Research activities

Thanks to their interdisciplinary research, their publications and their participation at national and international events, the Unit’s members contribute to the development of research on the French language and culture, particularly with regard to its roots in Belgium: comparative literature, history of literature, grammar and translation, discourse analysis, scientific writing, etc. They also organise conferences, seminars and study days, often in collaboration with other language units of the Faculty, such as the seminar on the teaching of grammar which brings together specialists three times a year.

The French and Francophone Studies Unit builds on some of the work carried out by the Language and Culture Acquisition Research Unit (DLC) and the Written Communication, Literature, Translation and Discourse Analysis Unit (CELTRAD). As founding members of the UMONS IRSTL – LANGUAGE Institute, these two units have also created an inter-faculty research centre at UMONS: the CIÉPHUMONS (Centre d’études sur l’interdisciplinarité), which contributes to the publication of the annual journal Cahiers internationaux de symbolisme, founded in 1962. The French and Francophone Studies Unit now manages a collection of works published at the University of Mons, “Travaux & documents”, which, as of 2022, comprises 13 volumes. A collection of portraits of translators (within the framework of the sociology of translation) is in underway.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the School of International Interpreters, now known as the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting, several members of the Unit are planning a conference, which is to be held in 2023, on the translation of puns, irony and humour.

Among the major projects underway, the French and Francophone Studies Unit has taken over the work begun in 2020 by CELTRAD and the former Translation Studies and Corpus Linguistics Unit, in collaboration with several new language units: the setting up of an online database of translations of Belgian French literature.

Thesis themes and subjects (including ongoing theses):

Michel Berré: didactics of French as a foreign or second language; French grammar and history of grammar; history of language teaching and French; grammar and text (impersonal and passive constructions in textual dynamics/cohesion/consistency; syntactic and stylistic approaches).

Élisabeth Castadot: analysis of humorous and ironic discourses (in translation into and from French), translation of contemporary theatre from and into French, teaching French as a foreign language through cultural mediation.

Catherine Gravet: Analyses of translations of French-speaking Belgian authors (literary history, comparative literature, gender studies, “brachylogy”). The following authors are currently being translated: Jean-Philippe Toussaint into Spanish; Neel Doff, Marie Gevers, Dominique Rolin, Jacqueline Harpman, Caroline De Mulder, Caroline Lamarche, Adeline Dieudonné into Dutch, German, English, Italian and Spanish; Georges Simenon into Arabic, Dutch and German; Alexis Curvers into Spanish and Italian; and Amélie Nothomb into English.

Tiffany Jandrain: didactics of specialised languages.