Staff Profile of Dr Gillian Jein

Dr Gillian Jein
Lecturer in French Studies
+44 (0)1248 382119
Room 449, New Arts Building

My research explores the relationship between creative practice and urban regeneration in the Paris banlieues. I am particularly interested in the aesthetics and politics of placemaking in these post-industrial, ethnically diverse spaces.

How creative practices (street art, hip hop, blues music and parkour) and cultural institutions develop forms of cultural citizenship are key questions, and I examine these creative interactions with the city as part of a broader critique of French Republicanism's ideal of the acultural, or culturally 'neutral' citizen.

I also work on French travel writing with a particular focus on travel writing in urban spaces. In a past project, this work has traced differing French perspectives on the early global city and the new forms of identity it created, and looked at how French writers inscribed their own particular imaginative geographies on London and New York.

Beginning at the Crystal Palace in 1851 and ending up in the skyscrapers of NYC, this project has culminated in a monograph, Alternative Modernities in French Travel Writing: Engaging Urban Space in London and New York, 1851–1986, published by Anthem Press in 2016. The book looks at a variety of lesser-known and canonical French travel writers including Paul Morand, Jean-Paul Sartre, Georges Perec and Jean Baudrillard.

I am Director of Graduate Studies for the School of Modern Languages and Cultures.

I am an editor on the Irish Journal of French Studies and a member of the Association d’Études Françaises et Francophones d’Irlande (ADEFFI), as well as of the Association for Modern and Contemporary France (ASMCF).

I welcome postgraduate projects in the following areas: Urban cultures, street art, visual culture,space (architecture, cities, gardens, landscapes) and representation, travel writing, everyday life, urban ethnography and writers in/of the city (in fiction, travel writing or theory).

Originally from Ireland, I joined the School of Modern Languages & Cultures at Bangor University in 2012. I pursued BA in French & History at Trinity College, Dublin (double first-class honours) and DEA (M. Phil) at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle–Paris III before returning to Trinity College, Dublin to complete a PhD in French Studies, which was funded by the Ussher fellowship. Before coming to Bangor, I held posts at University of Stirling and Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick.

Teaching and Supervision

I am Director of Graduate Studies for the School of Modern Languages & Cultures. I coordinate the MA in the European Languages and Cultures, and the MA modules, Research Methods.
In addition, I teach topics on modern and contemporary French culture, coordinating a final-year module on French travel writing, a second-year module entitled 'Paris', as well as contributing to and/or coordinating the modules listed below.
I teach across the suite of core language modules offered by the French section, and am coordinator for Final Year French language modules.

Undergraduate Modules, Coordinator

  • LXF–1200. Introduction to European Cinema. (1st Year, 10 credits). A team-taught module that explores ideas and representations of transnationalism in 4 European films. Read course abstract here.
  • LXF–2101. Paris. (2nd Year, 20 credits). An interdisciplinary, team-taught module where students explore the cultural topographies of modern Paris through engagement with a range of textual and visual material. Read course abstract here.
  • LXF–3111. French Travel. (Final Year, 20 credits). Engaging with a range of travel writing and critical literature, students will analyse and debate French representations of modern urban spaces. Read abstract.

Postgraduate Teaching

  • Coordinator of the MA in European Languages & Cultures.
  • Coordinator of the module LXM4002, Research Methods which forms part of the MA in European Languages & Cultures and the MA in Translation Studies.

Doctoral Supervision

  • Co-Supervisor on Ms. Christina Les's PhD thesis on European Travellers to Wales (with Prof. Carol Tully)
  • Co-supervisor on Ms. Martina Codicè’s PhD project (with Dr. Laura Rorato).

Postgraduate Supervision
I welcome applicants seeking postgraduate research supervision in topics related to the following areas: Space and Literature; Travel Writing; Visual Culture in the City; Street Art; Aesthetics and Politics; Contextual Art; Literature of Paris; Representations of the Body in Urban Space.

Language Teaching Qualifications

  • TEFL, Language Centre of Ireland, Dublin
  • FLE (stage en didactique du français, culture et société québcoises). Université Laval, Québec.

Current Research

I am interested in bringing theories of cultural citizenship – the 'right to the city' – into contact with specific contexts and material forms – text, images and architecture. My work explores the dialogue of cultural institutions and grassroots cultural practices in giving meaning to place and the role of these practices in organizing modes of visibility and invisibility, inclusion and exclusion in the city.
I am currently working on a project that explores the idea of cultural citizenship in the Paris banlieues. This work engages with cultural practices (street tours, street art, parkour, blues and hip hop) that have long informed the life of the banlieues, but looks at these anew in the context of the urban regeneration and culture industries currently emerging there. A number of articles on street art have been published that reflect the concerns of the project (see publications page).
KEYWORDS: Urban Culture; Suburban Renewal; Gentrification and Culture; Travel Writing; Street Art; Architecture; Industrial Ruins; Aesthetics and Politics; Critical Theory, in particular Affect theory as related to the space-time of the urban environment.


