My D.Phil research, supported by a St Anne’s College—Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages Scholarship, examines queer North African francophone literature, with a particular focus on writers such as Rachid O. (b. in 1970), Abdellah Taïa (b. in 1973) and Mohamed Leftah (1946 to 2008). Drawing on a wide range of theory and literature, including Arab/Muslim theories on sexuality, French and Anglo-American queer theory, feminist criticism, postcolonial and diaspora studies, my research explores how these authors create new queer modes of existence outside hetero- or homonormativity and that cannot be accommodated with the dominant ideologies of Moroccan society or Western queer culture. By studying transgressive sexualities in the works of a previous generation of North African writers such as Jean Sénac, Tahar Ben Jelloun and Abdelkébir Khatibi, I also examine how Rachid O., Taïa and Leftah re-appropriate this heritage in order to represent their own queer identities. I argue that, for these writers, new queer transnational families situated outside gender divisions and national borders attain a hitherto unemphasised importance.
I received my BA in French and Russian from St Edmund Hall, Oxford, an MPhil in Russian Studies from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and an MSt in French from St Edmund Hall in Oxford. Before joining Oxford, I received a BA in acting from the Haute école des arts de la scène (Lausanne, CH) and worked as an actor in France and in Switzerland. My wider research interests include contemporary French fiction and poetry, literary theory and all aspects of francophone literature, especially from North Africa and the Middle East.
2017: Co-teaching Paper XI French
‘Legends, memories and violence in North African cities: Urban space in Kateb Yacine’s Nedjma and Salim Bachi’s Le chien d’Ulysse’, International Journal of Francophone Studies, 19 (2016), 321-340. [Peer Reviewed Journal]
Denis Provencher, Queer Maghrebi French. Language, Temporalities, Transfiliations, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2017, in Bulletin of Francophone Postcolonial Studies, Issue 9.1 (2018), pp. 20-21
Denis Provencher, Queer Maghrebi French. Language, Temporalities, Transfiliations, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2017, in International Journal of Francophone Studies, Volume 21 (2018), pp. 169-170
17-18 November 2017. ‘“Ces rencontres qui voient à peine le jour” (Rachid O.); Shifting Selves: Identity, Mobility and Homosexual Encounters in Rachid O.’s Work’ at The Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies (SFPS) Annual Conference on “Regional, National, and Global identities in the Francophone World” (Senate House, London).
02 — 04 July 2018. ‘From the “garçon du bled” to Tintin’s Dog: Sexualizing the Other in the Fiction of Abdellah Taïa’ at The Society for French Studies (SFS) Annual Conference (University College Cork).