Professor Derek Connon

I am a graduate of the University of Liverpool, where I completed a first degree in French and a PhD thesis on the plays and dramatic theory of Diderot. I worked at the Queen’s University of Belfast, the University of Exeter and the University of St Andrews before taking up my present post in the French Department at Swansea in 1989. I am interested in literature of all periods and types, and this has been reflected in my teaching. In my research, I have tended to concentrate on the theatre and, although I still regard myself as principally a dix-huitiémiste, I have branched out from my first work in the eighteenth century, and have now published on various authors from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. As well as specialising in research into drama, I have always been interested in practical drama, and have acted in and directed a number of productions of French plays. This practical experience has influenced both my teaching and research. I am also a keen musician – I play violin and viola – and this has also begun to filter into my research in recent years, with work on the use of music in drama or links between music and drama.

Publications

  1. (2016). Critical edition of Piron, 'Gustave-Vasa'. : MHRA
  2. Honegger, Cocteau and a Man-Eating Lion on the Eiffel Tower. Forum for Modern Language Studies
  3. & Zwierciadło ludzkiego żywota. Kraków: Astraia.
  4. ‘Seven Ephesian widows: six French variations on a theme of Petronius’. New Zealand Journal of French Studies 30(1), 5-21.
  5. Scène et salle dans le théâtre forain. In La Scene, la salle et la coulisse dans le theatre du XVIIIe siecle en France. Paris: PUPS.

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Teaching

  • ML-321 Modern Languages Dissertation

    This module provides students with the opportunity to research one aspect of French, German, Italian or Hispanic culture in detail, and to present the findings of their research in a dissertation of 8000 words. The module will be taught by means of four practical seminars on research and writing skills, and through three formal supervision sessions with a dissertation supervisor. Your supervisor will help you to find a topic, suggest research strategies, agree a suitable title, discuss the structure of your dissertation, and will read closely and comment on one draft chapter. The topic may relate to a module you are doing at Level 3, provided that this does not involve a duplication of material and is agreed with the module coordinator in advance. The dissertations may be written in English, in your target language, or in Welsh (where Welsh-medium provision is available).

  • ML-322 From Page to Screen: Adapting the European Classics

    From the beginning of film-making, directors have been inspired to adapt classic works of literature for the screen. There are a variety of reasons for this, ranging from the commercial to the provocative, the nationalistic to the exploitative. Good film adaptations, however, can enrich our understanding of well-known or canonical literary works in numerous ways. They are also works of art in their own right. This modules examines seven short works of literature (one French play, two Spanish novels, two German novellas, and two selections of Italian tales or short stories) and eight films (two each from French, German, Italian and Spanish). The books were written between the 1350s and 1970s, the films made between 1959 and 1995. All achieved renown in their day and continue to excite debate and stimulate new interpretations. The guiding themes are heritage, religion, prejudice, and passion. Students of Modern Languages are expected to use sources in the languages that they are studying. All texts are available in English translation and all films have English sub-titles.

  • MLF100A Introduction to French Culture (A)

    Knowledge about the culture of France is an important part of your study of the French language. To be able to use the language accurately and confidently you need to understand some of the movements which have shaped the country's history. This module aims to introduce you to the culture of France from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries. For each historical period we will study short texts which reflect the society, beliefs and thought of the time at which they were written and will put these into the wider cultural context of their age, with reference to art, architecture and music as appropriate. We will also see how authors have addressed human emotions, ethical dilemmas and moral choices at different times. Students will be given guidance in writing about culture, using sources, and will also improve their practical language skills through reading and discussion. A Welsh-medium version of this module is available.

  • MLF210 French Translation Workshop 2

    This module aims to improve your skills in translation from French to English, developing awareness of different types of translation and different techniques required of translators and strategies employed by them.

  • MLF307A Love, Lust and the Meaning of Life: A Theme in French Literature

    This module examines key works of French literature from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. Although all very different, each one centres on a profound examination of the human condition and takes human sexuality as a key (although not always exclusive) focus for study. The module should enhance your knowledge of French literature in general, as well as giving you a more detailed knowledge of the particular works under study. It should improve your reading and comprehension skills in French and your abilities in analysis and organization of material, as well as providing you with the skills to offer close readings of key texts from different eras and to engage critically with the concept of literary evolution via the study of the course's central themes.

  • MLF310 French Translation Workshop 3

    This module aims to improve your skills in translation from French to English. In doing this you will develop awareness of different types of translation and different techniques required of translators and strategies employed by them.

  • MLF330A French General Language 3A

    This module offers practice and development of skills in translation from French to English, writing in French (specifically essay writing), and French oral and communication skills. Writing and oral classes will give you practice in the exercises covered by the module, and will be supported by a series of grammar workshops that will reinforce your existing grammatical knowledge as well as introducing new concepts. For this module, the workshops will cover French verbs (tenses, moods, voices etc.).

  • MLF330B French General Language 3B

    This module offers practice and development of skills in translation from English to French and French oral and communication skills. Writing and oral classes will give you practice in the exercises covered by the module, and will be supported by a series of grammar workshops that will reinforce your existing grammatical knowledge as well as introducing new concepts. For this module, the workshops will cover French parts of speech other than verbs and other grammatical structures (interrogatives, negatives and word order).

  • MLF330BW Iaith Gyffredinol Ffrangeg 3B

    Mae'r modiwl hwn yn cynnig ymarfer a datblygiad sgiliau cyfieithu o'r Ffrangeg i'r Gymraeg a'r Saesneg a sgiliau llafar a chyfathrebu trwy gyfrwng y Ffrangeg. Bydd gyfle i ymarfer tasgau'r module trwy ddosbarthiadau ysgrifennu a llafar, bydd cefnogaeth bellach ar gael i chi bydd yn dyfnhau eich gwybodaeth a dealltwriaeth o ramadeg trwy'r gweithdai gramadeg. Yn ogystal, bydd y sesiynau hyn yn cyflwyno agweddau newydd o ramadeg y Ffrangeg i chi. Yn ystod y modiwl hwn, bydd y gweithdai gramadeg yn canolbwyntio ar elfennau gramadegol tu hwnt i ferfau a strwythurau gramadegol eraill (ffurf cwestiynau, negyddu a chystrawen).

Supervision

  • Llywellyn Fawr and Pasticcio Opera (current)

    Student name:
    MA
    Other supervisor: Prof David Britton
  • ''Female Role-Play in Golden Age Drama: The Approach of Calderon with Comparative Perspectives on Shakespeare and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz'' (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Lloyd Davies