My research interests lie principally in the fields of travel writing and natural history, specifically around the ‘New World’ at the time of the Great Discoveries. My DPhil project focuses on the reception of the toucan, a bird which astonished travellers, natural historians, collectors and artists alike, inspiring an array of creative representations in early modern France and beyond. By assessing the bird’s cultural ‘lives’, we gain a valuable insight into the construction of New World animals in European thought, into how this information was transmitted across geographic and cultural borders, and into its subsequent representations. This research is being funded by an AHRC-Open-Oxford-Cambridge-DTP Scholarship.
In addition to my research, I currently co-convene the French Graduate Seminar and I have previously taught the FHS Paper III (Pre-Modern Translation) module. Before starting my doctoral work, I completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Exeter (2012-2016), and the MSt. in Medieval and Modern Languages (2017-18). Aside from my research, I have an active interest in Widening Participation and Outreach, having worked as the Access Officer for St John’s College (2018-19).
- ‘Savage Magpies: Conceptualising the New World through the beak of a toucan,’ Winged Geographies: Birds in Flight and Imagination Conference, (upcoming — postponed due to Covid-19).
- ‘The Confessional Afterlife of the Toucan in Jean de Léry’s Histoire d’un voyage faict en la terre du Brésil (1578-1611),’ Cambridge French Graduate Research Seminar, 25th June 2020.
- ‘A New Order of Animal: The Transference and Transformation of the Toucan in Early Modern Travel and Nature Writing,’ Oxford French Graduate Seminar, 26th November 2019.