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Joseph McGonagle


  • Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies in the French-speaking World, French Studies
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Personal profile


Research supervision

Research students:

Sarah Davison, 'Re-viewing Terrorism: Contemporary French Approaches to Representing Terror in Film (2001-2018)' (September 2018– ; PhD co-supervised with Dr Darren Waldron).

Adi Bharat, 'Representations of Jewish-Muslim Relations in Contemporary France' (September 2017– ; PhD co-supervised with Dr Barbara Lebrun).

Meriem Bougherira, 'Through Exiled Eyes: The Representation of the Nation in Ahlem Mosteghanemi's Fiction' (September 2017– ; PhD co-supervised with Professor Zahia Smail Salhi).

Monika Kukolova, ‘Rethinking Representations of Identity in Contemporary Francophone West African Cinemas’ (September 2014–January 2018; co-supervised with Dr Darren Waldron). PhD awarded April 2018.

Kaya Davies Hayon, 'The Embodiment of Subjectivity in Contemporary Maghrebi and French Cinemas' (September 2012–September 2015; co-supervised with Dr Darren Waldron). PhD awarded November 2015.

Lema Salem, ‘Women in Contemporary Palestinian Cinema’ (January 2012–February 2015; co-supervised with Dr Anastasia Valassopoulos). PhD awarded May 2015. 

Emma Heywood, ‘Foreign Conflict Reporting Post-9/11 and Post-Cold War: A Comparative Analysis of European Television News Coverage of the Middle East Conflict’ (September 2010–April 2014; co-supervised with Professor Stephen Hutchings). PhD awarded July 2014.

I welcome enquiries from potential MA and PhD students who wish to be supervised in areas broadly related to my research.

Other teaching information

Teaching awards and recognition

Dr Joseph McGonagle was awarded a Teaching Excellence Award in 2009 by the University and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2011.



  • PhD 'Representations of Ethnicity in French Film and Photography since the 1980s' (The University of Manchester) 2002–2006.
  • MA French Studies (with Distinction) (University of Manchester) 2001–2002.
  • BA (Double Honours) French and Spanish (Double 1st) (University of Manchester) 1997–2001.


  • Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies in the French-speaking World at The University of Manchester (2015– ).
  • Lecturer in Cultural Studies in the French-speaking World at The University of Manchester (2006–15).
  • Lecturer in French at the University of Wales, Bangor (2005–2006).

Research interests

My research interests to date have centred upon two main areas: representations of ethnicity in contemporary French and Francophone visual culture, and the visual representation of Franco-Algerian relations.

My PhD thesis, 'Representations of Ethnicity in French Film and Photography since the 1980s' (Manchester, 2006), analysed in detail a series of paradigmatic case studies across a wide range of genres that depicted important ethnic groups within France. Chapters focused in particular on representations in French film and photography of national identity, the city and inhabitants of Marseille, Jewishness in France, and women of Algerian origin. After updating and extending this research, my monograph Representing Ethnicity in Contemporary French Visual Culture was published by Manchester University Press in 2017.

In January 2008 my project 'Post-Colonial Negotiations: Visualising the Franco-Algerian Relationship in the Post-War Period' was awarded £164,294 by the AHRC, for which I was Principal Investigator. My Co-Investigator was Dr Edward Welch at Durham University.

This project considered how colonial and post-colonial relations between France and Algeria have been represented since the outbreak of the Algerian War (1954–62), and tracked the shifting ways in which the idea or myth of 'Algeria' has been constructed, portrayed and understood in France during that time. The project's central hypothesis was that visual modes of representation in particular (such as film, video, photography and television) have played a crucial role in the mediation of the Franco-Algerian relationship. It examined the role played by the visual image in constructing and contesting dominant modes of understanding both during and after decolonisation, and did so by investigating a range of material from both within and outside mass visual media.

The project, which began in September 2008 and ended in December 2011, comprised three main outputs: a special issue entitled 'France and Algeria in Contemporary Visual Culture' of Modern and Contemporary France in 2011, the exhibition 'New Cartographies: Algeria-France-UK' held at Cornerhouse during 8 April – 5 June 2011, and a co-authored monograph, Contesting Views: The Visual Economy of France and Algeria, published by Liverpool University Press in 2013.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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