French Research Cluster

The Australian National University’s French Research Cluster (FRC) is an interdisciplinary initiative that seeks to promote innovative research into all aspects of culture and society in France and the Francophone world.



July 2022

FRC member Guillaume Molle has co-edited a new volume with Eric Conte and Serge Tcherkezoff for Maison des Sciences de l'Homme du Pacifique: À la Croisée des Vagues. Océaniens et Occidentaux : anthropologie historique de la violence (XVIe-XIXe siècles).

Encounters between Indigenous peoples of Oceania and outsiders from the Western world, beginning with the Spanish explorations in the 16th century until the period of colonisation in the 19th century, were marked by various forms of violence, either visible, brutal and immediate or long-lasting and all the more insidious. They all had irreversible consequences on Pacific Island societies.

The present volume, which includes some contributions first presented at the Conference of the Pacific Islands Universities Research Network (PIURN) in Tahiti in 2018, examines these different forms of violence as well as the effects that they produced, through a number of case studies, some of which are iconic, others little known. From Tahiti to Samoa, from Rapa Nui to the Isle of Pines via the Marquesas, these encounters are seen through the lens of la longue durée, the cornerstone of a historical anthropology that has proved to be so productive in Pacific Studies. The work brings together nine archaeologists, anthropologists and historians who analyse processes at the intersection of structures and events: bartering, the firing of muskets, the introduction of infectious diseases, judicially sanctioned control mechanisms and colonial imperialism. These ten chapters shed new light on the complex dynamics at work in these confrontations that brought Islanders and outsiders into a shared new history.

Further details can be found here:


Latest Publications


Leslie Barnes, “Cambodia’s ‘Wandering Souls’: Migrant Labor and the Promise of Connection.” The Cinema of Rithy Panh: Everything Has a Soul. Eds. Leslie Barnes and Joseph Mai, Rutgers University Press, 2021. 99-113.

Leslie Barnes, “Reckoning with Forced Marriage in the Era of #MeToo: Silence and Gender-based Violence in the Cambodian Arts.” Journal of Genocide Research, Vol. 3, No. 3 (2021).

Leslie Barnes, “French Colonial Literature in Indochina: Colonial Adventure and Continental Drift.” Cambridge History of World Literature, Ed. Debjani Ganguly, Cambridge University Press, July 2021.

Leslie Barnes, 'Live-Tweeting and Distant Suffering: Nicholas Kristof as Global Savior'. Humanity, Vol. 11, No. 2, Summer 2020, pp. 147-164.

Ashok Collins, "The Roman-Fleuve." In Adam Watt (ed.) The Cambridge History of the Novel in French. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021.

Tania M. Colwell, ‘Friendship and Trust between Medieval Princes: Affective Strategies for Navigating Intercultural Difference across the Mediterranean’, Emotions: History, Culture, Society 4 (2020): 348-373.

Annabelle Doherty, 2020, 'Stardom and historical thinking in Isabelle Adjani's French heritage film Camille Claudel,' French Screen Studies (formerly Studies in French Cinema), vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 23-41.

Gemma King, Jacques Audiard, French Film Directors series, Manchester University Press, 2021.

Gemma King [review], ‘Achille, Etienne, Forsdick, Charles and Lydie Moudileno. Postcolonial Realms of Memory: Sites and Symbols in Modern France. Liverpool University Press, 2020’, Contemporary French Civilization, 46:1, 2021, 103-5.

Gemma King, ‘Multilingual pilgrimages: language and trans-Mediterranean cultural identity in Ismaël Ferroukhi’s Le Grand Voyage’, Eds. Claire Launchbury and Megan MacDonald, Urban Bridges, Global Capital(s): Trans-Mediterranean Francosphères, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2021, 191-212.

Gemma King, ‘The Door of No Return: a cinema of (up)rooting and decentring in Rachid Bouchareb’s Little Senegal’, Eds. Michael Gott and Leslie Kealhofer-Kemp, ReFocus: The Films of Rachid Bouchareb. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020, 166-180.

Guillaume Molle [book review]: Pour une histoire de la préhistoire océanienne. Approches historiographiques de l’archéologie francophone dans le Pacifique. Edited by Emilie Dotte-Sarout, Anne Di Piazza, Frédérique Valentin and Matthew Spriggs Pacific-credo Publications, Collection Cahiers du Credo, Marseille, France, 2020. Archaeology in Oceania, Vol. 00 (2021): 1–2. DOI: 10.1002/arco.5230.

Guillaume Molle, 'Les Marae polynésiens' in Nathalie Kouamé, Éric P. Meyer et Anne Viguier (dir.), Encyclopédie des historiographes: Afriques, Amériques, Asies. Volume 1 : sources et genres historiques (Tome 1 et Tome 2). Paris: Presses de l’Inalco, 2020.Guillaume

Guillaume Molle, 2020: "Representer les Mers du Sud: les artistes europeens dans le Pacifique, 1606-1840", In Louis Lagarde (ed.), Visions du Pacifique : les artistes occidentaux et l’Océanie, 1840-1980. Nouméa, Ville de Nouméa.

