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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Kirsteen Anderson


Room Number: Bancroft Building 1.32 (home of the Writing Centre)


I have been working now for the University of London for over three decades. As Senior Lecturer in the French department I was until recently a full-time member of the SLLF, teaching across the undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum and, as Schools Liaison Officer, promoting modern languages in secondary schools.

My choice of a more freelance relationship with the SLLF, as a Teaching Fellow, enables me to continue to direct my energies towards my teaching, which I consider paramount, as well as to the SLLF Writing Centre. This forms part of my commitment to developing strong support for student learning across a range of areas: embedding the College-wide PASS mentoring scheme in the SLLF; and, since launching it in 2012 with funding from the College, running the Writing Centre which provides students with group and individual support for their academic writing on a weekly basis throughout the year.

In addition to my academic formation, my training has drawn on various fields that have shaped my approach to teaching and learning: art and dance therapy, and the role of the arts in education. As a practising artist I see the link between creativity and learning as a vital part of individual growth.


I teach a range of modules at all levels of the undergraduate degree pathway, and contribute to French, Comparative Literature and School-wide programmes. My main interests are in nineteenth- and twentieth-century French literature and thought, in the role of the imagination, and in the connection between creative and critical thinking.

The QM-wide Thinking Writing initiative, with its emphasis on the interdependence of writing and learning, has been invaluable in helping me develop a number of modules that integrate students’ creative writing into the learning process. The chance to be a writer producing one’s own text contributes powerfully in my experience to a student’s understanding of what literature is and does.

I am delighted to have received a Drapers’ Prize for Teaching since I see this as the foundation of my work at QM.


Research Interests:

My research interests cover a range of areas: French poetry (Paul Valéry); twentieth-century French thought (Barthes, Camus, Irigaray, Ponge, Sartre); translation (from French and Italian); and the interface between creative and critical thinking/writing.

I am working on two creative projects at present – a study of the intermedial links between words and images based on my artwork; and a collection of poems.

Selected publications/creations:

Paul Valéry and the Voice of Desire (Oxford: University of Oxford, European Humanities Research Centre, 2000)

Luce Irigaray, Democracy Begins Between Two, trans. from the Italian (London: The Athlone Press, 2000)

‘Sartre and Jewishness: from Identificatory Violence to Ethical Reparation’, in Violent Histories. Violence, Culture and Identity in France from Surrealism to the Neo-Polar, ed. by David Gascoigne (Bern: Peter Lang, 2007), pp. 61-77.

‘The Whole Learner: the Role of the Imagination in Developing Disciplinary Learning’, Arts and Humanities in Higher Education. Special Issue: Writing the Disciplines: international perspectives, 9 (2010), 205-21

‘Be/longing’, Book of Dreams (London: United Press, 2010), 183

Exhibition participation:

Transartation! Wandering Texts, Travelling Objects, exhibition funded by Arts Council England, St Andrews and Norwich, March-May 2017

Imago, Espacio Gallery, London, July 2018