Cinema and Contact: The Withdrawal of Touch in Nancy, Bresson, Duras and Denis
Laura McMahon
Moving Image 21 June 2012

  • ‘Makes a persuasive case for the links between these directors... Many of these readings are very sensitive, and the breadth and precision of McMahon’s knowledge of continental philosophy is certainly impressive.’ — Douglas Morrey, Modern and Contemporary France 20.4 (September 2012), 517-18
  • ‘Cinema and Contact contributes productively to a growing field of film-philosophy exploring the intersections between Nancean philosophy and cinematic aesthetics. McMahon’s work should be of great interest to film scholars looking to introduce themselves to the philosophy of Nancy and the multiplicity of ways that it touches upon and diverges from the embodied and tactile aesthetics of French cinema’ — Kathleen Scott, Frames Cinema Journal Online
  • ‘A hugely promising first book. McMahon’s sophisticated analysis treats the films of Robert Bresson, Marguerite Duras and Claire Denis as generators of theoretical propositions which she puts in critical dialogue with those of the philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy... This is as much a contribution to philosophy as it is to film studies.’ — Jo Labanyi, Screen 54.2, Summer 2013
  • ‘Warmly recommended to anyone who is seriously enthusiastic about encounters between cinema and philosophy. It is a highly intelligent and eloquent performance, and certainly an original contribution to the field.’ — Tarja Laine, New Review of Film and Television Studies 11.3, 2013, 390-93
  • ‘Cinema and Contact stages a succinct yet bracing encounter between film and philosophy, each illuminating the other, making an original contribution to the theory of touch in cinema.’ — David Heinemann, Modern Language Review 108.4, October 2013, 1289-90 (full text online)
  • ‘Laura McMahon’s lucid and tightly-organised set of arguments address what might seem at first glance to be a very tricky problem of critical architecture... The convincing way in which significant aspects of the work of these three cineastes are woven together in such an attractive fashion turns the overcoming of the apparent difficulties into a triumph.’ — Geoff Brown, L'Esprit Créateur 53.1, Spring 2013, 167-68
  • ‘While this tome is aimed primarily at film theorists, others may also find its approach to spectatorship thought-provoking and a reasonably effective way of grappling with filmmaking techniques many viewers may be prone to consider as just plain confusing.’ — Joan M. West, French Review 86.6, 2013, 1250-51

Echo's Voice: The Theatres of Sarraute, Duras, Cixous and Renaude
Mary Noonan
Research Monographs in French Studies 361 July 2014

  • ‘Noonan’s book relies on close readings of extracts from the plays that she analyses, although she never loses sight of the importance of performance and the theatre. Noonan uses voice to situate the work of her playwrights in the context of theories of writing, and so is likely to appeal to scholars interested in the ways in which critical or philosophical thought is taken up differently by (women) writers working in a different genre.’ — Martina Williams, French Studies 69.2, April 2015, 262
  • ‘Noonan's fascinating and comprehensive work, solidly grounded in psychoanalytical theory, successfully uncovers the complexities, intentions, and modalities of the audio-vocal theatre she sets out to explore, revealing both the specificity of the authors she addresses and the overarching unity of their focus, as each one purposed to create a new form of auditory theatre.’ — Kelsey L. Haskett, H-France 15, 2015
  • ‘What is particularly appealing is that the emphasis on the materiality of the spoken word that might be enjoyed for its affective and rhythmic qualities indicates a turn towards affective modes of theatre. While studies such as Lehmann’s Post- dramatic Theatre discuss this experiential turn in relation to stage practices, it is here investigated from the border of the text.’ — Cara Berger, New Theatre Quarterly 31.3, August 2015, 296
  • ‘...While the parallels drawn between Sarraute, Duras and Cixous are interesting in their own right, the inclusion of a fourth, more recent playwright, Renaude, also illustrates the productive continu- ation of the experimentation of the earlier generation. For all of these reasons and more, Noonan’s study will be of interest to scholars of theatre and voice, of French women’s writing and of psychoanalytic theories of language, body and gender.’ — Julia Waters, Modern and Contemporary France 2015
  • ‘Mary Noonan’s deeply researched study offers some very provocative thinking about contemporary French theatre... Noonan’s subtle analyses of plays and her carefully researched descriptions of productions make palpable the uncanny ambience that she applauds in these works.’ — Judith Miller, Modern Drama 59.1, Spring 2016
  • ‘A thought-provoking perspective on the plays of four French women writers whose theatrical innovations have largely remained overlooked.’ — Richard J. Gray II, Irish Journal of French Studies 15, 2016, 141-42