Guillaume Molle, "President Macron’s visit to the Marquesas Islands: A Powerful Demonstration of the ‘Enana Culture," The New Outrigger, 4 August 2021,


Previous News & Publications


Two FRC members have been awarded with the 2021 ANU Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching:

  • Dr Leslie Barnes, School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics, ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences
  • Dr Christina Clarke (Early Career category), School of Art and Design, ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Gemma King has been awarded with an Internal RSHA Fellowship at the ANU Humanities Research Centre, semester 2 2021. Congratulations, Gemma!

Robert Wellington has been elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.


Three FRC members have been awarded with 2020 CASS Dean's Commendations for Excellence in Education:

  • Christina Clarke has been awarded with a 2020 CASS Dean's Commendation for Teaching Excellence.
  • Gemma King and Leslie Barnes have been awarded with a joint 2020 CASS Dean's Commendation for Teaching Excellence.
  • Gemma King has also been awarded with the 2020 CASS Dean's Commendation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.


Leslie Barnes, Review of “White Métisse,” by Jack Yeager. Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, Vol. 34, No. 2 (2019).

Latest publications by Bert Peeters: 

Check out Ben Mercer's book: Student Revolt in 1968: France, Italy and West Germany. Cambridge University Press, 2019

Recent article by Christie Margrave 'Environment and Identity in the Nineteenth-Century French Caribbean Novel: Traversay’s Les amours de Zémédare et Carina and Bergeaud’s Stella' , Dix-Neuf, Volume 23, 2019 - Issue 3-4.

Recent chapter by Gemma King 'Denis Villeneuve’s multilingual cinema: Decentring space, time and language in Arrival', in Multilingualism in Film, eds. Ralf Junkerjürgen and Gala Rebane, Peter Lang, 2019.


The FRC had two projects successfully funded in the ARC DECRA 2019 funding round. Dr Robert Wellington's project on art and cultural diplomacy aims to investigate questions about cross-cultural communication through the circulation of art objects across the globe (, and Dr Guillaume Molle's ethnoarchaeological investigation of religious systems in Ancient Polynesia aims to document and compare the long-term historical trajectories of Eastern Polynesian chiefdoms by developing a new perspective on ancient ritual practices and monuments (


FRC members are currently working on an ARC Discovery Project entitled Performing Transdisciplinarity which aims to use the illustrated songbook to study the transdisciplinary nature of 18th-century print culture and create a multimedia digital interface for linking deep disciplinary knowledge and the recreation of the sounds, sensibilities, and social mores of 18th-century France


FRC Members

French Research Cluster members work together on French and Francophone-related research across the disciplines of History, Archaeology, Literature, Linguistics, Screen Studies, Digital Humanities, Law, Environmental Studies, Philosophy and Art History.

Derek Allan, Visiting Fellow, School of Literature, Languages & Linguistics

Christopher Ballard, Associate Professor and Senior Fellow, School of Culture, History & Language, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Leslie Barnes, Senior Lecturer in French Studies, School of Literature, Languages & Linguistics

Pierrick Chalaye, Research Fellow, College of Engineering and Computer Science

Christina Clarke, Lecturer in Early Modern Art, Design and Material Culture, Centre for Art History and Art Theory, School of Art and Design

Ashok Collins, Lecturer in French Studies, School of Literature, Languages & Linguistics

Tania Colwell, Visiting School Fellow, School of History

Alexander Cook, Lecturer in British History, School of History

Katherine Daniell, Senior Lecturer, Fenner School of Environment and Society

Annabelle Doherty, Honorary Lecturer in French and Film Studies, School of Literature, Languages & Linguistics

Raelene Frances, Professor, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Solène Inceoglu, Lecturer in French Studies, School of Literature, Languages & Linguistics

Gemma King, Lecturer in French Studies, School of Literature, Languages & Linguistics, and French Research Cluster Convenor

Mathieu Leclerc, Lecturer in Pacific Archaeology, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences and ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Desmond Manderson, Professor and Director, Centre for Law Arts and Humanities, ANU College of Law

Ben Mercer, Lecturer in European History, School of History

Guillaume Molle, Senior Lecturer in Pacific Archaeology and Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow

Paul Pickering, Professor and Director, Research School of Humanities and the Arts

Robert Wellington, Associate Professor, Centre for Art History & Art Theory, School of Art and Design



Dr Leslie Barnes
French Research Cluster Convenor

Dr Christina Clarke
French Research Cluster Secretary

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Updated:  17 November 2022/Responsible Officer:  RSHA Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications