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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Dr Richard Mason


Lecturer in French, Outreach Officer for Modern Languages and Cultures

Room Number: Arts One 1.10
Office Hours: Feedback and advice hours: Thursdays, 9–10am (semester 1) or email for an alternative appointment


Interdisciplinary in nature, my research draws links between literature and education in French and Francophone culture from the late nineteenth century onwards. Broadly, I am interested in tracing conceptions of reading, writing, and selfhood across these domains. Areas of interest include narratives of developmental selfhood; the role of reading and writing practices within experimental French pedagogy, particularly their ‘emancipatory’ framing; the institutionalization of education and literature.

Recently, I have written on the relationship between writing and selfhood in the emancipatory pedagogy of Célestin Freinet; on anti-pedagogic accounts of subjectivity in French philosophy in the 1970s; on anti-humanistic approaches to literature teaching in the period following May 1968; and on the status of education in Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu. I retain a strong interest in the work of Proust and Jean Genet, on whom I completed a doctoral thesis at King’s College London in 2016.

Prior to joining Queen Mary as Lecturer in French, I held roles as Teaching Fellow at King’s College London, and Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University College Cork. I am currently Outreach Officer for the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures and would be delighted to discuss any matter regarding schools’ engagement activities. I am also Conference Officer for the Society for French Studies.


I have taught a range of topics in French literature, theory, and culture, as well as modules in Comparative Literature. I also teach French grammar, textual analysis, and translation.

Undergraduate Teaching

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

Semester 2 European Tragedy COM507 French III FRE6202



Edited volume

Difficulty’s Knots, a special issue of Paragraph, co-edited by Richard Mason and Kasia Mika, forthcoming March 2024.

Peer-reviewed articles

‘L’absence de l’école et les paramètres de l’éducation dans À la recherche du temps perdu’, forthcoming Bulletin d’informations proustiennes, 2023.

‘Writing and Selfhood in the Pedagogy of Célestin Freinet’, French Studies, 77.1, January 2023, 48–63.

‘Disturbing Visions of Childhood: René Schérer’s Writing on Childhood in the 1970s’, Nottingham French Studies, 59.1 (2020), 80–96.

‘Érotique de la phrase : la mise en scène de la parole de l’autre chez Proust et Genet’, Marcel Proust Aujourd’hui, 14 (2017), 116–29.

Book chapter

‘Le naufrage de l’homme profane: Jean Genet and the Anecdotal’, in Labours of Attention: Work, Class and Society in French and Francophone Literature and Culture, ed. by Adam Watt (Oxford: Legenda, 2022), pp. 132–43.


Gérard Desanges, Marcel Proust et la Politique. Une conscience française (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2019) (forthcoming Modern Language Review)

Cynthia Gamble, Voix entrelacées de Proust et de Ruskin (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2021) (forthcoming Modern Language Review)

Public Engagement

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

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