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Professor Martin Hurcombe

War, Culture and Politics in Early Twentieth-Century France

I am principally interested in the relationship between representations of conflict and politics in early twentieth-century France. I am the author of Novelists in Conflict: Ideology and the Absurd in the French Combat Novel of the Great War and France and the Spanish Civil War: Cultural Representations of the War next Door, 1936-1945. With Martyn Cornick and Angela Kershaw, I have recently written French Political Travel Writing in the Inter-War Years: Radical Departures. I am also interested in the relationship between political commitment and utopianism and the memory of the First World War in twentieth-century French culture. I am one of the editors of the Journal of War and Culture Studies. In addition to this, I also have an interest in French crime fiction, particularly the novels of Sébastien Japrisot. My current project investigates the history of French cycling via its textual representation, particularly in sports journalism, biography and auto-biogreaphy. 

 

My teaching interests are French literature, culture, and history of the early twentieth century. I also teach general history and literature courses in Year 1 and final-year language. I am unit convenor for two final-year units: War Stories, which studies the depiction of war in the twentieth-century French novel and cinema, and Political Cultures of Early Twentieth-Century France, which examines a variety of phenomena (from nationalism to sport via feminism and existentialism) that reflect the battle for France from 1900 to 1949. In the 2nd year I co-convene The Third Republic, which studies the social and political history of France from 1870 to 1940. I also teach courses on war and culture at postgraduate level and  regularly supervise postgraduate dissertations and theses. 

I would particularly welcome research students working on late 19th and 20th-century cultural representations of conflict and/or political engagement and cultural politics in France.

In 2017-18 my students can consult me in my office at the following time during term times and without an appointment: Thursday 10-11.50am.

Research keywords

  • conflict
  • war
  • culture
  • early twentieth-century history and politics
  • fascism
  • communism