Public lecture explores the culture of nostalgia in modern France

Posted on 18th January 2018

The French culture of nostalgia will be explored in a public lecture at the University of Chester next week.

Timo Obergöker, Professor of French and Francophone Studies, will be exploring the French passion for things past during his professorial inaugural lecture which takes place on the University’s Parkgate Road Campus on Wednesday, January 24. He will also give an overview of his research on French Literary and Cultural Studies.

Professor Obergöker is the Programme Leader for the MRes in Modern Languages at the University of Chester. He was born and raised in Germany and studied French Literature in Saarbrücken, Germany and in Nancy, France. He obtained his PhD from the Université de Nancy 2 (now the University of Lorraine). After teaching French and Francophone Studies in Potsdam and in Mainz (both in Germany), he joined the University of Chester’s Modern Languages Department in 2013, first as a Senior Lecture, before being appointed as a Professor more recently.

Timo has taught a broad range of classes in French language, literature (Francophone and 20th and 21st centuries) and French and Francophone Cultural Studies. Being passionate about French song (chanson) and film, he taught modules on France and Quebec through both media (chanson and film).

Generally speaking, Timo is interested in the practices, symbols and discourses which form Frenchness and collective identity. He investigates shared images and values, the “making of France” in everyday life and popular culture.

Professor Obergöker said: “What makes us think that things were better before? Why do we feel that we don’t fit in with the time we live in? What is the link between nostalgia and exile? Why read Proust and Walter Benjamin today? These are just a few of the questions that I will be exploring on Wednesday. Tickets are free and all are welcome to attend.”


Remembrance of things past. Cultures of nostalgia and nostalgia of culture in contemporary France takes place at the Beswick Building Lecture Theatre (Room CBK017) on Wednesday January 24 at 6.30pm. Complimentary refreshments will be served from 6pm. Entry to the lecture is free, but booking is essential. Please email: or telephone 01244 511344, to book your place.