Marie Allègre

Marie Allègre

Department of English Literature
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

Phd title: Virginia Woolf Against the Phallus: Anglophone and Francophone Psychoanalytic Receptions (1980s-2010s)
Supervisors: Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge and Doctor Elliot Evans
PhD English Literature


  • BA Performing Arts
  • BA English Studies
  • MRes English Literature (with Distinction)


  • Language Café’ French Tutor (Oct 2020 – present)
  • French Assistant Language Tutor at the University of Birmingham (academic year 2017-2018)


What is psychoanalysis talking about when it is talking about ‘Virginia Woolf’? My research explores the impact of French and English psychoanalytic discourses on Woolf’s works using feminist, queer, and phenomenological lenses, from the late 1980s to the 2010s. What has emerged is that, more often than not, Woolf’s explorations of human experience have suffered rather than benefitted from the application of psychoanalytic frameworks to literary analysis. Lacanian theory, in particular, is rather inhospitable to what I have called the ‘irreducible heterogeneity’ at work in Woolf’s texts. On the other hand, Woolf’s poetics frustrate oedipal scenarios and undermine the founding psychoanalytic metaphor of the phallus.

The project expands on my MA dissertation ‘The Whole, the Hole and the Border: Ethics and Aesthetics of the Frame in To The Lighthouse (1927)’ in which I try and show how Woolf’s widening of the signifier/signified gap makes the unspeakable palpable.

Other activities




  • Virginia Woolf’s ‘Entanglements’ vs. Lacanian Psychoanalytic Criticism’ – New Work in Modernist Studies conference (British Association of Modernist Studies), 11 December 2020
  • ‘Listening as a metaphor: Co-construction between psychoanalytic criticism and Virginia Woolf’s texts’ – French Woolf Society (SEW) doctoral day, 22 November 2019
  • ‘Listening as a metaphor: Co-construction between psychoanalytic criticism and Virginia Woolf’s texts’ – Centre for Modernist Cultures (CMC) work-in-progress, 30 October 2019

My research benefitted from a grant from the Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust for the academic year 2019-20.