Dr Joseph Ford

Contact details

Dr Joseph Ford
BA, MA (Res), PhD, FHEA
Early Career Researcher (French Studies)
Institute of Modern Languages Research
Institute of Modern Languages Research School of Advanced Study University of London Senate House Malet Street London WC1E 7HU
020 7862 8872
Email address:

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
Colonies & Colonization, emigration & immigration, Language and Literature (French), Literatures in a modern language
Africa, Europe
Summary of research interests and expertise:

I joined the IMLR in January 2019 as Early Career Fellow in French from Durham University, where I taught for two years in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. I previously taught at the University of Leeds and Université Paris-Est.   

I specialise in contemporary Francophone Literature and Culture, with specific interests in Algeria and what has become known as the Algerian Civil War or Black Decade of the 1990s. My wider research interests are in postcolonial studies, world literature, literary translation, and French and Francophone intellectual culture of the 20th and 21st centuries.

My monograph, Writing the Black Decade: Francophone Algerian Literature’s Contestatory Forms (forthcoming in July 2020 with Lexington Books), studies how literature responded to the period of prolonged civil violence in Algeria. I argue that Francophone writers, such as Salim Bachi, Mustapha Benfodil, Maïssa Bey and Kamel Daoud, adopt a series of formally inventive strategies to contest the prevailing narrative of the Algerian state within their literary works. By highlighting the presence of a theatrical lexis in the state’s narrative, I show how these writers use aesthetics to intervene in the political sphere and encourage readers to engage in critical and self-conscious reflection on recent Algerian history. I foreground the notion of ‘the literary’ and the aesthetic to move beyond more reductive sociological readings of these writers’ works and, in so doing, show how Algerian writers engage with and anticipate academic readings of their work, particularly in postcolonial studies and world literature. 

I have published articles on Mustapha Benfodil, Maïssa Bey, Salim Bachi and Kamel Daoud and recently translated a book-length collection of poems by Mustapha Benfodil, appearing with Hesterglock Press in March 2018 (see publications list below).

Publication Details

Related publications/articles:

Date Details
01-Dec-2020 Writing the Black Decade: Conflict and Criticism in Francophone Algerian Literature


Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, forthcoming 2020

01-Dec-2019 French Week: Interdisciplinarity rooted in disciplinary knowledge


‘Borders and Boundaries’, SAS Annual Review (2019)

06-Jun-2019 Academic Conferences and Schools Outreach: An Integrated Approach in Modern Languages


Talking Humanities blog post

01-Mar-2018 Cocktail Kafkaine: Dark Poetry [bilingual edition]

Edited Book

Translated and edited book of poems by Mustapha Benfodil (Bristol: Hesterglock Press, 2018).

01-Jan-2017 Kamel Daoud: (im)possibilités de lecture


 In: Kamel Daoud, esquisse d’un phénomène postcolonial algérien, ed. by Boukhalfa Laouari (Tizi Ouzou: Editions Frantz Fanon, 2017), pp. 60-75.

01-Jan-2016 Rethinking urgence: Algerian Francophone literature after the ‘décennie noire'

Journal articles

Francosphères, 5, 1 (2016), pp. 39-58.

01-Jan-2015 Introduction: Transnational Memory and Traumatic Histories

Journal articles

Forum: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture and the Arts, Special Issue 4 (2015).

01-Jan-2014 Algiers, Paris, New York: migrating terror

Journal articles

Bulletin of Francophone Postcolonial Studies 5, 2 (2014), pp. 10-15.

01-Jan-2014 Figuring Camus in recent Algerian writing: between the mother and (in)justice

Journal articles

Journal of Camus Studies (2014 issue), pp. 45-60.

Research Projects & Supervisions

Current PhD topics supervised:

Dates Details
From: 01-Oct-2019
Until: 30-Sep-2020
Representations of Paris in Maupassant, Lautrec and Daudet

MRes in French Studies

Available for doctoral supervision: Yes

Professional Affiliations

Professional affiliations:

Name Activity
Higher Education Academy Fellow
Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies Member
Society for French Studies Member
Relevant Events

Other editing/publishing activities:

Date Details
2019 Journal of Romance Studies

Co-General Editor

Consultancy & Media
Available for consultancy:
Back to top