The French Sub-Faculty at Oxford comprises the largest cluster of French specialists outside France and fosters research in most areas of French literary, cultural and linguistic studies, from the Middle Ages to the present. Through its connections with major research poles, including the Voltaire Foundation, the Maison Française d'Oxford, the Bodleian, Taylorian and other libraries, its staff exchanges with Université Paris-III and similar institutions, Oxford is a central point of reference in French Studies nationally and internationally. 'Littérature française actuelle à Oxford (LFAO)', with support from the Maison Française, brings contemporary writers to Oxford to talk about their work and in some cases to engage with students. Major endowed lectures, particularly the long-established Zaharoff lecture, provide funds to bring leading figures to Oxford (Assia Djebar in 2004, Michel Butor in 2005, and Yves Bonnefoy in 2007).
French at Oxford was ranked first in its subject in the UK in RAE 2008.
Professor Michael H T Sheringham
Michael Sheringham has written extensively on André Breton and Surrealism, on modern and contemporary French poetry, and on Autobiography and related genres. He has written essays and articles on Beckett, Duras, Sartre, Genet, Barthes, Perec, Queneau, Bonnefoy, Jaccottet, Réda and many other writers. His publications include André Breton: a Bibliography (Grant and Cutler, 1971), Samuel Beckett: Molloy (Grant and Cutler, 1986), French Autobiography: Devices and Desires (Oxford University Press, 1993) and Parisian Fields (ed.), (Reaktion Books, 1996), (with J. Gratton) The Art of the Project (Berghahn, 2005), Everyday Life: Theories and Practices from Surrealism to the Present (Oxford University Press, 2006). He is a Fellow of the British Academy.
Professor Alain Viala
Alain Viala's main research are in the field of French Literature and Literary Theory.
Professor Martin D Maiden
Martin Maiden's principal research interests are in the field of the history of the Romance languages (with particular attention to inflectional morphology and dialectology), general historical linguistics, general morphological theory. While the main focus of his attention is Italo-Romance and Daco-Romance (Romanian), he maintains strong interests in French, Spanish, Dalmatian, Romansh and other Romance languages. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.
Dr Michael Abecassis
Michael Abecassis's research interests are in applied linguistics, sociolinguistics and grammar.
Professor Richard A Cooper
Richard Cooper's research interests are French Renaissance literature; relations between France and Italy in the Renaissance; Court Festivals; Renaissance antiquarians; Renaissance manuscript painting.
Professor Nicholas E Cronk
Nicholas Cronk's main research interests are in the field of eighteenth-century French literarature (in particular Voltaire and Diderot) and in history of the book (in particular the illustrated book). He is also General Editor of the Complete Works of Voltaire.
Dr Reidar Due
Reidar Due's research interests are in film theory, semiotics, philosophical aesthetics and the history of French philosophy.
Dr Tim Farrant
Tim Farrant's main research interests centre on nineteenth-century prose narrative and literature and the visual arts. Recent work has included a general study on Balzac, papers on Hugo and Gautier, and Taylor and Nodier's monumental topographical series, the Voyages pittoresques et romantiques dans l'ancienne France.
Dr Toby J S T Garfitt
Toby Garfitt works mainly on French literature between the two world wars, with a special interest in Catholic writing (Mauriac, La Tour du Pin) and non-metropolitan literature. He has supervised theses on Francophone literature from Africa, the Caribbean, and Vietnam, runs a regular Francophone seminar, and has recently chaired talks by Edouard Glissant, Patrick Chamoiseau, Maryse Condé, Raphael Confiant and Leila Sebbar. He has completed a biography of Jean Grenier, the philosopher and essayist who was the mentor of Albert Camus, and is now working on the contemporary novelist and essayist Sylvie Germain. Translation studies is another area of interest.
Dr Angelica R Goodden
Dr Goodden's main research interests are in 18th- and 19th-century French literature (especially Diderot, Rousseau, and a range of women writers) and culture, particularly painting. She is currently working on Rousseau and the problem of writing.
Dr Michael Hawcroft
Michael Hawcroft's research interest is seventeenth-century French drama, especially Molière and Racine.
