Holmes, Diana 1949-

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HOLMES, Diana 1949-

PERSONAL: Born January 28, 1949, in Preston, Lancashire, England; daughter of Maurice Frederick and Marie (Newsham) Holmes; married Nicolas W. Cheesewright, June 18, 1983; children: Thomas, Martha. Ethnicity: "White." Education: University of Sussex, B.A. (with honors), 1971, D.Phil., 1977; attended La Nouvelle Sorbonne, Universite de Paris III, 1972. Politics: "Labour (left)."

ADDRESSES: Home—151 Compton Rd., Wolverhampton, West Midlands WV3 9JT, England. Office—Department of French, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, England; fax 01-13-343-3477. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Wolverhampton Polytechnic (now University of Wolverhampton), Wolverhampton, England, lecturer in French, 1975–80; North London Polytechnic, London, England, part-time lecturer in French, 1981–84; Wolverhampton Polytechnic, senior lecturer, 1984–90, principal lecturer in French, 1990; University of Keele, Keele, Staffordshire, England, lecturer, 1992–94, senior lecturer, 1994–95, professor of French and head of French studies, 1995–. University of Birmingham, visiting lecturer, 1986–87; speaker at educational institutions, including Thames Valley University, University of Sheffield, and St. John's College, Oxford, 1994, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, University of Warwick, and University of Wales, University College, Cardiff, 1995.

MEMBER: Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France (member of executive committee, 1987–91), Women in French (member of organizing group, 1988–), French Studies (member of executive committee, 1990–95), Association of University Professors and Heads of French (member of executive committee, 1997–).


Colette, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1991.

Women in Context: French Women Writers, 1848–1994, Athlone Press (London, England), 1996.

(With Robert Ingram) Francois Truffaut, Manchester University Press (Manchester, England), 1998.

(Editor, with Joe Andrew, Malcolm Crook, and Eva Kolinsky) Why Europe?: Problems of Culture and Identity, Volume 2, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1999.

(Editor, with Alison Smith, and contributor) 100 Years of European Cinema: Entertaining Ideologies, Manchester University Press (Manchester, England), 2000.

Rachilde—Decadence Gender and the Woman Writer, Berg (Oxford, England), 2001.

Coeditor of the series "French Film Directors," Manchester University Press (Manchester, England), 1998–. Contributor to books, including France: Image and Identity, edited by J. Bridgford, Newcastle Publications (Newcastle upon Tyne, England), 1986; Violence and Conflict in French Culture, edited by R. Gunther and J. Windebank, Sheffield University Press (Sheffield, England), 1995; French Erotic Fiction: Women's Desiring Writing, 1880–1990, edited by Alex Hughes and Kate Ince, Berg (Oxford, England), 1996; European Memories of the Second World War: New Perspectives in Post-War Literature, edited by H. Peisch, C. Burdett, and C. Gorrara, Berghahn, 1998; and France: fin(s) de Siècle, edited by T. Unwin and K. Chadwick, Mellen Press, 2000. Contributor to periodicals, including Modern Language Review, French Cultural Studies, and French Studies. Modern and Contemporary France, coeditor, 1996–, reviews editor, 2001–.

WORK IN PROGRESS: A study of romance and readership in twentieth-century France, for Oxford University Press (New York, NY).

SIDELIGHTS: Diana Holmes once told CA: "I developed an interest in women's writing when I was completing a doctoral thesis on images of women in France in the inter-war period. While most of the thesis dealt with the socio-political context of the period and the work of male authors, the final chapter was on the work of Colette, and Colette's writing (particularly the way she wrote about gender) was a revelation.

"After some years, preoccupied mainly with juggling the beginning of a university teaching career with having babies, I wrote a feminist critical study of Colette's work. Teaching at Wolverhampton Polytechnic, I worked with women colleagues to set up both undergraduate and postgraduate interdisciplinary courses in women's studies and to establish the Centre for Women's Studies. Within my own discipline of French studies, I have taught a variety of courses in nineteenth and twentieth century French culture. I developed an interest in film and wrote a series of articles and chapters on French women writers. After moving to Keele University, I published a study of French women writers from 1848 to 1996, with an emphasis on the socio-political contexts of women's lives. The authors studied range from the well-known to those who have been lost from, or have not yet entered, literary history."

Holmes recently added: "My next book was a study of the films of Francois Truffaut, written with Robert Ingram. In the 1990s I also published several articles on women's writing: on the politics of romantic fiction of the belle époque, eroticism in women's popular novels of the same period, and the representation of the menopause in [the writings of] Colette and Simone de Beavoir.

"After that, I returned to one of the little-known authors from French Women Writers: Rachilde, the only woman writer of the fin-de-siècle Decadent movement. The study of Rachilde's work was published in 2001. I am now at work on a book on romance in twentieth century France."

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