Prof Charles Forsdick BA (Oxford), PhD (Lancaster), FBA, MAE

James Barrow Professor of French School of Histories, Languages and Cultures


Personal Statement

Charles Forsdick is James Barrow Professor of French at the University of Liverpool and Adjunct Professor in Translation Studies, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. From 2012 until 2021 he was AHRC Theme Leadership Fellow for 'Translating Cultures'. He has published widely on travel writing, colonial history, postcolonial literature, comics, penal culture and the afterlives of slavery. He is also a specialist on Haiti and the Haitian Revolution, and has written in particular about representations of Toussaint Louverture.

His publications include Victor Segalen and the Aesthetics of Diversity (Oxford University Press, 2000), Travel in Twentieth-Century French and Francophone Cultures (Oxford University Press, 2005), Ella Maillart, ‘Oasis interdites’ (Zoé, 2008) and (with Christian Hogsbjerg) Toussaint Louverture: A Black Jacobin in the Age of Revolutions (Pluto, 2017). He has also edited and co-edited a number of volumes, including Francophone Postcolonial Studies: A Critical Introduction (Arnold, 2003), Human Zoos: Science and Spectacle in the Age of Colonial Empire (Liverpool University Press, 2008), Postcolonial Thought in the French-Speaking World (Liverpool University Press, 2009), Transnational French Studies: Postcolonialism and Littérature-monde (Liverpool University Press, 2010), Travel Writing: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies (Routledge, 2012), Travel and Ethics: Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2013), The Black Jacobins Reader (Duke University Press, 2017), Keywords for Travel Writing Studies (Anthem Press, 2019), Georges Perec’s Geographies: Material, Performative and Textual Spaces (UCL Press, 2019) and Postcolonial Realms of Memory: Sites and Symbols in Modern France (Liverpool University Press, 2020).

A Fellow of the British Academy and Member of the Academy of Europe, Charles Forsdick was President of the Society for French Studies, 2012-14, and Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery, 2010-13. He recently led an international project on '"Dark Tourism" in Comparative Perspective: Sites of Suffering, Sites of Memory' which included fieldwork in French Guiana, New Caledonia and Vietnam. Other current collaborative work includes a co-edited volume on transnational French studies, due to appear with Liverpool University Press. He is Co-Investigator on the AHRC/GCRF network+ Antislavery Knowledge Network. Professor Forsdick co-ordinated, with Paul Gilroy and George McKay, the Reggae Research Network, and was co-investigator on an AHRC-funded project -- conducted in collaboration with the Runnymede Trust, and supported by the Arts Council England -- called 'Common Cause Research: enriching the Arts and Humanities through collaborations between universities and BME community partners'.

Professor Forsdick is chair of the Editorial Advisory Board and a non-executive director at Liverpool University Press, and also edits two series for LUP: 'Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures' and the 'Glissant Translation Project'. He also edits a series for Anthem Press called 'Anthem Studies in Travel'. Forsdick has been a member of Council at the University of Chester since 2017 and currently chairs the University Mission Committee. He is chair of sub-panel D26 (Modern Languages and Linguistics) for REF2021, chair of the Advisory Board of the GCRF-funded MIDEQ (Migration for development and equality) Hub, and chair of the Advisory Council of the Institute of Modern Languages Research. Since 2019, Professor Forsdick has been a member of the conseil scientifique of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de l’Esclavage. He sits on a number of journal advisory board, including Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, Bulletin of Francophone Postcolonial Studies, Australian Journal of French Studies, Irish Journal of French Studies, Journal of Romance Studies, Studies in Travel Writing and Francospheres, and is an Associate Editor of Language, Society and Policy.

I welcome enquiries about postgraduate supervision (MRes, MPhil, PhD) in all areas of French and Francophone literature and culture in the modern and contemporary periods (including exoticism; postcolonialism; travel literature; colonial literature and history; Caribbean literature and history [especially Haiti]; Breton culture; contemporary French novel [including detective fiction]; slavery studies; dark tourism; penal heritage; comics; history of Modern Languages). I am also happy to supervise students in the areas of comparative literature, translation studies, World Literature and cultural heritage.

Prizes or Honours

  • Philip Leverhulme Prize (Leverhulme Trust, 2005)