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Professor Seán Hand

 me Professor of French Studies | Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Europe).


Professor Seán Hand is currently seconded to be Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Europe) of the University of Warwick. In this capacity he is, among other things, an academic leader of the EUTOPIA European-funded university alliance. He was previously seconded to be Dean of the Warwick in California project. In the period 2014-16 he was the founding Head of Warwick's School of Modern Languages and Cultures; in the period 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.


Seán Hand has a B.A. (M.A. Oxf) and a D. Phil. from the University of Oxford, a MBA and a D.Litt. from the University of Warwick, and an executive leadership qualification from INSEAD. He is a Chevalier des Palmes Académiques, and a member of the Academia Europaea. He is an Honorary Professorial Fellow and an International Advisory Board member of Zhejiang University. 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 is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is a strategic reviewer for the AHRC, has acted as a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, and has directed national projects funded by the AHRC and by HEFCE. He has been an assessor for the European Science Foundation, the Irish Research Council, the Israel Science Foundation, and the South African National Research Foundation. He sits on several international academic advisory and editorial boards. He is a European Commission expert evaluator, and a Vice-Chair of the MSCA Individual Fellowships competition. He is regularly interviewed by press, radio and television, and has been consulted by professional associations, the French High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education, international strategy companies, and a number of universities. He is on the editorial board of The Conversation, is a member of the Arts Emergency network, and mentors for the Social Mobility Foundation.

Academic interests

Seán Hand's teaching covers literature, ideas and related developments from the early twentieth century to the present day, in both a French and a more international context. He supervises and assesses undergraduate, Masters and PhD dissertations, and mentors post-doctoral, early-career, and international fellows. He invites applications to work with him at doctoral or post-doctoral level, including in the areas of contemporary French theories, ethnographic writing, globalisation theory, Holocaust and post-memory writing, autobiography, cultural identity, and ethics.

Seán Hand's research, which has been supported by the Leverhulme Trust, HEFCE, the AHRC, and the British Academy, examines radical 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 then brought the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas to a wider audience through translations, a Reader, a collection of critical essays, and an accessible monograph on Levinas’s major texts. In 2015 he published an edited major collection of new essays on post-Holocaust France and the Jews, 1945-55. He has additionally written on Derrida, Duras, Grimbert, Jabès, Lacan, Nancy, Stiegler, postmodernism, Jewish writing and historiography. He has translated works by Blondel, Deleuze, Kristeva, Irigaray, Levinas and Lyotard into English.

Recent publications

Full list of publications.

Email S dot Hand at warwick dot ac dot uk
Room H0.75

Writing the Self

Alter Ego

levinas routledge

routledge face

dif freedom



Levinas Reader


 lev chinese