Dr Jane Hiddleston
Jane Hiddleston's research interests include francophone postcolonial literature, and literary theory. Her first book investigates notions of community in French philosophy and North African immigrant literature in French, and she traces a shift from an emphasis on difference and alterity to a discovery of alternative forms of relations in both genres. She has also published a study of the Algerian writer Assia Djebar, whom she situates in relation to contemporary French philosophy and postcolonial theory. More recently, she has published a student introduction to postcolonialism entitled Understanding Postcolonialism and a research monograph entitled Poststructuralism and Postcoloniality: The Anxiety of Theory. She is currently planning a monograph on francophone intellectuals at the time of decolonisation, and she is also editing a volume on Postcolonial Poetics: Genre and Form, for the new Liverpool University Press series on Francophone Postcolonial Studies.
Dr Michael B Holland
Michael Holland's main research area is the work of Maurice Blanchot. This entails more generally an interest in French literature and thought from 1848 onwards, and in French politics since 1870. In addition, he has done research in the field of avant-garde theatre since late nineteenth century, from Jarry and Mallarmé to Ionesco.
Professor Christina M Howells
Christina Howells's research work centres on Continental philosophy, literary theory, and twentieth-century French literature. She is particularly interested in post-war French thought, for example Sartre, Derrida, Lacan, Lyotard, Foucault, Levi-Strauss and Levinas. She has also published with Routledge a Reader of articles by twenty-eight contemporary French women philosophers. She is currently working on ideas of subjectivity and mortality in late twentieth-century French thought.
Professor Ann M Jefferson
Ann Jefferson's research interests lie in the field of C19th and C20th fiction, autobiography, criticism and theory. Her publications include books on the Nouveau Roman, Nathalie Sarraute, and Stendhal. Her most recent book is Biography and the Question of Literature in France(2007), and she is currently working on the history of the idea of genius in France. She has supervised doctoral theses on Michel Leiris, Nathalie Sarraute, Céline, Beckett, Marguerite Duras, Mikhail Bakhtin, Christine Brooke-Rose, the essay as form, the relations between the nouveau roman and the nouvelle vague, the realist novel, and a number of topics in literary theory. She is a Fellow of the British Academy.
Dr Simon Kemp
Simon Kemp's research interests are in the French novel in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He has published books on crime fiction pastiche in French literary fiction and narrative form in the contemporary novel. He is currently working on theories of the mind espoused by twentieth-century French writers, examining reflections of philosophical, religious, psychoanalytic and scientific ideas on consciousness in Marcel Proust, Georges Bernanos, Andre Breton, Jean-Paul Sartre, Nathalie Sarraute and Marie Darrieussecq.
Dr Marie-Chantal Killeen
Marie-Chantal Killeen's main research interests are in the fields of post-war fiction and literary theory. She is currently working on the topic of disembodied voices in contemporary French literature, film and theory.
Dr Katherine Lunn-Rockliffe
Katherine Lunn-Rockliffe's main research interests are in the field of nineteenth-century poetry. She has worked on Symbolism and is the author of a book on Tristan Corbière. Currently she is working on Romantic verse, in particular a study of progress in Victor Hugo's poetry.
Dr Ian G Maclachlan
Ian Maclachlan's main research interests lie in the field of 20th-century French literature and philosophy, and particularly the relationship between those domains.
Professor Ian W F Maclean
Ian Maclean's main research interests are in the fields of Montaigne; Cardano; history of the book in the late Renaissance; history of law, medicine and theology in European universities; and Aristotelianism.
Dr G. Jonathan Mallinson
Jonathan Mallinson works on French theatre and prose fiction in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He has a special interest in comedy, prose fiction, women's writing, and in the reception of canonical neo-classical writers in the Enlightenment. Current research projects include a critical edition of Voltaire's Lettres d'Amabed, and a book on the seventeenth-century French novel.
Dr Sophie Marnette
Sophie Marnette's research offers a linguistic and philological approach of literary issues such as the origins and evolution of medieval literary genres, the expression of narrative voice and point of view, the relationship between history and fiction, etc. Her first book Narrateur et points de vue dans la littérature française médiévale : Une approche linguistique (Peter Lang, 1998) focuses on storytelling in the French Middle Ages and her second book Speech and Thought in French: Concepts and Strategies (John Benjamins, 2005) studies reported discourse in medieval literary texts as well as in contemporary oral narratives, press and literature. Her current research project is entitled Quoting Her: Female Expression in Medieval French Narratives and funded through a British Academy research grant.It proposes a fresh interdisciplinary approach (i.e. linguistic, narratological and literary) that takes reported discourse as a meaningful criterion, based on textual evidences, to examine how female characters' discourse is framed and how it is expressed in medieval French narratives. Using a corpus of lais, fabliaux and nouvelles ranging from the 12th to the 15th c., the analysis aims to assess whether female expression differs between these three literary genres and whether it is related to the specific ideologies that underlie each of them. Sophie Marnette is a founding and executive member of Ci-dit, an international research group on reported discourse. She is also a member of the interdisciplinary research network: 'Voices in Medieval French Narrative (12th C. to 15th C.)', funded by the British Academy.
Professor Patrick McGuinness
Patrick McGuinness' main research interests include 19th and 20th century French literature, especially Poetry and Theatre; French and Belgian Symbolism; Belgian Literature in French and Comparative Literature; Anglo-American Modernism and modern poetry in English. He is also developing research interests in modern and contemporary Quebecois poetry. He has writtten three colections of poems, The Canals of Mars, 19th Century Blues, Jilted City, and a novel, The Last Hundred Days, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. He is editor of the academic series Le Romantisme et après en France for Peter Lang. He's working on a book about poetry and radical polotics in belle époque France.
Dr Edward M J Nye
Jean-Gaspard Deburau, Bohemian immigrant who arrived in early nineteenth-century Paris to play a small part in his father's street theatre, but who became the star attraction, the quintessential white-faced Pierrot who greatly inspired contemporary writers such as Théophile Gautier and Baudelaire. He gave a new direction to the art of mime just as the most famous genre of mime, the Commedia dell'arte, was waning. He became (and still is) a model for mime theatre either to imitate or reject. The most famous image of him is 'Baptiste' in the 1945 film by Carné and Prévert, Les Enfants du paradis, played by Jean-Louis Barraultf, himself one of the great twentieth-century actor-mimes. The problem with this image, however, is that it contributes to the huge weight of myth attached to Deburau, initiated by his nineteenth-century admirers such as Gautier and Baudealire. I am writing an intellectual biography of Deburau which pays less attention to the myth, and more to the reception of his performances in contemporary writing in order to bring out the aesthetic and general performance principles of his work.
Professor Richard J Parish
Richard Parish has worked on French seventeenth-century theatre (Racine: the limits of tragedy, 1993; editions of Bérénice, Phèdre, Le Tartuffe), comic fiction, and in particular on the writing of, or associated with, the Catholic Counter-Reformation. In addition to a book on the Lettres Provinciales (Pascal's Lettres Provinciales: a study in polemic, 1989) and editions of La Bruyère (Dialogues sur le Quiétisme) and Voltaire / Condorcet (Eloge et Pensées de Pascal), he has recently published in book form the Bampton lectures which he delivered in 2009 (Catholic particularity in seventeenth-century France: Christianity is strange, 2011). He is currently working on the Mémoires of Saint-Simon.
Professor Roger A G Pearson
My research interests lie in the field of French literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. My research has focused in particular, and at different times, on the work of Voltaire, Stendhal, Zola, Maupassant, and Mallarmé. Recently holder of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2009-11) I am currently working on a project entitled 'Moses or Orpheus? The Poet as Lawgiver in Nineteenth-Century French Literature', in which I examine how poets and writers envisaged the role of the poet and the nature and function of the 'poetic' during the period.
Dr Richard W Scholar
Richard Scholar's main research interests lie in the field of early modern French literature and thought. He has related interests in comparative approaches to literature, in interdisciplinary work, and in questions of critical method and theory. His research has focused, at different times, on the work of Montaigne, Shakespeare, Descartes, Pascal, and Racine. He is currently completing a book, entitled Montaigne and the Art of Free-Thinking, with the help of a one-year Leverhulme Research Fellowship. He is a member of the interdisciplinary research group 'Frontières de la modernité', based at the Maison Française d'Oxford, and a Director of the Oxford Amnesty Lectures.
Mr John Charles Smith
JC Smith's main field of interest is historical morphosyntax, and he has published widely on agreement, refunctionalization, deixis, and the evolution of case and pronoun systems, with particular reference to Romance, although he has also worked on other language families, including Germanic and Austronesian. He is Secretary of the International Society for Historical Linguistics, and is currently co-editing the Cambridge History of the Romance Languages. He is Co-Investigator (with Professor Martin Maiden) on the AHRC-funded research project 'Autonomous morphology in diachrony: comparative evidence from the Romance languages'.
Dr Helen J Swift
Helen Swift's research interests straddle the late medieval and early modern periods, looking at the poetics of vernacular literature between 1330 and 1550. Her work is interdisciplinary, in that it often involves visual studies of text-image relationships, as well as studying the history of the book in this period of transition between manuscript and print cultures. She also integrates critical theory into her work as a tool for opening up new perspectives on earlier literature to modern readers. A corpus of texts in whose literary and rhetorical structures she is particularly interested are literary defences of women written by men in the period after Christine de Pizan. Her next project is on imagination in medieval French literature. She participates in the MARGOT project, based at the University of Waterloo, Canada, in the SIEFAR project 'Discours sur l'égalité des femmes et des hommes', and in an AHRC-funded research network on Obscenity in Renaissance France. She co-runs a new research group on 'Voices in Medieval French Narrative' which is funded by a British Academy Small Grant: http://web.me.com/sophie.marnette/Site_2/Welcome.html.
Dr Rosalind A M Temple
Ros Temple's research interests lie in the areas of phonetics/phonology and variationist linguistics and the interface between the two, particularly the implications of variability in fine phonetic detail for both phonetic/phonological and variationist theory. She has worked on these topics with reference particularly to French, English and Welsh.
Dr Kate E Tunstall
My main research interests are in eighteenth-century and Enlightenment writing, Diderot in particular, and in the field of word and image relations. My recent book, Blindness and Enlightenment. An Essay (2011), explores figures of blind men in French writing, both literary and philosophical, from the mid sixteenth to the mid eighteenth centuries. It also contains new translations of Diderot's Lettre sur les aveugles and La Mothe Le Vayer's 'Of a Man Born Blind'.
I have just finished editing a collection of essays on Human Rights and the Enlightenment, based on the 2010 Oxford Amnesty Lectures, called Self-Evident Truths? (2012).
I am currently involved in three collaborative research projects: 1) Anonymity, Pseudonymity and Naming (with Johns Hopkins); 2) Thinking Matter (with Isabelle Moreau (UCL) and Caroline Warman (Oxford)); and 3) Disputes, Controversies and Querelles (with Paris IV-Sorbonne).
From 2008-12, I was Programme Director at Besterman Centre for the Enlightenment.
Dr Caroline Warman
I am interested in literature and the circulation of ideas, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I am currently looking at Diderot's Eléments de physiologie in the context of the thinking of his contemporaries on matter, physiology and consciousness. I want ideas and texts to be able to flow between French and English as much as they did in the period I study, and have therefore translated and edited a selection of Isabelle de Charrière's novellas, to be published by Penguin Classics in 2012, and also co-edited and co-translated (with Kate Tunstall), Marian Hobson's essays on the Enlightenment. I am co-organising (with Isabelle Moreau of UCL and Kate Tunstall) a conference on the topic of 'Thinking Matter' for May 2012, and I am a member of the ANR funded research project on 'Querelles' in England and France in the Early Modern Period.
Dr Ian M C Watson
Ian Watson's research interests are in linguistics and phonetics, with special reference to French, especially the description of modern French phonetics and phonology. He also works with speech perception, prosody, and language acquisition, especially the acquisition of sound patterns.
Dr Wes Williams
Wes Williams' main research interests are in the field of Renaissance and/or early modern literature; he has written a book on pilgrimage writing, and continues to explore travel narratives of various kinds across the period. He is now writing a book on monsters and their meanings from, roughly, Rabelais to Racine (by way of Shakespeare, Montaigne and a few others). He also works on European film, and in the theatre as a writer and director.
Dr Jennifer Yee
Jennifer Yee's main research interests include nineteenth-century colonial and 'exotic' writing, and the representation of gender and racial difference in the nineteenth century, as well as twentieth-century francophone writing. She is currently working on a book on colonial subtexts in the metropolitan realist novel (with particular emphasis on Balzac, Flaubert, and Zola).
Dr Frederique Ait-Touati
Frédérique Ait-Touati's main research interests lie in the literature, scientific writing and history of ideas of the 17th century, with a special interest on the poetics of the scientific genres, the history of astronomy and optics, the history of fiction and the relationship between fiction and hypothesis.
Dr Chimène Bateman
Chimène Bateman's main research interests lie in medieval and sixteenth-century French literature; particularly in the areas of literature and gender; courtly and erotic literature; and the influence of the ancient Greek and Roman past. She is currently writing a book on the figure of the female addressee in medieval and sixteenth-century literature.
Dr Carole J A Bourne-Taylor
Carole Bourne-Taylor's interests include comparative literature (French and English, Literature and Music); contemporary French poetry; and critical theory (in particular, phenomenology).
She is currently writing a book on the writer and drama critic Charles Langbridge Morgan.
Ms Melanie Florence
Melanie Florence's research interests are in medieval French and German courtly romance, especially Arthurian.
Dr Stephen Goddard
Stephen Goddard's main research interests are in the field of the 19th-century French novel, especially Flaubert's work. His doctoral thesis was on the influence of classical literature upon Flaubert, and he is working on adapting that thesis into various papers, articles and other publications. Dr Goddard also has an interest in, and has lectured on, the reception of classical tragedy in 20th-century French drama.
Dr Belinda Jack
Belinda Jack's main research interests are in Francophone Writing, Women's Writing and Biography.
Dr Nikolaj Lübecker
My research interests include avant-garde literature and culture, intellectual history, and contemporary European cinema. My first book was a monograph on the writings of Stéphane Mallarmé, a second book studied ideas of community in texts by André Breton, Georges Bataille, Jean-Paul Sartre and Roland Barthes. My current research project - on ‘The Contemporary Feel-Bad Film’ - focuses on European directors such as Bruno Dumont, Lucile Hadzihalilovic, Michael Haneke and Lars von Trier.
Dr Thibaut Maus de Rolley
Thibaut Maus de Rolley's research interests span the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, having mainly to do with the interactions between literature and knowledge in French and European culture. The book drawn from his doctoral dissertation (Droz, 2011) traces an interdisciplinary 'pre-history' of fictional flying in French and European Renaissance literature, from Ariosto's Orlando furioso (1516-32) to Kepler's Somnium (1609-34), at the cross-roads between narrative fiction (epic poetry, chivalric romance, satire) and learned discourses (in particular cosmography, astronomy and demonology).
As a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, he is now working on a book on the conceptions and representations of space in early modern demonology, from 1560 to 1660, the period in which both the so-called 'witch craze' and the publication of theoretical treatises on the devil were at their height in Europe. Prior to this project, he has co-edited a collection of scholarly essays on the theme of demonic travel, Voyager avec le diable (PUPS, 2008).
Dr Kate Rees
Kate Rees's research interests include the work of Flaubert, the nineteenth century novel, ideas of progress and dynamism in literature, decadent writing and connections between the literature of the late nineteenth and late twentieth centuries, e.g. between Huysmans and Houellebecq.
Dr Jake Wadham
Jake Wadham's research interest is in Maurice Blanchot French phenomenology.
Dr Thomas M Rainsford
Tom Rainsford is a British Academy post-doctoral fellow (2012-2015) specializing in historical linguistics, and more specifically the interaction between prosodic and syntactic change in medieval French and medieval Occitan. His current research project will examine the role of prosodic change as a causal factor in the diverging development of these two varieties in the medieval period.
Dr Neil Kenny
Neil Kenny's research interests are sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature and thought in Europe, especially France. He has investigated how people's knowledge and beliefs were shaped by and through various dimensions of language, such as concepts (especially the notion of 'curiosity') or tenses (especially as used to refer to the dead). His work has embraced writers ranging from Rabelais to Montaigne, from Béroalde de Verville to Madeleine de Scudéry. In the future he aims to study the relations between literature and learning on the one hand, and social stratification on the other.
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