John West-Sooby

Emeritus Professor John West-Sooby

Professor of French Studies

School of Humanities

Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

John West-Sooby joined the staff in French Studies at the University of Adelaide in 1991, having previously held positions at La Trobe University and at the University of New England. He has a long-standing interest in the nineteenth-century French novel, with a particular focus on the Napoleonic period and the works of Stendhal. He has also worked on various aspects of the literary and historical connections between France and Australia, and most notably on the history of French scientific voyaging in the Pacific during the age of sail. He was a member of “The Baudin Legacy” project team, which was funded by the Australian Research Council (2005-2009), and is the co-author, with Jean Fornasiero and Peter Monteath, of Encountering Terra Australis. The Australian Voyages of Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders (2004, republished in 2010). This book was awarded the Frank Broeze Memorial Maritime History Book Prize in 2005. In 2014, he published, with Jean Fornasiero, French Designs on Colonial New South Wales (Friends of the State Library of South Australia), which was a warded a Bronze Medal in the American Independent Publishers Book Awards in 2015. He currently leads an ARC funded project, “Revolutionary Voyaging”, whose aim is to examine the interactions between the state-sponsored scientific voyages undertaken during the period of the French Revolution and the rapidly changing political and scientific scene in France at that time. He also has an abiding interest in crime fiction and in translation studies.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2013 - ongoing Professor University of Adelaide
    1991 - 2012 Lecturer/Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor University of Adelaide
    1987 - 1990 Lecturer University of New England
    1986 - 1986 Lecturer La Trobe University
    1985 - 1985 Tutor University of New England
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    French Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1984 - 1984 University of Newcastle Australia Australia Diploma in Education
    1981 - 1983 Stendhal University France Doctorat de 3ème cycle
    1980 - 1981 Stendhal University France Diplôme d'études approfondies
    1979 - 1980 Stendhal University France Maîtrise (lettres modernes)
    1974 - 1978 University of Newcastle Australia Australia Bachelor of Arts (Honours - French)
    1974 - 1977 University of Newcastle Australia Australia Bachelor of Mathematics
  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2022 Co-Supervisor Performance in the poetry of Marceline Desbordes-Valmore Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mrs Hannah Ann Violet Hobson
    2019 Co-Supervisor A Comparative Study of Breton and Cornish Master of Philosophy Master Part Time Mrs Susie Jane Greenwood
    2019 Co-Supervisor Geographies of Francophone Pacific Literature - Mapping Place, Writers and Writing Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Freya Anne Davies-Ardill
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 - 2022 Co-Supervisor Learning German in English speaking tertiary contexts: Identity, social strategies and language use Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Mary Grace Quigley
    2012 - 2015 Principal Supervisor THE PERILS OF TRANSLATION: The Representation of Australian Cultural Identity in the French Translations of Crime Fiction Novels by Richard Flanagan and Philip McLaren Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Sarah Reed
    2011 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Charles Fourier et l'Ecole Societaire Face a la Question Religieuse Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Loic Sylvain Foulon
    2006 - 2010 Co-Supervisor Constructing the "Perfect" Voyage: Nicolas Baudin at Port Jackson, 1802 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Nicole Starbuck
    2005 - 2015 Principal Supervisor From Hippocrates to Halle. A history of Public Health from Anitquity to the French Revolution. Master of Arts Master Part Time Ms Beverly Phillips
    2004 - 2009 Co-Supervisor Belleville Rouge, Belleville Noir, Belleville Rose: Representations D'un Quartier Parisien Depuis Le Moyen Age Jusqu'a L'an 2000 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Carolyn Stott
    2004 - 2009 Co-Supervisor L'Autre c?t? la m?moire collective dans trois romans d'Amin Maalouf Master of Arts Master Part Time Ms Catherine Ann Bagot
    1999 - 2006 Principal Supervisor Gautier Critique : Liberte, Fraternite et la Defense du Realisme Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Lynette Stocks
  • Position: Professor of French Studies
  • Phone: 83135634
  • Email:
  • Fax: 83134341
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Napier, floor 8
  • Org Unit: School of Humanities

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