I completed my undergraduate studies in French and German at Trinity College Dublin (BA Mod) and my postgraduate studies at the Université de Paris VII, Denis Diderot (DEA) and the Université de Paris VIII, Vincennes-Saint-Denis (Doctorat ès Lettres). I held a research studentship at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris for three years and my doctoral studies were also supported by a two-year scholarship awarded by the French Government.
While completing my doctoral studies, I worked as a lectrice d’anglais for two years at the Université de Paris III (Sorbonne Nouvelle) and for two years as a Lecturer in French and German at the Dundalk Institute of Technology, before spending five years lecturing in French at NUI Maynooth. I was appointed to a lectureship at UCD in 1991, with various stints spent researching, examining and teaching in various other universities, mainly in France and the UK.
My first two monographs were published by Gallimard (Paris) in 1998 and Oxford University Press in 2002. In 1999 I organised an international conference on Caribbean literature in French and this eventually issued in an edited book of essays in 2003, published by Rodopi (Amsterdam). From 2005 I led a PRTLI-funded research project for the Humanities Institute of Ireland at UCD, co-organising five international conferences there along with three colleagues from French Studies in UCD. This collaborative project eventually yielded a total of six published volumes, including a special issue of the UK journal, Modern and Contemporary France (co-edited with Dr Douglas Smith) and two volumes of essays, one on the sense and presence of the subject in contemporary poetry in French, and the other on the work of migrancy, both co-edited with Dr Michael Brophy.
In 2002 and 2003 I brought out critical, annotated editions of French translations of the Creole writings of Lafcadio Hearn and in 2004-05 was awarded an Irish Research Council Senior Fellowship to carry out further research on the writings of Hearn. This work is still ongoing, but in 2008 I published an edited volume of essays on the poet(h)ics of globalization with the University of Toronto press and in 2012 a study of the compromising of academic values in 21st-century universities.