Dr Gillian Jein

Senior Lecturer in French

School of Modern Languages

Old Library Building, OLB 6.30

Newcastle University



Impact & Engagement

Public Engagement Activities

  • 2015–2017: PI on ‘Veillance’. Artist 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. It was exhibited in Pontio, Bangor University in February-March 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. Organized with the MIC and the Goethe Institut, and in collaboration with Christiane Schönfeld.
  • Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival, organized and co-presented film screenings. Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick.
  • 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.

Conferences / Talks


Conference Organisation

  • 2017: Organiser of ASMCF [Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France] Annual Conference. 7–9 September at Bangor University. Along with colleagues in French Studies, I co-organised this Association’s annual conference, which explored the theme of ‘Work and Play’. I organised two panels around the theme  of ‘Work & Play in the banlieues’.
  • 2014: Organiser of ‘City Margins, City Memories’, Institute of Modern Languages Research, Senate House, London, 7–8 April 2014. This international, interdisciplinary conference was organised in collaboration with colleagues from SMLC and the School of Philosophy and Religion at Bangor University. Keynote speakers: Prof. Bill Marshall (French Studies, Stirling University) and Prof. Hugh Campbell (Dean of Architecture, UCD).
  • 2007: Organiser of ‘Dislocation’, Postgraduate Research Conference held at Trinity College, Dublin, 23 March 2007. Organised along with peers in the department of French at Trinity College, Dublin.

Invited Talks:

  • 30-31 May 2019: Keynote Talk, ‘Globalism is Ordinary’, delivered at ‘Mobilities and Moorings: Renegotiating Spaces and Identities in the Modern and Contemporary French and Francophone Worlds’, Postgraduate Conference, The Graduate School, Queen’s University Belfast.
  • 15 May 2019: Paper delivered as part of ‘Cities and Modern Languages’ seminar, School of Modern Languages, University of Bristol.
  • 19 April 2016: Jein, G. ‘Black Mirror: Digital Culture and Gentrification in Pantin’. Invited paper delivered as part of the symposium ‘Paris Past and Present: Liquid Spaces, Contested Spaces’ held at the School of Advanced Study, Senate House as part of the Cities@SAS initiative and in collaboration with the University of London Institute in Paris.
  • 19 January 2017: Jein, G. ‘Reimagining the City’. Presentation and Facilitation of discussion on Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift’s work in urban cultural geography. Session given at the ‘Cities in Theory’ reading group at the School of Advanced Study, Senate House, London.
  • 27 February 2018: ‘Face Politics & Street Art’. Paper to be given at the Research Cluster ‘The Politics of Culture and Memory’ at the University of Bath.
  • 02 May 2018: ‘Decelerating Transnational Space: Writing Movement in the Global City’. Paper to be delivered as part of the Centre for Transnational Studies seminar series at the University of Southampton.

Presentations at Conferences:

  • Jein, G. ‘Inventing Greater Paris? Playing with Architecture in the Banlieues’, at ASMCF conference, Bangor University, 8 September 2017.
  • Jein, G. ‘(De)Facing the Suburbs: Street Art and the Politics of Spatial Affect in the Paris Banlieues’. Seminar paper at SMLC research forum, Bangor University, December 2015.
  • Jein, G. ‘Decelerating Travel: Endotic Space and Transnational Paris in Leïla Sebbar’s Métro Instantanés’ at Borders & Crossings/Seuils et Traverses Conference, Liverpool Hope University, 22 July 2013.
  • Jein, G. ‘The Transnational Everyday? Decelerating Space in the récit urbain’ at the XIV annual ADEFFI conference, NUI Galway, 20 October 2012.
  • Jein, G. ‘(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.



  • Jein, G. Alternative Modernities in French Travel Writing: Engaging Urban Space in London and New York, 1851–1986 (London: Anthem Press, 2016)

Edited Volume:

  • Jein, Gillian, Daisy Connon and Greg Kerr (eds), Dislocation in French and Francophone Literature and Art: Strategies of Representation (Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2009)

Journal Special Issue:

  • Jein, Gillian, Laura Rorato and Anna Saunders (eds), ‘City Margins, City Memories’, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 25.4 (2017)

Peer-Reviewed Articles & Book Chapters:

