French Studies alumni profiles

Rachel Luckman, French Studies PhD, 2009

Rachel graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in French Studies at The University of Birmingham in 2001, then went on to study an MPhil in 2003, a PhD in 2009, and is now an Associate Lecturer in French Studies at the University.


“I loved my studies at Birmingham; I felt challenged and rewarded. Being a mature student, I had been worried about fitting in and making friends, but everyone at Birmingham was welcoming and encouraged me greatly. There was never any doubt in my mind that I wanted to go on to Postgraduate Study, and was lucky to get Professor Crossley (now an Emeritus Professor) as my supervisor. With his help, and the guidance of my mentor, Professor Birkett, I not only got a studentship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, but also got the Constance Naden Prize for my MPhil thesis. But I knew there was ‘more’ I needed to say, so went on to do a PhD on Flaubert and Proust, and in fact, received a national award, from the British Fellowship of Women Graduates, for my research. I began lecturing as a PG, and have continued on a part-time basis.”

Kanshi H Sato, French Studies PhD, 2009

Kanshi graduated with a PhD in French Studies in 2009 and now teaches undergraduate students at several universities in Japan, as a part-time lecturer. She mainly teaches English as a foreign language, as well as cultural/literary theory, postcolonial studies and translation and supervises undergraduate dissertations on utopian literature.

“Learning a foreign language is difficult and time-consuming, but it is also exciting as it broadens your points of view and common knowledge/sense. It can also develop your potential career path in this globalised age - the diverse options offered by the department and the University of Birmingham were the most significant merits on my CV when I applied for my current role.”