Dr Lucy O'Meara

Senior Lecturer in French
+44(0)1227 824122
Dr Lucy O'Meara


Lucy studied English and French at University College Cork and received her PhD from the University of Nottingham in 2008. She was Government of Ireland postdoctoral fellow at University College Cork in 2009 and arrived at the University of Kent in 2010.  

Lucy is Kent’s Academic Lead for the Arts and Humanities Research Council doctoral training partnership, CHASE (Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South East). 

In 2021, Lucy took up the role of General Editor of the journal the Modern Language Review, having previously been the journal’s French editor. She is also a Trustee of the Modern Humanities Research Association and, from Summer 2021, a member of the Editorial Board of Forum for Modern Language Studies. She has previously (2013–16) been a member of the Society for French Studies executive committee. 

Research interests

Lucy’s research and teaching interests lie in the later twentieth and twenty-first centuries, especially the relationship between literature and theory, and also music and its representation of global and multiple identities. She has published widely on the work of the cultural and literary theorist Roland Barthes. Other authors she has published on include Georges Perec, Jacques Roubaud, Amélie Nothomb and Theodor Adorno. Recent work and publications have focused on works of fiction and memoir which incorporate aspects of encyclopaedic form as a way of critiquing how we classify knowledge in our society. Lucy is currently working on a project concerning narratives of identity as presented in musical and literary works by French-language rap musicians.

Lucy was awarded the Society for French Studies Prize Research Fellowship in 2019.


Lucy teaches modules on French literature, music and culture from the nineteenth century to the present day, as well as French language.


Lucy has supervised dissertations on topics as diverse as French and Scandinavian crime fiction, narratalogical readings of Alain Robbe-Grillet and Marguerite Duras, French and German experimental auto-fiction, and the Oulipo author Jacques Roubaud’s rewriting of Arthurian tales. She offers research supervision in the fields of modern French literature, critical theory and music, and welcomes enquiries from students interested in doctoral study in the following areas:

  • twentieth-century French literature and theory
  • French rap music, especially by artists working across music and literature
  • theories of knowledge in fiction and autobiography
  • the work of Roland Barthes
  • crime fiction
  • the Oulipo group
  • French literary and cultural responses to Japan
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