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Dr Maeve McCusker

Dr Maeve McCusker
Dr Maeve McCusker


My main field of research is in postcolonial writing, and in particular in the French-speaking Caribbean. My research has focused on theories of trauma and memory, autobiography, and on questions of authority and authorship in contemporary Caribbean literature. I am currently working on early Caribbean writing, and have recently completed a critical edition of one of the first novels published by a Caribbean author, Louis de Maynard’s Outre-mer (1835). I am also working on a monograph on the construction of whiteness in the Antillean imagination.

I was a member of the editorial board of the journal Francophone Postcolonial Studies (2002-09), and contributed the ‘French Caribbean Literature’ section to The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies between 2002 and 2006. I am currently a member of the editorial board of the Irish Journal of French Studies, and of the French Studies Bulletin, and am the French Caribbean literature editor for the online Literary Encyclopaedia. I am joint chair, with Dr Anthony Soares, of the interdisciplinary Postcolonial Research Forum at QUB.

As well as language teaching, I offer optional modules on Caribbean Cultures (Level Three), on Autobiography (Level Two), and a filière on Algeria (Level Two). These interests are pursued in more depth in my MA teaching, on modules such as Narrative Representation and Memory, Autobiography and Autofiction and Postcolonial Memory.

I would welcome enquiries from potential postgraduate students in the fields of contemporary fiction, postcolonial literature and theory, and autobiography. I have supervised around a dozen MA dissertations, on topics ranging from Holocaust fiction to Haitian writing, and two successful PhDs, on Algerian women’s writing and on Travel Writing and Genre. I am currently supervising the following PhD students:

Tanya Campbell (joint supervision with Dr Nigel Harkness): Discourses of Slavery in nineteenth century writing in French
Máiréad Walsh: Haitian women writers
Laura McGinnis: Caribbean fiction


Authored Book:

Patrick Chamoiseau: Recovering Memory (Liverpool University Press, 2007),

Critical Edition:

Outre-mer, Vols 1 and 2 by Louis de Maynard de Queilhe (Paris: L’Harmattan, ‘Autrement mêmes’ series, 2009). Critical Introduction, pp. vii-xxxix.

Edited Books:

(with Anthony Soares), Islanded Identities. Constructions of Postcolonial Cultural Insularity (Rodopi, 2011).

(with Janice Carruthers), Le Conte. Oral and Written Dynamics (Lang, 2010).

(with Chris Shorley), Reading Across the Lines (The Royal Irish Academy, 2000).

Journal Articles:

(Forthcoming), ‘The master’s face’, Paragraph, 2014.

(Forthcoming), ‘Figuring abjection: the slave mother in the early Creole novel’, French Studies, 2013.

(Forthcoming), ‘Authorizing a tradition: canonization and cultural capital in French Caribbean writing’, French Cultural Studies, 2013.

(Forthcoming) ‘L’Ennemi intime: la famille békée chez Patrick Chamoiseau’, Interculturel Francophonies, November 2012.

‘On Slavery, Césaire and relating to the world: an interview with Patrick Chamoiseau’, Small Axe 13.3 (2009), 74-83.

‘Small worlds: constructions of childhood in contemporary postcolonial autobiography in French’, Romance Studies 24.3 (2006), 203-14.

‘“Troubler l’ordre de l’oubli”: memory and forgetting in French Caribbean autobiography of the 1990s’, Forum for Modern Languages Studies 40.4 (2004), 438-50. Special Issue, ‘Caribbean Connections’, edited by Lorna Milne.

‘D’une poétique du territoire à une poétique du lieu: un entretien avec Patrick Chamoiseau’, The French Review 73.4 (2000), 724-33.

‘Telling Stories/creating history: Patrick Chamoiseau’s Texaco’, ASCALF Yearbook 3 (1998), 35-45.

‘Intersections of gender, space and language in the autobiographies of Patrick Chamoiseau’, ASCALF Bulletin (Autumn/Winter 1997), 3-15.

Chapters in books:

(with Anthony Soares), ‘Introduction’, in Islanded Identities. Constructions of Postcolonial Insularity (Rodopi), pp. xi-xxviii.

‘Writing against the tide? Patrick Chamoiseau’s (Is)land imaginary’, in McCusker and Soares, Islanded Identities (Rodopi), pp. 41-61.

(with Janice Carruthers) ‘Contextualising the oral-written dynamic in the French and francophone conte’, in Janice Carruthers and Maeve McCusker (eds), The Conte. Oral and Written Dynamics (Lang, 2010), pp. 1-15.

‘Mastering the word: appropriations of the conte créole in Antillean theory’, in Carruthers and McCusker (eds), The Conte. Oral and Written Dynamics (Lang, 2010), pp. 153-171.

‘Carnal Knowledge: trauma, memory and the body in Patrick Chamoiseau’s Biblique des derniers gestes’, in Postcolonial Violence, Culture and Identity in Francophone Africa and the Antilles, edited by Lorna Milne (Lang, 2007), pp. 167-190.

‘“The Explosion of utterance”: Developments in French Caribbean writing in the 1990s’, in Contemporary French Cultures and Societies, edited by Frédéric Royall (Lang, 2004), pp. 357-371.

‘“This Creole Culture, miraculously forged”: the contradictions of créolité’, in Francophone Postcolonial Studies. A Critical Introduction, edited by Charles Forsdick and David Murphy (Arnold, 2003), pp. 112-121.

‘No Place like home: Constructing an identity in Patrick Chamoiseau’s Texaco’, in Ici-là. Place and Displacement in Caribbean writing in French, edited by Mary Gallagher (Rodopi, 2003), pp. 41-60.

‘Translating the Creole voice: from the oral to the literary tradition in Patrick Chamoiseau’s Texaco’, in Reading across the Lines, co-edited by Chris Shorley and Maeve McCusker (The Royal Irish Academy, 2000), pp. 117-127.

Book reviews for French Studies, The Modern Language Review, Modern and Contemporary France, Francophone Postcolonial Studies, Eighteenth-Century Life, International Journal of Francophone Studies, Irish Journal of French Studies, Research in African Literatures.

Anonymous reader:

(book proposals/manuscripts): Liverpool University Press, University of Mississippi Press, Legenda.
(journal articles): Modern Language Review, Forum for Modern Language Studies, Romance Studies, Nottingham French Studies, Research in African Literatures, Small Axe, Irish Journal of French Studies, Essays on French Literature, Francosphères.

External Examiner: UCD (2010-)

PhD external examiner: I have recently examined PhD theses in the Universities of Birmingham, Edinburgh and Liverpool.