Prof Deirdre Reynolds - Personal details
Role: Professor Of French
Tel: 0161 275-3212
Location: Samuel Alexander Building-S4.16
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
The University of Manchester
I studied French and German at Trinity College, Dublin, and graduated with First Class Honours in 1980. From 1980-81 I was an étudiante étrangère at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Jeunes Filles (Sèvres). During that year I attended courses taught by Jacques Derrida, Julia Kristeva, Tzvetan Todorov, Gérard Genette, Jean-Pierre Richard and Louis Marin, and developed a keen interest in comparative semiotics and aesthetics. I graduated from the Sorbonne Nouvelle with a Maîtrise ès Lettres Modernes (Mention Très Bien). My mémoire de maîtrise was on the poetry and theory of Stéphane Mallarmé. The topic of my PhD (supervised by Prof. Clive Scott), which I obtained from the University of East Anglia in 1987, was "Imagination and the Aesthetic Function of Signification in the Poetry and Painting of Rimbaud, Mallarmé, Kandinsky and Mondrian". From 1986-87 I was a lectrice at the Université de Paris IV, Sorbonne. I subsequently took up posts at several British universities (Lancaster, Warwick, Keele and Bristol), before coming to Manchester in 1998. Since the mid 1990s the main topic of my research has been modern and contemporary dance, which led to my involvement with body-based practices such as Alexander Technique, Pilates and massage therapy. From 2004-2010 I was a member of the Board of Trustees of Contact Theatre, when I spearheaded the initiative to launch the Palaver Festival, a collaboration between Contact and the University of Manchester which has been running since 2005. Since 2008 I have carried out research on dance audiences and collaborated with choreographers. From 2008-2011 I directed the AHRC-funded project, Watching Dance: Kinesthetic Empathy (www.watchingdance.org) and in 2011 I was a co-founder of Manchester Dance Consortium (http://dansortiummcr.org), which has received funding from Arts Council England. In collaboration with colleagues and students I have recently set up Manchester French Connections: The French-Speaking World in Manchester (http://www.mfc.humanities.manchester.ac.uk/).