Dr Caroline Verdier




Personal statement

I joined the Department of Modern Languages at Strathclyde in 2001 after graduating in from the Université de Picardie Jules Verne where I gained a Masters in English language, literature and culture. I hold a PhD in French Studies (University of Strathclyde 2012) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Academic Studies (University of Strathclyde 2014).

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

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Area of Expertise

  • Contemporary French and Francophone Literature
  • Belgian literature and culture
  • Contemporary Women's Writing
  • Writing Illness and the Body
  • Medical Humanities
  • Gender and Cultural Identity
  • Feminism in France and Belgium

I welcome postgraduate applications in any of these areas

I currently supervise the following students and projects:


- Francesca Masciullo - AHRC-funded MRes: 'Denied and Disowned Motherhood in the works of Dacia Maraini and Annie Ernaux'


- Hanane Benchama – PhD: Examination between Victimhood and Resistance: Algerian Women in the Literature and Film of The Black Decade


- Emma Flynn - PhD: Comparative analysis of the representation of sexual violence and primarily, its relationship to survival and death in French and English women's literature









Prize And Awards

Category Winner for Healthy Society - Images of Research 2023: Hope for Humanity
Women in Leadership Network - #CelebrateHer Award Nominations
Media Officer - Association européenne d'études francophones
Secretary - Women in French UK-Ireland
Treasurer - Women in French UK-Ireland
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

More prizes and awards

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Research Interests


My main research interest is in the field of Belgian and Francophone literature and culture with a particular focus on contemporary women’s writing. I am also interested in issues surrounding cultural identities in Francophone countries and currently works on contemporary Francophone illness narratives in relation to trauma and gender.


 I have recently been looking into the lives of Belgian refugees in the West of Scotland during World War 1 and, in particular, into women’s health during their time in exile from Belgium. Throughout 2017 and 2018, in collaboration with Dr Jacqueline Jenkinson (University of Stirling), I co-organised a series of workshops and events arising from a Royal Society of Edinburgh collaborative workshops award on the subject: Uncovering civilian war trauma among female Belgian refugees in Scotland during the First World War. More on the project and the series of events can be found at https://stirlingcentrescottishstudies.wordpress.com.


In March 2016, at the University of Strathclyde, I co-organised an international conference entitled Trauma and Gender in 20th Century European Literature, which was funded by the Wellcome Trust.


I am a member of The Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare (CSHHH) research groups at the University of Strathclyde, and I am also an Honorary Fellow in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh where I contribute to the activities of the Centre de Recherches Francophones Belges. I am a member of the Association Européenne d’Etudes Francophones and of the Women in French in Scotland and Women in French networks.

Professional Activities

L'esprit créateur (Journal)
Guest editor
Autofiction, maladie et féminisme
Autour de Lydia Flem et de ses 'Alices'
Revisiting words from HPV narratives
Women Making it workshop - From paper to poetic craft
Reframing the HPV narrative - Exhibition at the Glasgow Women's Library

More professional activities


Reframing the HPV Narrative
Verdier, Caroline (Principal Investigator)
The project seeks to explore the topic of Human papillomavirus (HPV) and the feelings stigma and shame attached to it for women. We seek to capture the experience of diagnosis and living with HPV through writing and art making.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) can lead to cervical and other cancers, but in many cases it doesn’t. Although extremely common and often relatively harmless, those diagnosed tend to remain silent about the condition, hiding their worry and fears, significantly impacting their emotional wellbeing and social lives. Using co-creation as research, and art as a medium, this project seeks to encourage discussion around HPV and reframe its numerous – yet often unspoken – narratives.
06-Jan-2020 - 15-Jan-2023
Belgitude and Feminism: Intersection and Impact.
Verdier, Caroline (Principal Investigator)
This project focuses on the link between four Belgian women writers and the Belgitude movement. This movement of Belgitude meant to claim and stress the differences and specificities of Belgian culture, art and literature. It was primarily led by male writers (Pierre Mertens (1939- ), Marc Quaghebeur (1947- ) to name but a few) but interestingly, the female writers involved in exploring the meaning of Belgitude (Françoise Lalande (1941- ), Françoise Collin (1928-2012), Michèle Fabien (1945-1999), Nicole Malinconi (1946- )) were also either involved in the Belgian Feminist Movement or exploring feminist issues in their writings. This project seeks to explore why and how these women writers took part in both these movements in their own way – finding their own voices and paths - and the impact that this participation had in turn on their literary production.
06-Jan-2020 - 06-Jan-2021
Uncovering civilian war trauma among female Belgian refugees in Scotland during the First World War
Verdier, Caroline (Co-investigator) Jenkinson, Jacqueline (Principal Investigator)
This series of workshops and events arises from a Royal Society of Edinburgh collaborative workshops award of £8,261.
This project intends to stimulate research on the timely subject of civilian war trauma via a case study of female Belgian refugees in Scotland 1914-18. ‘Shell shock’ during that conflict is overwhelmingly associated with male frontline soldiers. Few academic studies consider the impact of warfare on female well-being (Poynter, 2008, McEwen, 2006) particularly on the health of female civilians (Grayzel, 2014). Among Scotland’s c. 20,000 wartime Belgian refugees were dozens who applied for poor law assistance, a preliminary analysis of these by the PI indicated 40% of female and 25% of male Belgian refugee applicants were diagnosed as suffering ‘insanity’, yet they presented with symptoms of trauma. Project outcomes will be a co-authored article, and outlining plans for a digital research resource of Belgian refugee medical case histories combining a diffuse range of primary sources.
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2018
Trauma and Gender in 20th Century European Literature
Caballero Rodriguez, Beatriz (Principal Investigator) Verdier, Caroline (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2015 - 31-Jan-2016
Trauma and Gender in 20th Century European Literature
Caballero Rodriguez, Beatriz (Academic) Verdier, Caroline (Academic)
01-Jan-2013 - 01-Jan-2016

More projects

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Dr Caroline Verdier

Email: caroline.verdier@strath.ac.uk
Tel: 444 8257