  • Jein, Gillian, ‘Urban Dystopias’, in Anna-Louise Milne and Russell Williams (eds.), Contemporary Fiction in French, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019. (In Preparation)
  • Jein, Gillian, Laura Rorato and Anna Saunders, ‘Introduction: City Margins, City Memories’, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 25.4 (2017), 405–11.
  • Jein, G. ‘Suburbia Interrupted: Street Art and the Politics of Urban Renewal in the Paris Banlieues’, in Christoph Lindner and Shirley Jordan (eds.) Cities Interrupted: Visual Culture and Urban Space. London: Bloomsbury, 2016, pp. 87–104
  • Jein, G. ‘From Legislative to Interpretive Modes of Travel: Space, Ethics and Literary Form in Baudrillard’s America’, in Charles Forsdick, Ludmilla Kostova and Corinne Fowler (eds.), Travel and Ethics: Theory and Practice. London: Routledge, 2014, pp. 31–51.
  • Jein, G. ‘(De)Facing the Wall: Traditions, Transactions and Transgressions of Street Art’, Irish Journal of French Studies, 12 (2012), 83–111.
  • Jein, G. ‘Dislocating Travel: New York as anti-domus in Simone de Beauvoir’s Amérique au jour le jour’ in Gillian Jein, Greg Kerr and Daisy Connon (eds.), Dislocation in French and Francophone Literature and Art: Strategies of Representation. Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2009, pp. 33–52.
  • Jein, G. ‘Tracing H/histories: Memory, Space and Identity in Georges Perec’s Récits d’Ellis Island: Histoires d’errance et d’espoir, UCD History Review, 15 (2005) 87–98.


My work is in the field of the Urban Humanities and is mainly concerned with modern and contemporary French cultural production. The research seeks to tease out the interrelations between space, visual culture and power, and to map the aesthetics and politics of how human beings make and unmake meaningful places in which to live. The global expansion of cities and the new mobilities, displacements and ways of belonging this entail, means that cities research opens avenues in which to rethink the borders of ‘nation’, ‘centre’ and ‘community’. Situating urban environments historically and culturally provides pathways to reconsider not only our relationship to each other but to the natural world, and to debate at a core level ideas of ‘democracy’, ‘citizenship’, ‘civilisation’ and ‘progress’. Investigating the myriad ways in which urban environments are remembered, experienced and imagined is one of the keys to reimagining the future, to furthering long-term thinking and to enlivening critical debate around issues of ‘creativity’, ‘sustainability’ and ‘placemaking’.

Specifically, my current work explores visual culture and its intersection with the politics of regeneration in the Paris suburbs. In 2018, I was awarded an AHRC Leadership Fellows grant for this project entitled, ‘Inventing Greater Paris: Visual Culture, Regeneration and the Right to the Global City’. More information on the project can be found on this site’s holding page.

Externally Funded Research / Awards

2015–2017 — Principle Investigator on generative digital art project, ‘Veillance’.

2016–2017 — Principle Investigator on ‘The Portable Ocean’.

2016 — Welsh Crucible Participant.

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.

1999 — Dunbar Memorial Prize for History.

1997–2001 — Credit Union Scholarship to attend university.

 Research Affiliations

  • Co-Editor Irish Journal of French Studies.
  • External member and co-founder of the Irish Centre for Transnational Studies.
  • Member of the Executive Committee, Association des études françaises et francophones d’Irlande (ADEFFI) (2011-2014)


I’m a researcher in the Urban Humanities. My work is focussed on French urban cultures and draws on cultural geographic methods to study literary and visual cultural production in and of the city.

I joined the School of Modern Languages at Newcastle University as Senior Lecturer in September 2018 and am currently working on a project, ‘Inventing Greater Paris: Visual Culture, Regeneration and the Right to the Global City’, which examines the intersections of visual culture and regeneration in Grand Paris. This work has been awarded an AHRC Leadership Fellowship Grant.

Interested in working at the juncture of theory and practice, I have collaborated with visual artists on projects exploring issues such as surveillance, privacy, environment and violence in contemporary society.

I’ve written about street art and published a book on urban travel writing, Alternative Modernities in French Travel Writing: Engaging Urban Space in London and New York, 1851–1986 (London: Anthem Press, 2016). This monograph examines lesser-known as well as canonical French travel writers including Paul Morand, Jean-Paul Sartre, Georges Perec and Jean Baudrillard.

Since 2011, I have been book reviews editor and co-editor of the Irish Journal of French Studies.


  • 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.

Previous Positions

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