Dr Claire Launchbury

BA(Hons) (Exeter), MPhil (NUI), PhD (Lond), MA (Essex)

Teaching Fellow in Communication, Media and Culture

School of Education, Humanities and Languages

Claire Launchbury


I teach on and am Subject Coordinator for our BA in Communication, Media and Cultural Studies. I also research the intersections of memory, cultural production and the archive in relation to post-civil war Lebanon.

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

  • CMC4001: Understanding Communication;
  • CMC4003 Investigating CMC;
  • CMC4004: Understanding Culture;
  • CMC5005:Intercultural Communication;
  • CMC5002: Research Methods;
  • CMC6002: Special Topics
  • CMC6006: Dissertation


My research works across multiple disciplinary boundaries reflecting my own training in musicology, French Studies and Refugee Care. I published my first monograph on the BBC and the construction of French cultural memory during the Second World War. This book looks at the different soundscapes created by a diversity of programme makers responding to institutional and political influences. For the past ten years or so, I've been working on how memory and the archive operate in Beirut and thinking about discourses of disappearance, the trace are at work in post-civil war Lebanon. I have also written on Grenfell and race, and have a developing project inspired, in part, by the posthumous essay collection 'Exercices de survie' by Jorge Semprun on modes of transnational fraternité. I also have a creative practice in photography. I am on the steering group of the Creative Industries Research and Innovation Network.

Research impact

I have been invited as guest expert on several broadcasts of BBC Radio 3's Opera on Three from the Royal Opera House and Opéra national de Paris and was shortlisted for the Radio 3/AHRC New Generation Thinkers programme. This led to taking part in an episode of Free Thinking on Washing in Public. I have also spoken on BBC Radio London, BBC Five Live, Radio Soho and been interviewed on Sky News.

I have published political journalism in the English edition of Le Monde diplomatique and most recently an editorial in Le Monde on British perceptions of the protests about changes to retirement ages.

I have worked in the third sector both professionally and as a volunteer in relation to suicide prevention and postvention, refugee care and rights. This work informs my research and teaching and I am hoping to develop collaborative projects with colleagues in these fields. I have been involved with a research group on Mental Health at Work at Leeds.


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Professional information


Visiting Speaker Programme at Central London Samaritans (Oct 21-Feb 22)
Organised a series of talks for volunteers. Speakers included Sarah Waters (Leeds) and Hilda Palmer (Hazards) on workplace suicide; Sally Outen on Trans-inclusivity; Shahram Khosravi (Stockholm) on supporting refugees. 

Urban Bridges, Global Capital(s) Symposium and Book Launch, University of Leeds online 19 March 2021. 
Hosted three papers in response to the three parts of our book: Isla Paterson (Leeds), S.A. Smythe (UCLA) and Hakim Abderezzak (Minnesota) chaired by Charles Forsdick (Liverpool).  

Teaching and Research at the Interface between Urban History and Culture: Paris-London IHR (16 June 2017): Workshop session with colleagues from ULIP (Anna-Louise Milne) and QMUL (Miri Rubin) with guest speakers Hannah Thompson (RHUL) and Katrina Gulliver.

Francospheres of Resistance and Revolution, International Conference, IMLR (3-4 April 2017).
Included keynote session with Bryan and Mary Talbot on their graphic book The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia (Jonathan Cape, 2016) and Paul Mason with a preview of his play about women of the Commune in New Caledonia Divine Chaos of Starry Things featuring Lisa Moorish. 

Cities@SAS Launch Events -1 June 2016. 1) Showcasing Cities@SAS and 2) Cityscapes: Past Present and Future
A launch seminar with papers by colleagues across the School was followed by a public launch event with the speakers, Darran Anderson (Imaginary Cities), Paul Mason (journalist, Channel 4 News), Irena Bauman (architect), Karl Sharro (architect and comedian) chaired by Laleh Khalili (SOAS). 

Airport Cultures, International Conference, IMLR 28-29 April 2016. Organised in collaboration with the AHRC Translating Cultures theme
Keynotes were given by David Pascoe (Utrecht) and Will Self. 

Paris Past and Present: Liquid Spaces, Contested Spaces, Symposium, IHR 19 April 2016
Included screening of Chacun cherche son chat led by Sue Harris (QMUL), a workshop seminar on Paris and contested space with Gillian Jein, Julia Waters, Isabel Hollis, Boris Wiseman chaired by Keith Reader. A launch event followed for Anna-Louise Milne’s roman sans fiction 75 (Gallimard, 2016) with the author in conversation with me. 

Trans-Mediterranean Capitals: Bridging Narratives, led three-day seminar at the annual meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association, New York University, 20-23 March 2014. This seminar led to the edited volume Urban bridges, global capital(s) above. 

Women and Violence: Maternity, Terrorism, Redemption 27 November 2013. 
Launch symposium of the Performing Violence project in collaboration with Opera North. Keynote talks from Ruth Glyn (Bristol) and Jane Taylor (Leeds). 

War, Memory, Amnesia: Francophone Perspectives on Lebanon, International Conference, Hinsley Hall, Leeds 6-7 June 2013. Keynotes by Albert Dichy (IMEC), Clare Finburgh (Goldsmiths), Nayla Tamraz (USJ) and a special screening of Je veux voir directed by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige at the Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds. Papers from this conference were included in our special issue of Contemporary French and Francophone Studies in 2014. 
Conference report: News from Societies, French Studies Bulletin, Volume 34, Issue 129, WINTER 2013, Pages 95–97, https://doi.org/10.1093/frebul/ktt026

Inaugural workshop of the Memory, Trauma and Violence research cluster University of Leeds 23 January 2013.
Keynote presentations from Pierre Bayard (Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint Denis) and Zoe Norridge (KCL). 

Urban Palimpsests and the Archive Research Seminar Series, University of Leeds (2012-13) A series of interdisciplinary research seminars organised across LCS.