  • 2016. PI on ‘Veillance’ (see ‘other’ section).
  • 2013. British Academy & MHRA Small Grant for project ‘Visualising Everyday Life: Tactics of Representation in Transnational Paris’.
  • 2013. Invited Member of AHRC-NWO funded research network, Visual Culture and Interruption in Global Cities.
  • 2010: SEED funding for field research on parkour in Paris & London. Awarded by Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick
  • 2010: Scholarship: Stage en langue, culture et société québécoises. Awarded by the Ministère des Relations internationales (MRI) of Québec
  • 2004-2007: Ussher Research Fellowship. Awarded by Trinity College, Dublin
  • 2002: Mc Cracken Fellowship. Awarded by New York University
  • 2001-2002: Pensionnaire at the École Normale Supérieure, Ulm.

Research Affiliations

Publications & Conferences

  • G. Jein, D. Connon and G. Kerr (eds.). Aesthetics of Dislocation in French and Francophone Literature and Art: Strategies of Representation (Lewiston; Queenstown; Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2009).

Articles & Book Chapters

  • G. Jein, 'Suburbia, Interrupted: Street Art and the Politics of Urban Renewal in the Paris banlieues’, in Christoph Lindner and Shirley Jordan (eds.) Cities Interrupted: Urban Space and Visual Culture (London: Bloomsbury, 2016)
  • G. Jein, '(De)Facing the Suburbs: Street Art and the Politics of Spatial Affect in the Paris Banlieues', in  Sinéad Furlong-Clancy (ed.), The DS Project: Image, Text, Space/Place, 1830-2015, [online] 2015. . (Open Access)
  • G. Jein, ‘(De)facing the Wall: The Traditions, Transactions and Transgressions of French Street Art’,The Irish Journal of French Studies, 12 (2012). (Open Access)
  • G. Jein, ‘From Legislative to Interpretive Modes of Travel: Jean Baudrillard’s America’ in Travel Writing and Ethics: Theory and Practice, Charles Forsdick, Corinne Fowler and Ludmilla Kostova (eds.) (London: Routledge, 2013).
  • G. Jein, ‘Dislocating Travel: New York as anti-domus in Simone de Beauvoir’sAmérique au jour le jour’ inAesthetics of Dislocation.
  • G. Jein, ‘The Lives of Spaces’, The Irish Arts Review, 25.3 (2008), pp. 3–6.
  • G. Jein, ‘Tracing H/histories: Memory, Space and Identity in Georges Perec’s Récits d’Ellis Island’, The History Review, XV (2005).

Conference & Seminar Papers

  • ‘Black Mirror: Digital Culture and Gentrification in Pantin’ at Cities@sas, Paris Past and Present: Liquid Spaces, Contested Spaces, 19 April 2016. 
  • '(De)Facing the Suburbs: Street Art and the Politics of Spatial Affect in the Paris Banlieues' at SMLC research forum, Bangor University, December 2015.
  • ‘Decelerating Travel: Endotic Space and Transnational Paris in Leïla Sebbar’s Métro Instantanés’ at Borders & Crossings/Seuils et Traverses Conference, 22 July 2013.
  • ‘The Transnational Everyday? Decelerating Space in the récit urbain’ at the XIV annual ADEFFI conference, NUI Galway, 20 October 2012.
  • ‘(De)facing the Wall: JR’s 28 millimètres’ at the XIII annual ADEFFI conference (Association d’Etudes française et francophones d’Irlande), Couvent des Oblats, Aix-en-Provence, 21 October 2011.
  • ‘The Image in the City: Situating Street Art’, at the Annual ASMCF conference, ‘Continuities and Discontinuities: France across the Generations’, University of Stirling, 3 September 2011.
  • ‘Silencing the Monument: Tactics of the non-lieux in Georges Perec’s Ellis Island’ at the Arts Faculty Seminar Series, ‘Centres & Margins’, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, 12 April 2011.
  • ‘Peripheral Voices: Implicating Off-screen Space through Sound in Haneke’s Code Inconnu’ at the annual conference of the Association d’Etudes françaises et francophones d’Irlande (ADEFFI) at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, 30 October 2010.
  • ‘From Legislative to Interpretive Modes of Travel: Baudrillard’s “America”’, paper given at the University of Stirling, Staff and Postgraduate Research seminar series, 1 March 2010.
  • ‘The Land Lies: from History to his story in George Perec’s Récits d’Ellis Island’, paper given at the University of London, 18 September 2008.
  • ‘The City as Œuvre: Appropriating Urban Studies for Travel Writing Critique’ paper given at Trinity College, Dublin, Department of French Staff and Postgraduate Research Seminar, 18 March 2008.
  • ‘Wandering Geometry: Order and Identity in French Travel Writing on New York’, paper given at 3rd Annual Interdisciplinary conference,New York City: Global Village, New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), New York City, 9 March 2007.
  • ‘Ruins, Mystery and Museum Space in Théophile Gautier’s “Une visite chez Merodach-Baladan”’, paper given at the postgraduate conference in French Studies, La Maison Française, Oxford University, Oxford, 1 June 2006.

