Dr Sam Ferguson

Sam Ferguson, B.A., M.St., D.Phil (Oxon)
Junior Research Fellow,


My research interests include twentieth-century fiction, life-writing (such as diaries and autobiography), and theoretical issues pertaining to the nature of literature and authorship. I have a particular attachment to the work of André Gide and Roland Barthes.

My doctoral thesis, entitled ‘Diaries Real and Fictional in Twentieth-Century French Writing’ explored, extremely varied forms and practices of diary-writing through the work of André Gide, Jean-Paul Sartre, Raymond Queneau, Roland Barthes, and Annie Ernaux. A historical account follows these developments from the Symbolist aesthetic of Gide’s early works, to the monumental author-œuvre of his Journal 1889–1939, through the so-called ‘Death of the Author’, and return of the subject in the late 1970s, and finishing with the modern field of life-writing. I expect to publish this research as a monograph with OUP.

My current research pursues a number of problems in the work of André Gide and Roland Barthes. I am also undertaking a project exploring the relation between the diary and the literary œuvre since the 1970s. This project is provisionally entitled ‘When is a diary a book?’.


For a complete list of publications, please see my page on Academia.edu.

Articles and chapters

‘Les Discours scientifiques dans l’écriture de soi’, forthcoming in L’Influence souterraine de la science sur la littérature et la philosophie (Paris: Garnier, 2016).

‘Diary-Writing and the Return of Gide in Barthes’s “Vita Nova”’, in Deliberations: The Journals of Roland Barthes (special issue of Textual Practice), ed. by Neil Badmington, 30/2 (2016), 241–66.

‘Forgetting Gide: A Study of Barthes’s “Ursuppe”’, Barthes Studies, 1 (2015).

‘André Gide’s Paludes: A Diary Novel?’, French Studies, 68/1 (2014), 34–47.

‘Metalepsis and the auteur supposé in Raymond Queneau’s Œuvres complètes de Sally Mara’, French Studies, 66/2 (2012), 178–192.

Book reviews

‘Andy Stafford, Roland Barthes’, The Times Literary Supplement, 26 February 2016, 30.

‘Roland Barthes, Album: inédits, correspondances et varia, ed. by Éric Marty’, French Studies, 70/1 (2016), 126–27.

‘Tiphaine Samoyault, Roland Barthes’, French Studies, 69/4 (2015), 554–55.

‘Martine Sagaert and Peter Schnyder (eds), Actualités d’André Gide’, French Studies, 67/3 (2013), 426.

‘Françoise Simonet-Tenant, Journal personnel et correspondance (1785–1939) ou les affinités électives, French Studies, 64/4 (2010), 519–20.

Subscribe to Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages