Dr Saskia Huc-Hepher

Dr Saskia Huc-Hepher

I am Senior Lecturer in French Studies in the School of Humanities and Course Leader for BA Languages and International Business. I was previously involved in the design and leadership of our BA Translation course and Languages in Action curriculum (Language for Work and Language in Practice), while working as a freelance translator and interpreter.  

As part of my research on the French diaspora in London, I curated the London French Special Collection in the UK Web Archive, a corpus of around 150 French community web resources. The collection, which has gained recognition from the French Embassy, is supported by the British Library and aims to preserve this fragile digital cultural heritage for generations to come.

In 2018-19, I co-organised an international Digital Diasporas conference (funded by the AHRC) and am currently co-editing a Special Issue stemming from the event. And in 2021, I published a monograph, French London: A blended ethnography of a migrant city (Manchester University Press). 

Additional responsibilities:

My current research focuses on the French diaspora in London, in both on-land and on-line contexts. I am interested in immersive, ethnographic methods, as well as visual, linguistic and digital culture. The theories of Pierre Bourdieu frame my work, as do the social semiotic concepts of Gunther Kress and the British school of multimodality (http://mode.ioe.ac.uk/). 

Working at the interface of ethnography, languages and digital humanities has allowed me to make valuable cross-disciplinary contributions, not least to the under-theorised field of web archiving, which resulted in my nomination for the 2018 Digital Preservation Awards and a dedicated REF2021 Impact Case Study. 

Research Groups

Founding member of HOMELandS, Hub On Migration, Exile, Languages and Spaces (University of Westminster)

Founding member of the Digital Modern Languages research group (King's College London, Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advance Study)

Current Doctoral Research Supervision

1) Notions of Whiteness in Translation: A comparative analysis of the translation of Black women characters in literature by Black Caribbean authors from Jamaica and Guadeloupe.

2) London Chinatown: Heritage making and Chinese diasporic identities

3) ‘Migrant Bodies’: (Im) mobility and Dis-placement in Maghrebi Francophone Illiterature- A reading of a selection of exemplary novels.

Research projects

2017-present – Co-lead on the London Transformation Project which has received funding from the Language Acts and Worldmaking strand of the AHRC Open World Research Initiative 

2014-15 – AHRC-funded researcher for the Big UK Domain Data in the Arts and Humanities (BUDDAH) Project, led by the Institute of Historical Research, the British Library and the Oxford Internet Institute

2012 – researcher on the Analytical Access to the Domain Dark Archive (AADDA) Project  (final report)     

2010-12 – sole Project Researcher for the British Academy-funded 'History of the French in London' project. Impact: the project resulted in a series of interviews broadcast weekly on French Radio London and the publication of several articles

2009 – sole Project Researcher for the HEFCE-funded and Routes into Languages sponsored project entitled: ‘Languages and International Events: Are we ready to talk to the World in 2012?’, led by Prof. Debra Kelly. Impact: LOCOG implemented the recommendations and key policy-makers, such as Baroness Coussins, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Modern Languages cited it.

  • Homelands