on afropean identities, particularly in the novels of Léonora Miano. Brenda welcomes expressions of interest for postgraduate research in any of these areas.

Published Work

Current publication projects include:

A co-edited book project on francophone African futures, working title:  Decolonising the Future? Challenges for Francophone Africa and the Diaspora including a chapter on gender and migration

An article on ‘Felwine Sarr’s ‘Ateliers de la pensée’ and new directions towards an Afrotopia’ for a book on Africa in Global Intellectual Thought

An article on Marie Darrieussecq’s Notre vie dans la forêt for a special edition of L’Esprit Créateur on ‘Challenging Normative Spaces and Gazes : The Body in 20th and 21st Centure Francophone Cultures’


2014 - ‘Embodied spaces and out-of-body experiences in Le Pays’ in Marie Darrieussecq, eds. G.Rye and H. Chadderton, Dalhousie French Studies 97

2013 -  ‘Relocating the traditional in the Senegalese classroom’ in Contesting historical divides is French-speaking Africa, ed. C.Griffiths, University of Chester Press

2013 -  ‘Storytelling and Play in a Pular Village’ in Between Work and Play: French and Francophone Women and Leisure, N.Morello and K. Jones (eds.)  Nottingham French Studies, vol52, no.1 Spring 2013

May 2008 -  ‘Rhythms, Repetitions and Rewritings in Passion Simple by Annie Ernaux’, in Rhythms. Essays in French Literature, Thought and Culture, eds. E. Linndley & L. McMahon Oxford Peter Lang (Modern French Identities)

April 2005  -  co-wrote article Shelving Translation for In Other Words, Summer 2005, No.25, published by the British Centre for Literary Translation.

March 2005 -  co-edited Shelving Translation: The role of the translated text in Britain Today A special edition for Brunel University’s on-line journal EnterText. 

Conferences, lectures and seminars

November 2018 – Felwine Sarr’s ‘Atelier de la pensée’: New directions towards an ‘Afroptopia’ for the Africa in Global Intellectual Thought conference in Berlin

May 2018 - Feminism and May ’68 for the ‘May 1968 – Events in France’ public lecture at the Storyhouse, Chester

September 2017- Exercices de styleRunning with Jean Echenoz at the ASMCF conference at the University of Bangor

January 2016- Voices from the seas, Senegalese Migration to Europe at the Northern Postcolonial Network conference on ‘Asylum, Migration and Refugees’ at the University of Salford, Mediacity

May 2015 – The Rise and Rise of Urban Wolof: Building New Communities and Identities in 21st Century Senegal at the YASN conference on ‘Family, Community and Livelihoods’ at the University of Sheffield

June 2013  - Renegotiating social identity in 21st century Senegal at ECAS conference ‘African Dynamics in a Multipolar World’, Lisbon, Portugal.

November 2012  Language and the renegotiation of social and self-identity in Senegal Modern Languages Dept Research Seminar, University of Chester

September 2012 - A war of words: Linguistic and Literary Practices in 21st Century Senegal at ASAUK, Leeds University

December 2011 - An African Voice against Migration: Mbeke mi by Abasse Ndione at RIA Modern Languages Sympopsium, Dublin DIT

February 2011 - Keepers of Tradition: Storytelling in the Senegalese classroom at LSE conference on Storytelling and Language learning.

October 2010 Where have I left my body? Embodied spaces and out of body experiences in the work of Marie Darrieussecq at A Decade of Women’s Writing in France conference, Centre for the Study of contemporary Women’s Writing

September 2010 - co-organised Post-slavery, post-imperial, post-colonial? Contesting historical divides in francophone Africa colloquium at University of Chester presented Reimagining culture in the classroom.

November 2009 Grandmother’s Tales: Senegalese storytelling as cultural exchange at the Cultural Exchange conference for Royal Irish Academy for Modern Language, Literary and Cultural Studies at trinity College Dublin

October 2009 - The case of the case des tout petits at Romance Studies conference, New Jersey, USA

May 2009 - The female griot at ‘Women at Play’ international conference of Women in French at Aston University, Birmingham

November 2008 - Ta(l)king to the seas at ‘Postcoloniality and Ecology’ International conference at Roehampton University

March 2008 - three guest lectures at the University of Warwick, Apollinaire;, Baudelaire Sex and the Cit;y Baudelaire and the Making of the Modern.