Dr. Stephens's research focuses on the influences and legacies of French Romanticism during and since the nineteenth century, especially the works of Victor Hugo. His study Victor Hugo, Jean-Paul Sartre, and the Liability of Liberty, for which he was awarded a University Research Fellowship, appeared in 2011 and explored previously overlooked connections between Romantic and Existentialist thinking through these two iconic writers. In conjunction with this project, he also wrote the introduction to a new edition of Hugo’s classic gothic novel Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame) with Signet Classics/Penguin USA.
He is currently researching how strategies of adaptation vary across medium, nation, and era, and considers the reception and adaptations of classic French Romantic works such as Les Mìsérables, especially in terms of male heroes. In early 2013, he is working on a collaborative project with Amblr Creative as part of the REACT hub's 'Books and Print' Sandbox (http://www.react-hub.org.uk/books-and-print-sandbox/), developing new touchscreen software for interactive literary timelines. He is also involved in two public events to coincide with the release of the new Les Misérables film (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2013/9042.html) and has written a blogpost for The Huffington Post to discuss the ongoing relevance of Hugo's landmark novel.
Dr. Stephens is currently on research leave until September 2013.
Dr. Stephens’s undergraduate teaching at Bristol includes: fourth-year language (FREN30001); the first-year ‘Introduction to Literature’ unit (FREN10025/6); second-year courses on the French novel both pre- and post-1900 (FREN20023/39), and two final-year special options – one on Victor Hugo (FREN30102), and another on representations of the body in modern French literature and film (FREN30094).
At graduate level, he convenes a core unit entitled ‘European Literature of Ideas’ (MODLM2044) for the MA in Modern Languages and European Literatures, and contributes seminars to both ‘The Rise of the Nineteenth-Century Novel’ and ‘Tradition and Experimentation in Twentieth-Century Fiction’ (MODLM 2034/35). He is currently co-supervising three PhD theses on le merveilleux scientifique in late nineteenth-century French literature, Jules Verne's utopian narratives, and French Women's Writing in the Romantic period respectively, as well as an MPhil thesis on the figure of the prêtre amoureux in French Romantic writing. He has also previously supervised work on Hugo, Balzac, and Cocteau.
Bradley Stephens completed his BA, MPhil and PhD at the University of Cambridge before joining the School of Modern Languages in Bristol in 2006 as a Lecturer in French. He currently sits on the Executive Committees of the UK Sartre Society, and was Membership Secretary for the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes from 2009 to 2012. He also sits on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Sartre Studies International and The Journal for European Studies. Within the University, he is the Year Abroad Officer for the School of Modern Languages and chaired the management of the first InsideArts, the University Festival of the Arts and Humanities.
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