Dr Sam Ferguson

profile photograph of Dr Sam FergusonI am a freelance academic translator (French to English) and editor, and a researcher in French literature. My research focuses on autobiographical writing, and especially diaries, in French in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. I also have a wide experience of teaching French literature, literary theory, and translation at university level. I completed a doctorate at the University of Oxford in 2014 and was a Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church, Oxford, from 2014 to 2018.

My book Diaries Real and Fictional in Twentieth-Century French Writing was published in 2018 by Oxford University Press (OUP website). This work explores varied forms and practices of diary writing through the work of André Gide, Jean-Paul Sartre, Raymond Queneau, Roland Barthes, and Annie Ernaux. A historical account follows these developments from the Symbolist aesthetic of Gide’s early works, to the monumental author-œuvre of his Journal 1889–1939, through the so-called ‘Death of the Author’, and the return of the subject in the late 1970s, before finally considering the place of the diary within the modern field of life writing.

My current research project addresses the relation of diary writing to ideas of the literary, from the Second World War up to the present. It draws on the critical writing of Maurice Blanchot, and includes studies of experimental writing projects, diaries from the HIV/AIDS crisis, and autofiction.

My translation work is mostly related to academic writing in disciplines within the humanities and social science. My published translations include texts by writers such as Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Luc Nancy (in collaboration with Cadenza Academic Translations). In January 2020 I co-founded Rue Serpente Academic Translation with Dr Jon Templeman.

This website contains a list of my academic publications, details of my teaching experience, some blog posts, and the text of four lectures on André Gide, which I originally delivered at the Oxford University Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages.