Cambridge University Reporter

Report of the General Board on the establishment of a Readership in French

The GENERAL BOARD beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. The Department of French, within the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, is one of the most highly regarded and consistently excellent research centres in the fields of French language, literature, and culture in the English-speaking world. Research in the Department has been at the forefront of international work on the history of the language, in Medieval and in Renaissance French Studies; the Department also has a very strong profile in early modern, modern and contemporary literature, thought, and visual culture. The Department has received the highest ranking in every Research Assessment Exercise and this is a position that it is striving to maintain.

2. French has traditionally been the largest language area in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages. Members of the Department have played a crucial role in furthering the study of French language, literature, thought, and visual culture, in the teaching of comparative papers across the Faculty and in the teaching of critical theory at undergraduate and graduate level. The M.Phil. in European Literature and Culture regularly draws a very strong number of local and international candidates in French, a large number of whom continue to the Ph.D. Colleagues in French also play an important role in the teaching of the M.Phil. in Linguistics and from 2006 will offer key teaching in the M.Phil. in Screen Media and Cultures (both of which provide routes into a Ph.D. in French). The number of research students in the Department is expanding year by year.

3. In advance of the Research Assessment Exercise in 2008, the Department expects to make at least one appointment at the level of University Lecturer, but wishes to establish a Readership, in any area of French Studies, in order to attract the strongest field of researchers with international reputations.

4. The proposed establishment of this Readership will be funded in part by the suppression of the University Lectureship vacated by the resignation of Professor H. S. Kay from her personal Professorship. The additional costs will be met within the existing level of recurrent allocation to the Council of the School of Arts and Humanities, who have approved the case made by the Department.

5. The General Board have accepted the proposal of the Council of the School of Arts and Humanities for the establishment of a Readership. The criteria for appointment to a Readership through open competition will be identical to those for appointment through the Senior Academic Promotions Procedure. The Appointments Committee will be constituted as specified in the Regulations (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 692).

6. The General Board accordingly recommend:

That a Readership in French be established in the Department of French from 1 October 2006.