School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Dr Richard Mason

Lecturer in French

Room Number: Arts One 1.10
Office Hours: Feedback and advice on Mondays and Tuesdays, 10–11 (Semester 1)


My research interests are concentrated in twentieth-century French literature, thought and society. I am currently working on two main projects: the first is a monograph on Jean Genet entitled Encountering Genet: Literature, Intimacy and the Intelligibility of Erotic Life, which brings Genet’s poetics and thought into dialogue with theoretical and philosophical accounts of intimacy. The book project arises out of a doctoral thesis on Genet and Marcel Proust completed at King’s College London (2016), and has received subsequent support through the award of a Modern Humanities Research Association Research Scholarship in the Modern European Languages. More broadly, I am interested in the dynamics of erotic and fantasmatic representation in a range of French writers from the first half of the twentieth century (Proust, Genet, Jouhandeau, Leduc…)

My second area of research, which developed through an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship at University College Cork, explores ‘emancipatory’ pedagogy in France in the twentieth century. In particular, I am interested in the various ways in which reading and writing were mobilised towards emancipatory ends within this tradition. Figures I am currently thinking and writing about include Célestin Freinet, Fernand Oury and Aïda Vasquez, Fernand Deligny, Maud Mannoni and Félix Guattari. I have also written on anti-pedagogy in France in the 1970s and on debates around literature teaching in France in the period following May ’68.


I have taught a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in French literature and thought, language and translation. Particular areas of interest include: erotic representation and sexuality; psychoanalysis; twentieth-century French literature (Proust, Genet, Jouhandeau, Leduc); Pedagogy and education (history, theory, representation)

Undergraduate Teaching

Semester 1 Narrative in Theory and Practice FRE/COM6006 French III FRE6202

Semester 2 European Tragedy COM507 French III FRE6202



  • ‘Disturbing Visions of Childhood: René Schérer’s Writing on Childhood in the 1970s’, in Nottingham French Studies, Vol. 59.1, Spring 2020 (forthcoming).
  • ‘Érotique de la phrase : la mise en scène de la parole de l’autre chez Proust et Genet’, in Marcel Proust Aujourd’hui, Vol. 14, October 2017, pp.116–29, Brill/Rodopi

Public Engagement

‘Proust’s jeunes filles: a centenary celebration’, Bloomsbury Theatre, October 2019