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Professor Seán Hand

HandProfessor of French Studies


Professor Seán Hand is currently on sabbatical leave. From 2017-2023 he was seconded to be the first Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Europe) of the University of Warwick. In this capacity he was a founding Vice-President of the EUTOPIA European university alliance, provided intellectual and academic leadership to the University’s European engagements, and established and supported global partnerships. In 2022-23 he additionally chaired the Warwick-Ukraine Working Group. In 2016-17 he was Dean of Warwick in California. In 2014-16 he was Head of Warwick's then newly formed School of Modern Languages and Cultures. In 2008-2011 he was Head of the Department of French Studies. He joined the University of Warwick as a Professor of French Studies in 2005.

Professor Hand was made a Chevalier des Palmes Académiques in 2004. He is a member of the Academia Europaea, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is an Honorary Professorial Fellow of Zhejiang University, a Scientific Advisory Board member at Ca' Foscari University of Venice, and an Associate Member of the Senior Common Room of Merton College, Oxford. He has been an Honorary Professor of Monash University, a Visiting Fellow at St. Catherine's College, Oxford, and a Visiting Fellow at the National University of Singapore. He has been Vice-Chair of the MSCA Individual Fellowships competition, and an assessor for the AHRC, the European Science Foundation, the Irish Research Council, the Israel Science Foundation, and the South African National Research Foundation. He supports a number of social mobility foundations and arts charities. In 2014 he acted as an expert witness for the Football Association in relation to a number of tribunals concerning antisemitic semiotics.

Academic interests

Seán Hand's teaching has covered literature, ideas and related developments from the early twentieth century to the present day, in both a French and a more international context. He invites applications to work with him at doctoral or post-doctoral level. His research examines writings in French of the past 100 years. He published the first two monographs in English on the autobiography, ethnography and criticism of Michel Leiris. He brought the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas to a wider audience through translations, a Reader, a collection of critical essays, and a monograph. He edited and introduced a collection of new essays on post-Holocaust France and the Jews. He has also published on Derrida, Duras, Grimbert, Jabès, Lacan, Nancy, postmodernism, and Jewish writing and historiography; and translated into English a number of French-language philosophers, including Kristeva, Irigaray, and Deleuze.


MA DPhil Oxf | MBA DLitt Warwick

Recent publications


Writing the Self

Alter Ego

levinas routledge

routledge face

dif freedom



Levinas Reader


 lev chinese