Skip to main content

Professor Margaret Topping

Professor Margaret Topping, QUB

MA, MSt, DPhil (Oxon)

I completed my undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Oxford University, gaining a Joint Honours degree in French and Spanish (1994), an M.St. (1995), and a D.Phil. (1998).  I was Lecturer in French at the University of Wales Bangor from 1998-2002, before joining the School of European Studies at Cardiff University. In January 2011, I was appointed to the Chair in French at Queen’s.

My research interests span two main areas: the work of Marcel Proust with a particular focus on its metaphorical construction, and textual and visual narratives of travel and migration. Current activities include a large-scale project on francophone travel literature and photography and, with Dr Rachael Langford of Cardiff University, the coordination of a research network on Representations of Mobility and Migration in European Cultures. Other research interests include: literature and mythology, literature and religion, Orientalism and exoticism, and visual cultures. I am co-editor of the University of Wales Press series, European Visual Cultures. I am also a member of the editorial board for the journals Studies in European Cinema and Assuming Gender.


 Books and Edited Collections:

Beckett’s Proust/Deleuze’s Proust (ed. with Mary Bryden) (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)

Supernatural Proust: Myth and Metaphor in ‘A la recherche du temps perdu’ (Cardiff:  University of Wales Press, 2007), 233 pp.

Eastern Voyages, Western Visions: French Writing and Painting of the Orient (ed.) (Oxford, Bern: Peter Lang, 2004), 395 pp.

Proust’s Gods: Christian and Mythological Figures of Speech in the Works of Marcel Proust (Oxford: OUP, 2000), 244 pp.

Articles and book chapters:

'Errant Eyes: Metaphor, Digression and Desire in Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time', in Digression in European Literature: From Cervantes to Sebald, A. Grohmann and C. Wells (eds) (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp.106-17

 'Travelling Images, Images of Travel in Nicolas Bouvier's L'Usage du monde', French Studies, special issue on 'New Ekphrastic Poetics' edited by S. Harrow, 64: 3 (July 2010), 302-16

 ‘Phototextual Journeys: Nicolas Bouvier in Asia’, Studies in Travel Writing, special issue on 'Contemporary Travel Writing in French: Tradition, Innovation, Boundaries', edited by C. Forsdick, 13: 4 (2009), 317-34

 'Photographic Vision(s) in Marcel Proust’s and Raoul Ruiz’s Le Temps retrouvé’, in Le Temps retrouvé 80 years after: Critical Essays/Essais critiques, A. Watt (ed.), Modern French Identities Series (Oxford, Bern: Peter Lang, 2009), pp. 309-21                                                                               

 ‘Proustian Puppetry as Worldly Sign in A la recherche du temps perdu’, in Beckett’s Proust: Deleuze’s Proust, M. Bryden and M. Topping (eds) (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), pp. 199-214

 ‘Orientalism and Fairytale in Amélie Nothomb’s Autofictions’, in The Fantastic in Contemporary Women’s Writing in French, M.-A. Hutton (ed.) (Oxford, Bern: Peter Lang, 2008), pp. 81-97

‘Reframing Identities: Photography and the Cultural Encounter in François Maspero’s Balkans-Transit and Nicolas Bouvier’s Chronique japonaise’, with Claire Gorrara, Journal of Romance Studies, 8: 1 (Spring 2008), 61-75

Proust Translating/Translating Proust: Reinventions of the Sacred in Text, Image and Film’, The Glass, 20 (Spring 2008), 4-18

‘Artists and Alchemists in Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu’, French Studies, 60: 4 (October 2006), 466-78

‘Exoticist Illusion in Pierre Loti’s Japan’, Artful Deceptions: Verbal and Visual Trickery in French Culture, ed. by C. Emerson and M. Scott (Oxford, Bern: Peter Lang, 2006), pp. 83-96

Writing the Self, Writing the Other in Pierre Loti’s Madame Chrysanthème and Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha’, Comparative Critical Studies, 1: 3 (October 2004), 309-22      

‘Proust and Persia’, in Eastern Voyages, Western Visions: French Writing and Painting of the Orient (ed. M. Topping) (Oxford, Bern: Peter Lang, 2004), pp. 265-87

‘Théodore Chassériau’, in Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 2 vols (Fitzroy Dearborn, 2004), vol. 1, pp.166-68                                                                                         

 ‘Horace Vernet’, in Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 2 vols (Fitzroy Dearborn, 2004), vol. 2, pp.1181-82

‘Andromeda’s Mysterious Saviour: The Absent Hero in Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu’, Dalhousie French Studies, 63 (Summer 2003), 53-58.

‘Proust’s Orient(alism)’, French Studies Bulletin, 84 (Autumn 2002), 10-13

‘The Proustian Harem’, The Modern Language Review, 97: 2 (April 2002), 300-11

‘Proust’s Unspoken Muse: A Re-evaluation of the Role of Gustave Moreau’s Painting in Proust’s Art’, French Studies, 53: 1 (January 1999), 23-37

 ‘Les Mille et Une Nuits proustiennes’, Essays in French Literature, 35-36 (November 1998/99), 113-30

 Journal issues:

 ‘Writing Difference’ issue of e-journal New Readings, 7, ed. with Kathryn Jones and Joanne Sayner (2005), ISSN 1359-7485

‘Alternative Voices in European Cinema’, issue of e-journal New Readings, 8, ed. with Guyda Armstrong (2006), ISSN 1359-7485


I currently offer a L2 optional module on ‘The Orient in French Literature and the Visual Arts and a L3 filière on ‘Migration and Culture in Contemporary France’.

I contribute to the MA in French Studies and the MA in Modern French Studies: Culture and Memory.

With Prof. David Johnston (QUB) and Prof. Lawrence Venuti (Temple University), I am co-supervising Rebecca Riddles whose PhD thesis is exploring French travel literature through translation theory paradigms.

I am Director of Education for Languages.