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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Professor Martin Crowley

Photo of Martin Crowley
Professor of Modern French Thought and Culture
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages & Linguistics
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
(+44) (0)1223 335576

Queens' College 
Silver Street 



Born in Birmingham, Martin Crowley studied French and German at the University of Oxford, before pursuing an MA in Critical Theory at the University of Nottingham, and working for two years for the French publisher Larousse, as a bilingual dictionary editor. He then returned to Oxford, where he completed a DPhil in French, on the author and film-maker Marguerite Duras. After four years as Lecturer in French Studies at the University of Manchester, he came to Cambridge in 2000. He has been a Visiting Research Scholar in the Department of Comparative Literature at New York University, and serves as general Editor of the journal French Studies.

Martin welcomes applications from potential MPhil and PhD students working on modern and contemporary thought and culture in the French-speaking world.


Research interests: 
  • Modern and contemporary cultures of the French-speaking world
  • Twentieth- and twenty-first-century French philosophy
  • Critical theory
  • Ethics and fiction
  • Ecocriticism
  • Testimony
  • Sexuality, embodiment, and representation
  • Ontologies of coexistence
  • Intersections of the aesthetic, the philosophical, and the political


Recent research projects: 

Martin is currently working on a book project, entitled Opaque Strategies: Culture and Conflict in Contemporary France, which uses the figure of opacity to examine the relation between social conflict and forms of cultural production in contemporary France.


Published works: 


As author:

Accidental Agents: Ecological Politics beyond the Human (Columbia University Press, 2022)

L'Homme sans: Politiques de la finitude (Lignes, 2009; afterword by Jean-Luc Nancy)

Robert Antelme: L’humanité irréductible (Lignes, 2004)

Robert Antelme: Humanity, Community, Testimony (Legenda, 2003)

Duras, Writing and the Ethical (Oxford University Press, 2000)


As co-author:

The New Pornographies: Explicit Sex in Recent French Fiction and Film (Manchester University Press, 2007)


As editor:

Contact! The Art of Touch (L'Esprit Créateur, 2007)

Dying Words: The Last Moments of Writers and Philosophers (Rodopi, 2000)


As co-editor:

Economies of Existence (Diacritics, 2020; with Emily Apter)

Quels matérialismes? Pour quels mondes? (Lignes, 2016; with Michel Surya)