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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



External positions

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


External Examiner MA in Professional Translation, Newcastle University


Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Brian Sudlow is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

book review Social Sciences
France Social Sciences
Catholicism Social Sciences
cybernetics Social Sciences
nineteenth century Social Sciences
faith Social Sciences
language Social Sciences
desert Social Sciences

Research Output 2010 2019

  • 8 Article
  • 7 Book/Film/Article review
  • 4 Chapter (peer-reviewed)
  • 1 Book

Infant voices: embryonic and neonatal personhood in two recent French Catholic novels

Sudlow, B., Mar 2017, In : Literature and Theology. 31, 1, p. 47-63 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Réflexions pour 1985: a study in the vernacular of progressive compliance

Sudlow, B., 12 Jun 2017, In : Interventions. in press

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

The Frenchness of Marcel Lefebvre and the Society of St Pius X: a new reading

Sudlow, B., Feb 2017, In : French Cultural Studies. 28, 1, p. 79-94 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Activities 2012 2015

  • 8 Participation in conference
  • 1 Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Progress, change and development

Brian Sudlow (Speaker)
5 Jun 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

The Squared Horizon: the Frames and Trajectories of Paul Virilio

Brian Sudlow (Speaker)
6 Jun 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Charles Péguy Centenary Colloquium

Brian Sudlow (Organiser)
31 Oct 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

David Jones: Christian Modernist?

Brian Sudlow (Speaker)
11 Sep 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Motherhood in post-1968 European Women's Writing: cross-cultural and interdisciplinary dialogues

Brian Sudlow (Speaker)
24 Oct 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference