Vittoria Fallanca

I completed a BA in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and an MSt in Modern Languages (French) at the University of Oxford.


My DPhil thesis considers the use of the word ‘dessein’ in Montaigne’s Essais. This word, which means both aim/intention as well as material plan/design, affords us important insights into the writing practice of the author of the Essais, as well as attitudes to artistic creation during his time. I argue that ‘dessein’ builds a bridge between the act of writing and that of drawing, especially as conceptualised in Renaissance Italy. My thesis combines a ‘new philological’ approach to keyword studies with a cognitively inflected criticism arising from my interest in the theorisation of drawing both as act and material artefact.

More broadly, my research interests are in the fields of Literature, Philosophy and Art History & Theory, and particularly where these areas overlap, with a soft spot for nineteenth- and twentieth-century German thought. 


I am a non-stipendiary lecturer at Oriel College, where I teach Montaigne and Racine for Paper III and French-to-English translation (Prelims), and the sixteenth century for Paper VII (FHS).

Organisational Roles

I am co-convener of the French Graduate Seminar for 2017/18 and President of the MML Graduate Network.

Subscribe to Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages