Dr Ruth Cruickshank | Senior Lecturer in French and Comparative Literature and Culture
“My why… is the thrill of exploring cross-cultural critical potential."
My research specialisms are in contemporary literature, cinema and critical theory. I’m particularly interested in the effects of consumer culture and globalisation on the way that we make sense of the world by telling ourselves stories through novels and films. As well as exploring representations of consumption (especially food and drink – the very fuel of life!), I harness critical approaches to explore how fiction and cinema can challenge the ways in which we think of the world.
I love the ways in which my research interests feed into our unique Comparative Literature and Culture courses. Comparative Literature has historically been a very prestigious degree course in North America and is now popular in the UK, not least because it’s a fantastic way of honing critical skills and discovering a world of literature and culture. Here at Royal Holloway, we’ve added opportunities to study film, visual arts and critical theory to our course, so together with students we explore geographies and genres comparatively, gaining really valuable cross-cultural awareness. Working with students on the areas I research means that we’re all generating great ideas through discussion. This kind of dialogue impacts at once on my own work and infuses students’ learning, so we are all engaged in thinking independently and critically in exciting and really sophisticated ways.