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Dean of Arts
Faculty Research
Cultural Development


Professor John Gillespie
Head of School of Languages and Literature

John Gillespie was born in Belfast and studied at the Queen’s University of Belfast where he took his BA in French and German and his PhD in French. He spent a year as a language assistant at the Lycée Foch in Rodez. Appointed as Lecturer in French to the then New University of Ulster in 1974, he was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1988. Founding Head of the Research Graduate School in the Faculty of Arts in 1996, he has been Director of Research for the Faculty from 1988 and has served on the University’s Research Policy Committees since that time. He has been Head of the School of Languages and Literature since 1999 and set up the Centre for the Study of Literature and Belief, which he directs, in 2001. He holds a Personal Chair in French Language and Literature (appointed in 2003), has been an elected member of the University Senate since 2000 and of the University Council since 2004 and a member of the University Teaching and Learning Committee since 2006. He is currently acting Head of French.

Academic Background
1971: BA Honours in French and German, Queen’s University, Belfast
1980: PhD in French : 'Sacred and Profane: A Study of Prometheanism in Twentieth Century French Literature' (in Gide, Camus and Sartre), Queen’s University, Belfast.
1986: Diploma in Theology (with distinction), University of London

Professional Affiliations2002 Elected Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors, Member of Association for French Language Studies, Association for Learning Technology, La Société des Etudes Camusiennes, EuroCALL, Society for French Studies, Modern Language Association of Northern Ireland, UK Sartre Society, Victoria Institute.

Research Interests His main interests in the literary field are in twentieth century French literature and its relation to questions of belief in relation to theology, philosophy, religion and secular ideologies. Specifically he is working on studies of Existentialism, Prometheanism and the authors, Gide, Sartre, Camus, and Beckett.  In addition, he is also an expert on the life and works of CS Lewis and has developed a significant interest in fantasy literatures, specifically those of Christian inspiration.

He has also a long-standing interest in technology-enhanced language learning and has published extensively in that area, especially in relation to computer-based learning environments. A member of the Executive of EUROCALL, he, along with Professor Greg Toner (Irish) has established the Centre for Excellence in Multimedia Language Learning (2005- ) with government funding and was previously a member of the TELL consortium.

Editorial Activities<empty>He is a member of the editorial board of Sartre Studies International and of the ReCALL Academic Advisory Panel.

PublicationsResearch Publications<empty>Mots:  Sartre and the Language of Belief’, Sartre Studies International, 11,1/2, 2005, pp.  234-248.

‘Camus’ Passionate Heroes’ in Heroism and Passion in Literature, Studies in Honour of Moya Longstaffe, ed. Graham Gargett, Rodopi, Amsterdam/New York, 2004, pp. 197-208

‘Creating a Computer Based Language-Learning Environment’, with J David Barr,
 ReCALL 15: 1 (Cambridge University Press), May 2003, pp. 68-78.

‘Resistance, Reluctance and Radicalism: A Study of Staff Reaction to the Adoption of CALL/C & IT in Modern Languages Departments’, with J David Barr, ReCALL 14: 1 (CUP), May 2002, pp. 120-132.

‘Fictions et théologie dans La Symphonie pastorale’’  dans Le Désir à l’oeuvre: André Gide à Cambridge 1918; 1998, ed. Naomi Segal, Rodopi Amsterdam/Atlanta, 2001, pp. 237-263.

‘Humanism, Christianity  and Myth: problems of interpretation in Sartre’s Bariona ou le fils du tonnerre, Journal of European Studies, 30, 2, 118, June 2000, pp. 183-204.

Teaching AreasFrench Language especially translation
French Literature
French Press and Media
European Literature
Twentieth Century Intellectual Culture


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