Modern Languages Institute

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Molleen Shilliday

Molleen Shilliday

Assistant Professor, French

Modern Languages

Abbotsford campus, D3086

Phone: 604.504.7441, local 4715

email Molleen


As an academic, I have had a coast-to-coast journey of learning, from Victoria to Halifax, and, as a result, the intersection between the Canadian landscape (its sheer vastness, its myriad of colours, its changing, rolling, rising vistas) and Canadian literature remains ever-present in my mind. How is place interpreted by different people? How does one’s relationship to their surroundings change their notion of self? Studying Canadian Literature at UVIC, Quebecois literature at Dalhousie University and French and Francophone literature at UBC brought me to expand my interests to include la littérature monde. I believe reading literature is a crucial way to remain empathetic and foster understanding in the digital age. As an educator, I hope to show students that cultivating our internal geography is pivotal to seeing the outside world with clarity and to developing our social and cultural awareness.


PhD in French Studies, UBC, 2013

Masters in French Studies, Dalhousie University, 2007

BA in Canadian Literature, UVIC, 2003 

Teaching Interests

20th and 21st century French and Francophone literature

Canadian literature

Trauma studies

Translation studies

Film studies

World literature 

Research Interests

My doctoral dissertation (“Ecriture é/veillée: le traumatisme et la Deuxième Guerre mondiale dans le roman français contemporain”) explores the textual representation of trauma pertaining to World War Two in the French and Francophone novel. It is a comparative study of novels by Claude Simon, Elie Wiesel, Nancy Huston and Hadrien Laroche. In this study, I explore the notion of transgenerational trauma and the ways in which traumatic experiences fragment our ability to express them. My research is currently focused on the cultural and political separations that relate to empathy and apathy in contemporary French and Canadian literature. I am also a translator whose primary focus is academic and creative writing. 

Areas of expertise


Second-language acquisition

DELF/ DALF examiner (trained and certified: A1-C2)  


Curriculum development

Interdisciplinary collaboration


ARTICLES and BOOK REVIEWS (peer-reviewed)

 “Death and Disappearing,” Radio, Film, and Fiction. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 225 (Summer 2015): 144-145. (review)
“Citadins et immigrants,” Agency & Affect. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 223 (Winter 2014): 161-62. (review)
“Peindre l’instant, écrire le réel.”  Of Borders and Bioregions. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 218 (Autumn 2013): 169. (review)
“Le Retour de Babel.” Gendering the Archive. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 217 (Summer 2013): 162-63. (review)
“Les carrefours du traumatisme : Charlotte Delbo, Claude Simon et Elie Wiesel,” @nalyses (Spring 2011)
“La séparation brutale : le suicide et l’éclatement familial dans quelques romans québécois contemporains,” Voix Plurielles 6.1 (2009) 
“Jacques Ferron’s Wild Roses: Blurring the Boundaries Between Madness and Sanity,” Dalhousie Medical Journal: Celebrating The Physician Writer 34.11 (Fall 2006).  


Mona Huerta, “On a Tango Beat: France’s Cultural and Academic Relationships with Latin America through the Lens of History,” trans. Molleen Shilliday, Breathless Days (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017) 
Luc Lang, "The disfigurement of the subject in the Nouveau Roman,” trans. Molleen Shilliday, Breathless Days (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017).
Hadrien Laroche, “The Last Duchamp,” trans. Molleen Shilliday, Breathless Days (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017).
Richard Leeman, “The Young and the Old,” trans. Molleen Shilliday, Breathless Days (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017).


 “Hosts of memory: the body as a visual specter in Huston’s novels,” ALCQ (Association des littératures canadiennes et québécoises), Ryerson University (May, 2017).
“Canadian Literature and the Political and Cultural Currency of Empathy,” European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts, Basel, Switzerland (June, 2017).
“Literary Heritage in Gary and Schmitt,” International Colloquium for 20th and 21st Century French and Francophone Literature, St. Louis, Missouri (June, 2016).
“L’intertextualité et l’héritage fracturé dans le roman contemporain,” APFUCC (l’Association des professeur.e.s de français des universités et collèges canadiens), Calgary (May, 2016). 
“Orphaned memories in Contemporary Canadian Literature,” ALCQ (Association des littératures canadiennes et québécoises), University of Ottawa, Ottawa (June, 2015). 
“Regarder la mort en face: le traumatisme dans quelques romans français contemporains,” 20th and 21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium: Faire le point, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (March, 2015).
“Tentative de comémoire,” CIEF: Quêtes et conquêtes de nouveaux mondes, San Francisco, California (June, 2014).

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