School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Dr Anna Kemp


Lecturer in French

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8288
Room Number: Arts One 209B
Office Hours: Tuesday 10-11 pm, Thursday 12-1 pm.



Dr Anna Kemp graduated from Worcester College Oxford in 2002 with a distinction in Modern and Medieval Languages (French and Italian). She pursued her postgraduate study in London and completed her doctorate at King’s College London in 2007. She later returned to Oxford University as the Hamilton Junior Research Fellow in French at The Queen’s College. Her first book, Voices and Veils: Feminism and Islam in French Women’s Writing and Activism (Oxford: Legenda, 2010) was based on her doctoral research and was one of four books shortlisted for the 2011 R.H. Gapper book prize for the best book published in French Studies in the UK and Northern Ireland. Dr Kemp taught at KCL, Oxford University and the University of Southampton before arriving at QMUL in 2012. Dr Kemp is also a writer of children’s fiction. Her books have been shortlisted for numerous prizes and have been adapted for stage and screen.


Level 4:

  • FRE468: French Foundations (Literature component)

Level 5:


  • FRE/COM5002: The Story of my Life?: Twentieth Century French Autobiography


Level 6:

  • FRE605: French Feminist Writing
  • French III (Translation French - English)
  • COM6201: Comparative Literature Research Project


Research Interests:

Dr Kemp has a wide range of research interests within twentieth- and twenty-first-century French and Francophone studies. To date, her research has focused on feminist writing, postcolonial questions and life writing and she has published work on writers, visual artists and political activists. Her first book, Voices and Veils: Feminism and Islam in French Women’s Writing and Activism (Oxford: Legenda, 2010), traces continuities between colonial and contemporary feminist representations of Muslim women and considers the ways in which French Muslim women writers and activists question dominant ‘feminist’ narratives. 

Working on Voices and Veils led her to question habitual responses to women-authored texts. This gave rise to a series of articles and papers on work by contemporary women artists and writers (Sophie Calle, Orlan, Amélie Nothomb, Chloé Delaume, Nina Bouraoui, Fawzia Zouari) that may be seen to thwart the expectations of the feminist reader.

Since 2015 her focus has turned to life writing and she is now writing her second monograph, Oulipography: Life as Creative Constraint, for which she holds a contract with Liverpool University Press. This monograph is the first to focus on the extraordinary autobiographical work of the French experimental writing collective the Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle (Oulipo). In March 2017 Dr Kemp was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to enable her to complete work on this book.

Dr Kemp is a member of the steering committee of the Centre for Childhood Cultures. The CCC is a collaboration between the V&A Museum of Childhood and QMUL that aims to foster and make widely accessible research on childhood culture. This exciting collaboration will involve QMUL researchers in the planned redisplay of the museum. She is also co-founder and organiser of the Queen Mary Visual Cultures Forum. The forum draws together expertise in visual studies within and beyond SLLF. The forum has hosted speakers from computing, neuroscience and geography, as well as practitioners in dance, film, theatre and publishing.



Oulipography: Life as Creative Constraint. Forthcoming with Liverpool University Press.

Voices and Veils: Feminism and Islam in French Women’s Writing and Activism (Oxford: Legenda, 2010), 160 pages, ISBN-13: 9781906540265

Shortlisted for the R.H. Gapper Book Prize 2011.


Playing and Being in Georges Perec. Forthcoming in French Studies.

Oulibertinage: Play and Pudeur in Anne Garréta's Pas un jour. Forthcoming in Nottingham French Studies.

Je me souviens de Beyrouth: Zeina Abirached's Perecquian Practice International Journal of Francophone Studies, 20, (2017), 183-208.

'Le passeport de la douleur ou rien': Fawzia Zouari’s Ce Pays dont je meurs and the politics of pain, Contemporary French Civilization, 41, (2016), 49-67.

Artistry and the Postcolonial Woman Artist: A Reading of Nina Bouraoui’s La Voyeuse interdite French Forum, 38, (2013), 237-250.

Selling Yourself: The Commercialization of Feeling in the Work of Sophie Calle Nottingham French Studies, 52, (2012), 308-321. 

The Child as Artist in Amélie Nothomb’s Robert des noms propres, French Studies, 66, (2012), 54-67

Marianne d’aujourd’hui?: The Figure of the beurette in Contemporary French Feminist Discourses, Modern and Contemporary France, 17:1, (2009), 19-33.

Book chapters:

Amélie the Aesthete: Art and Politics in the World of Amélie Nothomb, in Twenty-First Century French Women’s Writing ed. by Amaleena Damlé and Gill Rye (University of Wales Press).