Book Reviews

  • Neil Foxlee, Albert Camus’s ‘The New Mediterranean Culture’: A Text and its Contexts. Oxford: Peter Lang. InFrench Studies, 2015.
  • Pat Crowley & Jane Hiddleston (eds.), Postcolonial Poetics: Genre and Form Postcolonial Poetics: Genre and Form. (Francophone Postcolonial Studies, n.s., 2). (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2011) in French Studies(2013)67(1): 144–145.
  • Merrill Schleier (2010), Skyscraper Cinema: Architecture and Gender in American Film, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press and Pamela Robertson Wojcik (2010) The Apartment Plot: Urban Living in American Film and Popular Culture, 1945-1975, Durham; London: Duke University Press in Scope:Journal of Film and Television Studies, University of Nottingham Press, (Spring 2012).
  • Nina Parish, Henri Michaux: Experimentation with Signs in Modern Language Review, 105 (2010).
  • Hagen Schulz-Forberg (ed.), Unravelling Civilisation: European Travel and Travel Writing, in Studies in Travel Writing, 10 (2006).

Conference Chairing

  • ‘Envisioning Architecture’, at Bangor ‘Visions’ Postgraduate Conference, ‘Paradise Lost? The World of 2050’, Bangor University, 8 June 2013.
  • ‘Poétique et Décélération I’, at the XIV annual ADEFFI conference, NUI Galway, Ireland, 20 October 2012.
  • ‘Transgressions intérieures’, at the XIII annual ADEFFI conference (Association d’Etudes française et francophones d’Irlande), Couvent des Oblats, Aix-en-Provence, 22 October 2011.
  • ‘Continuity as Colonisation, Discontinuity as Ethics: Reaching Beyond the Limits of Knowledge in Post-colonial Representations’, ASMCF conference, University of Stirling, 3 September 2011.
  • ‘Methodologies’, at XIIe Rencontre Annuelle de l’ADEFFI, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, 29 October 2010.
  • ‘Spaces and Places’, at the Postgraduate Conference for French Studies,Dislocation, Trinity College, Dublin, 23 March 2007.

Conference Organization

  • City Margins, City Memories, international conference at the IMLR, London, 7 & 8 April 2014.Conference website.
  • Co-organizer of ‘Dislocation’, the international postgraduate conference held at Trinity, College, Dublin, 23 March 2007.



Preparing a Special Issue for the Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 'City Margins, City Memories: Milan, Paris, Berlin.

Preparing a funding application to be submitted to AHRC.

Public Engagement Activities & Funding Bids

  • PI on 'Veillance'. Ronan Devlin (Pontio designer in residence) won £50,000 from The Space for a consciousness-raising artwork that makes visible people’s data flows from their mobile phones, raising questions about mutual watching and privacy. This work is being developed with academic input from Vian Bakir (SCSM) and Gillian Jein (Modern Languages), and is being mentored Andrew Mcstay (SCSM), Andy Goodman (Pontio) and Prof Mann (Univ. of Toronto). It will be exhibited in Pontio in the new year, 2017.
  • Co-curator of ‘Interrupted’, public exhibition at Oriel JeinDevlin, 16 July–16 September 2012.
  • Art Project, ‘Observations in a Young Century’, writer on the project in collaboration with LittleSeal Design Studio, published byOneSheet, Dublin. December 2011.
  • Public series of films and presentations as part of the MIC Film Club, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick from September 2010 to December 2011.
  • Public screening and debate on Fritz Lang’sMetropolisat Mary Immaculate College,Lime Tree Theatre, 14 March 2011 at 6:30 pm. Organized with the MIC and the Goethe Institut, and in collaboration with Christiane Schönfeld and including an introduction by Irish Timescorrespondent Derek Scally.
  • Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival, organized and co-presented film screenings on two transnational films,SOLINO (2002) by The German-Turkish filmmaker Fatih Akin andECCHYMOSES (2008) by French filmmaker Fleur Albert. June 15 and 16, 2011. Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. Both events were free and open to the public.
  • Assistant on The Lives of Spaces, Ireland’s exhibition entry to the 11th International Architecture Biennale, Venice 2008. Organized by Nathalie Weadick, director of the Irish Architecture Foundation and Professor Hugh Campbell, Dean of Architecture at University College Dublin.
  • Web editor and copy writer for the Irish Architecture Foundation website from April 2008–April 2009.
  • OPEN DEBATE 2008, ‘Has Dublin changed for the better?’, 16 October 2008, Liberty Hall Dublin – as Assistant with the Irish Architecture Foundation.

Press Engagement

  • G. Jein, ‘The Lives of Spaces’in The Irish Arts Review, 25. 3 (2008), pp. 3–6. (National press)
  • Interview with Peter Murphy, 'Spin Cinema' radio show on Spin South West, 19 June 2011 on the films to be shown at the Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival.