Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Slavery studies and reparations/reparatory justice
Memory studies (with a focus on historical trauma and the contemporary legacies relating to the colonial and particularly the European-led enslavement and trafficking in Afrikan peoples)
Postcolonial studies more broadly, but with a focus on the Francophone world or comparative projects including the Francophone world

Personal profile


Nicola Frith completed her doctorate at the University of Liverpool in 2010. She worked at Bangor University in Wales as a Lecturer in French from 2010 to 2014, before joining French and Francophone Studies at the University of Edinburgh as a Chancellor’s Fellow in September 2014. She held an AHRC early career Leadership Fellowship (2013–15) for a project entitled ‘Mapping Memories of Slavery: Commemoration, Community and Identity in Contemporary France’. In the 2014, she published her first monograph entitled The French Colonial Imagination: Writing the Indian Uprisings, 1857-1858, from Second Empire to Third Republic in the After the Empire series with Lexington Books. In addition to writing about the construction of French colonial identities during the nineteenth century, Frith is the author of numerous chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals relating to the politics of memories of slavery and the need for reparative justice. In 2017, she was awarded a second AHRC grant to set up the International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR) in collaboration with Professor Joyce Hope Scott (Boston University). Her work is dedicated to challenging the socio-political myths that surround the concept of reparations, specifically where the European-led enslavement and trafficking in Afrikan peoples is concerned.


PhD in French

BA Hons in French

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (stages 1 and 2)


Current Research Interests

Nicola Frith is a specialist in Francophone Postcolonial Studies and Slavery Studies. She is the author of a monograph entitled The French Colonial Imagination: Writing the Indian Uprisings, 1857–58, from Second Empire to Third Republic (Lexington Books, 2014), which considers how France’s colonial imagination in the nineteenth century was constructed in relation to its greatest rival, the British. Her current research focuses on the memories and legacies of Afrikan enslavement and their longlasting effects on French republican society today. Of particular interest are the socio-political contexts that are shaping activist movements and memorialization processes within and beyond the French nation-state. Her AHRC-funded research project, entititled 'Mapping Memories of Slavery: Commemoration, Community and Identity in Contemporary France', is working to map activist networks within the French Republic and to foreground the complex and creative responses led by citizen groups as they engage culturally and politically with the afterlives of the history of the European-led enslavement and trafficking of Afrikan peoples. A growing interest in this area is the pressing question of reparations for slavery as a means to addressing the legacies of this history in the present-day.

Research Interests

Francophone postcolonial studies; recognition struggles and social movements; justice theory and reparative justice; memory studies; nineteenth- and twentieth-century colonial history; community and belonging in contemporary French society; memories of slavery and the slave trade; the politics of memory; museology and commemorative practices; transnationalism.

Research Groups

Member of the Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies (SFPS)

Member of the DELC research group: 'Language and Violence'



Media contributions include articles in The Conversation, openDemocracy and The Voice


Collaborative Activity

Recent collaborations include:

1. Co-organizing the launch of the International Network for Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR) in Brixton, London, with Professor Joyce Hope Scott (Boston University) and the Pan-Afrikan Coalition for Reparations in Europe (PARCOE), notably their representatives Esther Stanford-Xosei and Kofi Klu, 21 October 2017.

2. Co-organizing an international, interdisciplinary workshop for scholars, activists and practitioners entitled 'Reparations for Afrikan Enslavement: Beyond National Boundaries, Towards International Solidarities' at Birmingham City University with Professor Joyce Hope Scott (Boston University) and members of the INOSAAR, notably PARCOE and their representatives Esther Stanford-Xosei and Kofi Klu, 17 March 2018.

3. Co-organizing an international colloquium entitled 'Returning to Source: Reparative Justice for the Enslavement of Afrikan Peoples' at the Musée da Silva in Porto-Novo, Benin with Professor Joyce Hope Scott (Boston University) and members of the INOSAAR, notably the Association panafricaine pour une réparation globale de l'esclavage (APRGE), 19-21 September 2018.

Past collaborations include:

1. Co-organizing an international conference with Dr Kate Hodgson (University of Liverpool) in September 2011 on 'Remembering Slavery, Forgetting Indenture'.

2. Co-editing and co-writing the introduction for the lastest annual volume of Francophone Postcolonial Studies with Liverpool University Press (2015), in collaboration with Dr Kate Hodgson at the University of Liverpool.

3. Working in collaboration with Dr Joyce Hope Scott at Wheelock College, Boston, US, and the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies on the organization of a major international event held at the University of Edinburgh (5-7 November 2015), looking at 'Repairing the Past, Imagining the Future: Reparations and Beyond...'

4. Working with the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (based in Glasgow) on the organization of a public debate around reparations for slavery as part of Black History Month in October 2015.

5. Working with the Africa in Motion (Aim) on a strand entitled 'The Unrepaired Past' for the African Scotland Film Festival 2015, including a photo exhibition, a dance performance and a public debate on reparations for slavery, as well as screening three films relating to slavery and its legacies.

Research students

I currently supervise one PhD and one Masters by Research at the University of Edinburgh:

  1. Ellen Davis-Walker, 'Journeys in the Postcolonial City: Re-Imagining Spatial Politics in Paris and Brussels' (PhD candidate)
  2. Chris Jardine who is investigating laïcité as been a tool of liberation or oppression for Muslims and Jews in contemporary France.

I have supervised two PhD students to successful completion at Bangor University:

  1. Stephanie Bostock. Thesis title: 'Exhibiting the Everyday: The Musealization of 1950s Material Culture in France and Germany' (2016)
  2. Geraldine Crahay. Thesis title: 'Ambiguous Genders and Masculine Insecurity in July Monarchy Narratives' (2016)


I have experience in teaching French language, literature, culture, history and politics at all levels from undergraduate through to postgraduate students. I have taught across the French language syllabus at Bangor University, and have contributed to the revision and creation numerous team-taught and specialist courses, including: European history, European literature, European ideas and ideologies, Paris, Presidents and Power and Remembering Slavery. I specialise in teaching postcolonial studies, slavery studies and memory studies, and have a strong interest in French politics and society. At the University of Edinburgh, I am the convenor of a fourth-year honours course 'Recognition Struggles in Contemporary France' and a second-year course 'Politics and Institutions of Contemporary France', as well as contributing to teaching on the first-year core module 'French Literature and Civilisation'. 

Administrative Roles

I have acted as Head of French (2012-13) at Bangor University, where I also took on the administrative roles of year-abroad coordinator, teaching and learning representative for the School, timetabling officer for French, exams officer for French and personal tutor. At the University of Edinburgh, in addition to convening second and fourth year course, I sit on the LLC Library Committee.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Competing Colonial Discourses on India: Representing the Indian 'Mutiny' (1857-58) in French- and English-Language Texts, University of Liverpool

Award Date: 1 Jan 2010


  • PC Romance languages
  • Slavery studies
  • Memory studies
  • Postcolonial theory
  • Recognition struggles
  • Reparations

College Research Themes

  • Energy & Sustainability
  • Identities & Inequalities
  • Cultural Heritage


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    Frith, Nicki (Recipient), 28 May 2024

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