News & Events

Workshop for Leaders in French: Leading in Difficult Times

As part of its commitment to supporting leadership across all areas of French Studies, the AUPHF is hosting a day-long workshop in Cardiff University on 24 March 2018.  Leading in Difficult Times will explore the importance of advocacy for MFL at national level, the challenges and opportunities for promoting languages at institutional level, the experience of leading on an equality strategy, and the role and value of mentorship in leadership development.

Programme and full details to follow.


Lucille Cairns (1963-2017), Professor of French and the University of Durham

Lucille was a leading figure in French Studies, with particular expertise in twentieth-century literature and film. She was the author of six monographs, the most recent of which, Francophone Jewish Writers: Imagining Israel, was published to great acclaim in 2015. She also wrote with authority on sapphism in French film and in French literature, and on gender and queer studies.

She began working at Durham University in 2005, playing a leading role in the School of Modern Languages and contributing to a number of research initiatives, including the Centre for Gender, Sex and Sexuality and the Centre for the Study of Jewish Culture, Society and Politics.

Lucille was a past president of AUPHF (2007-2010) and was the representative for French Studies on the executive committee of UCML (2010-2014). For REF 2014, she was a member of the Modern Languages Sub-Panel.

In 2009, Lucille was made a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French government in recognition of her academic achievements and service to her discipline. In 2011-12, under the framework of the French government's 'Investissements d'avenir' programme, she was President of the Humanities committee charged by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche with evaluating submissions to the 'Laboratories of Excellence' scheme. In 2012 and 2013, she was also President of the same organisation's grants' selection committee for a new research initiative in the social and human sciences, entitled ‘Emergences et évolutions des cultures et des phénomènes culturels’. 

Lucille will be greatly missed by her colleagues and students at Durham and by the profession at home and abroad. 

Lucille wanted friends and colleagues to be aware of the ravages of anorexia and a page dedicated to her memory has been set up with Beat Eating Disorders. If you would like to make a donation, please use the following link:

Brexit roundtable at the 2017 SFS Annual Conference

AUPHF sponsored a four-nations discussion of Brexit and languages at the Society of French Studies conference in Durham in July 2017. Stephen Forcer from Birmingham University spoke about the context in English, Margaret Topping on Northern Ireland, Jim Simpson on Scotland and Claire Gorrara on Wales. All speakers highlighted the specifics of their national contexts, influenced by British and devolved educational policy towards languages and multilingualism. The debate following the presentations highlighted the different positions for modern languages within the primary and secondary school sectors across the 4 nations and their relationship to indigenous languages, where there was often investment and a national strategy. Debate focused on the importance for modern linguists of having access to key government policy makers responsible for language policy and the potential advantages of greater proximity for colleagues in devolved administrations. All speakers recognised the current uncertainty surrounding Brexit’s impact on public understanding and appreciation of modern languages. Please click here for further information. 

© Copyright 2018 AUPHF AssociationWeb Design By Toolkit Websites