Claire Boyle


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Claire has experience of supervising and examining students at Masters and doctoral level working on twentieth-century and contemporary French literature and cinema. She offers supervision for postgraduate research in French autobiography studies, French queer cinema and queer theory, contemporary French cinema, French cinema in the first person, and French feminism (especially Cixous and Irigaray).

Personal profile


Dr Claire Boyle completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Cambridge, and then taught at the University of Oxford for a spell, before securing her first permanent lectureship at the University of Stirling in 2005. She joined the University of Edinburgh in January 2008. She is a specialist in post-war French literature, thought and cinema, but has experience in teaching post-war European cinema beyond the borders of France, as well as French literature from all periods from the medieval to the contemporary.

Research Interests

  • Post-war and contemporary French autobiography
  • Twentieth-century French thought and modern critical theory
  • Post-war and contemporary French cinema (especially queer cinema, first-person cinema, and testimonial films)


Research activity

Claire Boyle’s published research to date has focussed on two principal areas: post-war French autobiography studies, and contemporary French cinema. Her research on autobiography explores the genre in the context of the commodification of the self and an anxious interrogation into the essence of personal and collective identity in France in the latter part of the twentieth century. Her research in this domain has involved exploring the expression, negotiation and construction of identity and subjectivity in French autobiographical writing. Approaching these questions from a variety of theoretical perspectives, a particular focus of her work has involved tracing the impact that issues of testimony, gender, sexuality, identification and alterity have on the ways in which identity is forged. She has explored these themes principally with reference to the literary work of Nathalie Sarraute, Georges Perec, Jean Genet and Hélène Cixous. The developments, renewals and negotiations of autobiography as a literary genre that have taken place in France over the last half century provide another axis to her research.

More recently, her research on contemporary French cinema has focussed on the construction and representation of identities in the cinema (including queer identities), particularly as seen in a type of intimate, testimonial film-making sometimes known as 'first-person cinema'. She is especially interested in cinematic negotiations of identity through (cultural) memory and (cinematic) space. She has published a number of article-length studies on these themes, and the topic of persona cinema 'in the first person' is also the kernel of her next major research project, on projections of subjectivity in French cinema since the Nouvelle Vague.

Claire Boyle is on the Advisory Board for the Centre for Studies in Memory and Literature (University of Iceland).


  • French 1B: French language, literature, political history and film (also French 1B Course Organiser)
  • Introduction to European Cinema (Course Organiser 2012-2014)
  • Introduction to European Theatre
  • Intimate Exposures: Fifty Years of French First-Person Cinema (4th year undergraduate option course)
  • L’autobiographie littéraire contemporaine (4th year undergraduate option course)
  • Claire Boyle additionally offers teaching and supervision on French feminism and queer theory for the core course of the MSc in Comparative Literature, and on twentieth-century French theatre for the MSc in Theatre & Performance. She has previously contributed to MSc programmes in Media, Culture, Practice; European Studies; Translation Studies; and Literature & Modernity.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Cambridge

Award Date: 29 Apr 2003

Master of Arts, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 24 Mar 2001

Master of Philosophy (MPhil), University of Cambridge

Award Date: 23 Jul 1999

Bachelor of Arts, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 27 Jun 1998


Dive into the research topics where Claire Boyle is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles