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Personal profile


 I hold an MA (Res) in French Studies (2003) from the University of Nottingham and a PhD in French Studies (2007) from the University of Reading. Research and teaching interests include French intellectual history (especially eccentric outliers like Paul Virilio, René Girard and Fabrice Hadjadj), Catholic thought and literature, Vichy France, technology and counter-technologist thought in France, and Global History. My monograph Catholic Literature and Secularisation in France and England, 1880-1914 (2011) was published by Manchester University Press and I edited National Identities in France (2011) for Transaction Press. I was undergraduate programme director of Languages and Translation Studies for four years (2015-2019), introducing new history joint honours programmes to the school and bringing the theme of the Fourth Industrial Revolution into the Modern Languages curriculum. I am a member of the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France for which I organised the 2016 annual conference and served on the executive committee (2015-2017). I am also chair of the academic board of the Quarterdeck Series at the UK Defence Academy, Shrivenham and external member of the academic board for the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham.
My office is NX09, North Wing, Tenth Floor.

Research Interests

My research explores the work of writers and intellectuals in France, dating from the Belle Époque to the present, mostly though not exclusively in the Catholic tradition. Much of my work on the French Catholic literary and intellectual tradition has drawn on theoretical frames from Charles Taylor, William Cavanaugh and René Girard. My monograph Catholic Literature and Secularisation in France and England 1880-1914 (MUP, 2011) sought to overturn the exoticising of French and English Catholic writings by testing how their variables correlate with many inflections of secularisation theory broadly understood.

Recent research has focused on the contemporary Catholic intellectual Fabrice Hadjadj and a series of publications about him will be forthcoming in the course of 2019-20. In 2019 I began to revisit the writings of Georges Bernanos about whom I have published several book chapters and whose writings for the External Resistance constitute an original and rich field of data for students of Vichy France and the fallout of conflict in Europe.  

My current monograph project is provisionally entitled Counter-technologism in France (1920-1945) and seeks to explore a trend among French or Francophone cultural critics who were hostile to the place that technology and la civilisation mécanique acquired in the interwar years. These writers include Jacques Maritain, René Guénon, Nicolai Berdyaev, Jacques Ellul, Simone Weil, Marcel de Corte, Gustave Thibon and Georges Bernanos. A sequel is also planned, following this story from the end of the war up to 1958 and the end of the Fourth Republic.

One further area of activity for me is the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and what it means for higher education, especially in the humanities.


I welcome inquiries about PhD supervision in any of the following areas:

  • French or English Catholic literary production since 1870
  • Secularisation and literature
  • French national identity
  • The Counter-revolutionary intellectual tradition
  • René Girard
  • Paul Virilio
  • The Fourht Industrial Revolution

Teaching Activity

  • LI1009 – Translation: theory and practice
  • LF2110 – Politics and Society (France)
  • LF2041 - International Business Environment (France)
  • LF3120 - Vichy France
  • LF3140 - French Technology: Inventing progress and disaster
  • LIM028 - Research Methods (Translation Studies)
  • LPM048 - The Philosophy of Social Science (session on understanding social action)


  • BA (Hons), PGCE
  • MA Res (Nottingham)
  • Maitrise FLE (Paris V)
  • PhD (Reading)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Contact Details

Room: NX09
Phone: 0121 204 3134
Email: b.sudlow@aston.ac.uk

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Reading

Award Date: 30 Jun 2007


Award Date: 31 Jul 2003


Award Date: 31 Jul 1999

External positions

External Examiner for International Management and Modern Languages (French), University of Bath


External Examiner MA in Professional Translation, Newcastle University


Chair of the Advisory Board for the Quarterdeck Seminar Series

2017 → …

External member of the Academic Board

2012 → …


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