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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Amaleena Damlé, BA(Hons), MPhil, PhD (Camb)

Associate Professor / Deputy Director of PGT / Director of MA in Languages, Literatures & Cultures in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 44353
Room number: ER281, Elvet Riverside II

Contact Dr Amaleena Damlé (email at

I studied French and Spanish at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, and subsequently completed a Masters in Cultural Memory (Institute of Modern Languages Research, London), an MPhil in European Literature and Culture and a PhD on contemporary French and francophone literature and philosophy (King’s College, Cambridge) in 2009. I have taught at the University of Oxford, Queen Mary, University of London, and predominantly at Cambridge, where I held two research fellowships and taught as a college lecturer before coming to Durham in 2018. 

My research interests lie in questions of embodiment, affect, gender, sexuality and race in 20th- and 21st-century French and francophone literature, philosophy and visual culture. My first book, The Becoming of the Body: Contemporary Women's Writing in French (EUP, 2014), analyses representations of the female body in the work of four contemporary francophone authors. It explores through the critical lens of Deleuzian philosophy the contestation and transformation of the conventional boundaries of the body, and considers the implications of the notion of the ‘becoming’ of the body in the light of feminist, postcolonial and queer politics. 

I have written several articles and book chapters on contemporary French and francophone literature and philosophy, and I am the co-editor, with Professor Gill Rye, of three major books on contemporary women’s writing. 

Currently I am working on two new projects. A second monograph, Love’s Wonder, extends my interests in questions of femininity and feminism, and considers the relationship between love, difference and politics in contemporary thought and culture. It draws on thinkers such as Sara Ahmed, Luce Irigaray, Catherine Malabou and Martha Nussbaum to theorise the place of the so-called ‘soft’ emotions (love, empathy, compassion) in public life, and its relation to what we might call the ‘feminine’, before considering how these ideas are being explored in a select corpus of literary and art works.

The second project investigates the competing discourses (medical, philosophical, cultural, popular) embedded in transnational representations of childbirth in literature and visual culture. I wish to probe the relation between the personal and the political in the representation of an event experienced variously as joyful, transformative, traumatic, unspeakable - I am particularly interested in thinking about the stories that circulate in contemporary life about birth, where they come from, and whose voices tend to be privileged. 

I have supervised PhD students working on 20th and 21st- century French/ francophone philosophy, women's writing and visual culture, feminist and queer theory, postcolonial writing and world literatures, and would be happy to hear from prospective students in these areas.

Research Interests

  • Embodiment, gender and sexuality
  • Emotion, affect and politics
  • Race and immigration
  • 20th- and 21st-century French/francophone literature, philosophy and visual culture
  • Postcolonial, transnational and world literature and theory

Selected Publications

Authored book

Edited book

Chapter in book

Journal Article

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