Dr Amaleena Damlé, BA(Hons), MPhil, PhD (Camb)
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.
- 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
- Damlé, Amaleena (2014). The Becoming of the Body: Contemporary Women's Writing in French. Edinburgh University Press.
- Damlé, Amaleena & Rye, Gill (2014). Aventures et expériences littéraires Ecritures des femmes en France au début du vingt-et-unième siècle. Rodopi-Brill.
- Damlé, Amaleena & Rye, Gill (2013). Experiment and Experience: Women's Writing in France 2000-2010. Studies in Contemporary Women's Writing. Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien: Peter Lang.
- Damlé, Amaleena & Rye, Gill (2013). Women's Writing in Twenty-First-Century France: Life as Literature. French and Francophone Studies. University of Wales Press.