Dr Gemma Tidman
I work on early modern, and particularly eighteenth-century, French literature and cultural history. My first book ‘The Querelle des collèges and the Emergence of Littérature, 1750–1789’ (under review with Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment), based on my doctoral research, taps into the Enlightenment interest in education, and offers new insights into the emergence of modern ideas of ‘littérature’ (e.g. ‘a national canon’, ‘an aesthetically pleasing text’, ‘a discipline for study’). It argues that such ideas emerged in the context of a previously overlooked eighteenth-century quarrel about how to reform literary teaching in the French collèges, which involved over 200 texts, and more than 100 different actors. My second book project goes in a more playful direction, and combines the study of literary and material culture to tell a history of ‘jeux littéraires’ in early modern France. Beyond quarrels, games, and literary learning, I am interested in Diderot and Rousseau, in the interdisciplinary study of literature and the visual arts, and in ways that digital tools can enhance research and teaching in the humanities.
You can find out more about my research and teaching on my website, here.
Prelims Papers IIA & B (Translation into English), III (Short Texts) and IV (Narrative Fiction)
FHS Papers IIA (Translation into English), VII and VIII (16th-, 17th-, & 18th-century authors), X (early modern authors)
Prelims Papers I (Summary)
FHS Paper VIII (19th-century authors)
2017-18 College Lecturer in French and acting Organising Tutor in French (Worcester College, Oxford)
2016-17 Retained Lecturer in French (Worcester College, Oxford)
2014-15 Lectrice at l’Université de Paris X — Nanterre
Select Publications and Talks
For full list of publications, and details on the content of some of the items below, see my website.
The Querelle des collèges and the Emergence of Littérature, 1762–1789 (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, under review) Part of the Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment (OUSE) series, formerly SVEC
‘Desperately Seeking Supplement: How Polly Baker Sheds Light on Diderot’s Supplément‘, French Studies, 74.1 (2020), 1-16
‘This Quarrel Which is Not One. Women’s Interventions in an Eighteenth-Century French Quarrel about Boys’ Education’, Romanic Review, 112.2 (forthcoming, autumn 2021). Special issue: ‘Women and Querelles in Early Modern France’, ed. by Helena Taylor and Kate E. Tunstall
‘J.-J. Rousseau, Emile, ou de l’éducation’, in Voltaire, Notes et écrits marginaux conservés hors de la Bibliothèque nationale de Russie : complément au Corpus des notes marginales, dir. by Gillian Pink (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2019), pp. 398-426. Awarded an honorable mention, for the MLA Prize for Collaborative, Bibliographical, or Archival Scholarship (2018-2019).
‘The rise of ‘émulation’ and its relation to literary practices in mid-eighteenth-century France’, British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Annual Conference, University of Oxford (6-8 January, 2016). Awarded BSECS President’s Prize, for the best postgraduate paper at the annual conference
Committee & Organisational Positions
2018-22 Executive Committee Member of British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (BSECS)
2015-16 Co-convenor, Oxford French Graduate Seminars, in conjunction with the IMLR
2015-16 Graduate representative for the sub-faculty of French, University of Oxford
2014-present Member of Oxford Early Career Academic Outreach Network