Gillian’s is reader in French and Cultural Geography. In her research and teaching, she is interested in exploring the material imaginaries of cities through the lens of cultural production and community action. She is working on two projects. The first, ‘Inventing Grand Paris: Visual Culture, Regeneration and the Right to the City’, looks at visual culture and the political ecologies of the banlieues’ regeneration. This research was funded by an AHRC Leadership Fellowship Grant (2018–2019), and she is writing a monograph based on this work. The second project, ‘Grounding Cities, Growing Resonance’, is developing research through community engagement with a horticultural therapy charity for refugees and asylum seekers. She is collating field notes using the blog format here under the title ‘Sowing Stories’. Interested in developing research through practice, she has collaborated with visual artists on projects exploring issues such as surveillance, violence, and urban ecologies.



  • PhD in French Studies, Trinity College, Dublin. Supervised by Prof. David Scott and fully funded by the TCD Ussher Fellowship.
  • Diplôme d’études approfondies (DEA), Université Sorbonne Nouvelle—Paris III. Supervised by Philippe Hamon. Pensionnaire at the École Normale Supérieure, rue d’Ulm, Paris.
  • B.A. Two Subject Moderatership in French & History, Trinity College, Dublin. Funded by the Drogheda Credit Union Scholarship.
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Academic Positions

Gillian is Reader in French and Cultural Geography in the School of Modern Languages (SML), Newcastle University. She is the SML Director of Impact and Engagement. Before coming to Newcastle in 2018, she was lecturer (2012–2017)  and then senior lecturer at Bangor University in North Wales. She also served as Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Bangor from 2016–2018. Prior to Bangor, she worked on fixed-term contracts at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick and the University of Stirling.