Photo of Dr Helen Vassallo

Dr Helen Vassallo

Research interests

Dr Helen Vassallo welcomes enquiries about postgraduate supervision (for MRes and PhD degrees) in any of the following fields: Gender Studies, the legacy of the Algerian War of Independence, contemporary French and Francophone women's writing, life writing, illness narratives, and narratives of war.

Current and Future Research Projects

My two primary areas of research are the legacy of the Algerian War of Independence, and contemporary women's writing in French.

My early research resulted in two books on French author Jeanne Hyvrard, and highlighted my interest in the literary and autobiographical manifestations of social and physical conflict and trauma. Moving on from this, I began to focus on narratives of war, or of the transmitted legacy of war.

I have published several articles which focus specifically on literature in French which deals with the legacy of the Algerian War of Independence, and my most recent completed projects are a British Academy-funded monograph titled The Body Besieged: The Embodiment of Historical Memory in Nina Bouraoui and Leïla Sebbar and an article on a previously unpublished text by the actor and playwright Rachid Akbal, written and performed to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Algerian independence from France.

My dual interest in gender and narratives of war also links in to my work on Lebanese playwright and actress Darina Al-Joundi, on whose critically acclaimed play Le Jour où Nina Simone a cessé de chanter I have published a number of articles.