Q&A with Gemma King, author of Decentring France: Multilingualism and Power in Contemporary French Cinema

Posted by Bethan Hirst - Monday, 21 Aug 2017


1. What book in this field has inspired you the most?

Hamid Naficy’s An Accented Cinema and Carrie Tarr’s Reframing Difference are two books that inspired me to examine film through a cultural lens.

2. Did your research take you to any unexpected places?

Physically, my research took me around the world! The book was written in Australia, France, the US and the UK. But intellectually, I was surprised to learn how much different fields like philosophy and translation studies could contribute to research on French cinema.

3. What did you enjoy the most about writing your book?

I most enjoyed bringing to light an area of contemporary cinema I believe is important for people to know about. Writing on a topic I truly care about made the process a pleasure, and spurred me on when I encountered roadblocks.

4. What did you find hardest about writing your book?

The transformation from PhD thesis to book wasn’t easy; I learned the true meaning of the phrase “killing your darlings”. I’m looking forward to beginning my next project as a monograph from the start, and avoiding that period of restructuring.

6. Why did you choose to publish with MUP?

In French cinema studies, MUP is at the top of the field, and understands the value of blending language and film studies together.

9. Did you approach writing this book differently to any of your previous work?

It felt quite luxurious to write this book, given the stricter guidelines and structures of smaller projects like journal articles. The everyday writing process didn’t differ greatly to how I approached my previous work, but there was an overarching freedom I really savoured.

10. Have you had time to think about your next research project yet? What are you working on now?

Alongside a number of articles in cinema studies, I am currently exploring the (non-)representation of multiculturalism in French museums. This work began as my travel blog Les Musées de Paris and is growing into a much larger scholarly project in cultural heritage studies.

Decentring France
Multilingualism and power in contemporary French cinema
Gemma King
September 2017

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