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Research:

My research focuses on French literary, media, and visual culture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

I took up the position of Junior Research Fellow at Merton College in 2021 after completing a doctorate entitled ‘Complicity in Fin-de-Siècle Literature’. This first project analyses the representation and creation of shared crime and guilt in late nineteenth-century France: an era when writers, publishers, and editors, could – and did – face trial alongside one another as accomplices in literary crimes such as obscenity, libel, and political sedition. Throughout my analysis, I ask questions about reading and reception, highlighting the ways in which fin-de-siècle authors encouraged readers to share responsibility for ideas and works considered immoral, if not outright illicit. To do this, I consider a wide range of genres, including psychological novels, murder fiction, and the saucy magazine.

Using this latter example as a springboard, my second major project is a literary history of the saucy magazine, c. 1880–1914. In a period of French history when the newspaper trade was booming, an array of low-cost titillating reviews entered the mass media marketplace and flourished there. My study charts the genre’s evolution, themes, and aesthetic tendencies, in order to assess its contribution to turn of the century French culture. Highlighting the formal specificity of journalism – its seriality, page layout, and production of ephemeral material (such as posters, advertisements, and supplements) – I reconstruct the networks of publication, marketing, and reception that brought together the editors, contributors, and readers of saucy magazines at the fin de siècle.

Teaching:

Literary theory, nineteenth-century French literature, and French to English translation.

Publications:

Complicity in Fin-de-siècle Literature - monograph forthcoming with Oxford University Press (June 2024) (Complicity in Fin-de-siècle Literature - Helen Craske - Oxford University Press (oup.com))

'Publishing Vitriol: Rachilde, Léon Bloy, and the Mercure de France' - article forthcoming in Modern Language Review (2024)

'Arbitrating the Arbitrary? Taste in Rachilde's Fin-de-Siècle Book Reviews' , Essays in French Literature and Culture, 2023, No. 60: 77-95 (Full Issue 60, 2023 – Questions de goût/Matters of Taste – Essays in French Literature and Culture (wordpress.com))

'Periodicals as proxénètes: Erotic Complicity in Don Juan (1895-1900)’ – French Studies, 2022, Vol. 76, No. 3: 366-84 (https://doi.org/10.1093/fs/knac099)

‘La complicité en réseau dans la presse frivole fin-de-siècle’ , Le Magasin du XIXe siècle, SERD, 2020, No. 10: 76-81

'Partners in Crime? Scandalous Complicity Between Rachilde and Jean Lorrain' – Nineteenth-Century French Studies, 2020, Vol. 48, Nos. 3–4: 326-343 (https://muse.jhu.edu/article/754605)

‘Desire and the demi-vierge: the Impenetrable Ideal in Decadent Fiction’ – Dix-Neuf, 2018, Vol. 22, Issues 1-2: 23-38 (https://doi.org/10.1080/14787318.2018.1476438)

‘La Marquise de Sade’, The Literary Encyclopedia, First published 26 July 2017 (https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=22088)

Prizes and Awards:

2020 - Society for French Studies (SFS) R. Gapper Postgraduate Essay Prize for 2019

2019 - Merton College Graduate Prize Scholarship, for the 2019-20 academic year 

2018 - Nineteenth-Century French Studies Association (NCFS) Naomi Schor Memorial Award

2018 - Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France (ASMCF) Peter Morris Memorial Postgraduate Travel Prize

2017 - Society of Dix-Neuviémistes' (SDN) Postgraduate Prize

Selected Conference and Seminar Papers:

'Erotic Ephemera: Sexual Freedom on Trial in the Third Republic’, presented at the 2023 Society for the Study of French History Annual Conference, Liverpool, 29 June 29-1 July 2023

‘Seduction, Solicitation, and Collaboration: Erotic Communities in Don Juan (1895–1900)’, presented at the 2023 European Society for Periodical Research Annual Conference, Leeds,  27-29 June 2023

'Displaying Eroticism: The 1900 Exposition Universelle in Le Fin de siècle', presented at the 2022 NCFS Annual Colloquium, 'Transatlantics', New York, 3-5 November 2022

'Sexual/Textual Exchange: Advertising in Don Juan (1895-1900)', presented at the 2022 Society for French Studies Annual Conference, Queen's University Belfast, 27-29 June 2022

'Publishing Vitriol: Rachilde, Léon Bloy, and the Mercure de France', Dix-Neuf at a Distance, online seminar series organised by SDN, 11 June 2021

“Dear Sapho”: A Fin-de-Siècle Agony Aunt', presented at the 2019 NCFS Annual Colloquium, 'Enchantment/Disenchantment', Sarasota, Florida, 31 Oct.-2 Nov. 2019.

'Naming and Blaming at the Fin de Siècle', presented at the 2019 Society for French Studies Annual Conference, Royal Holloway, University of London, 1-3 July 2019

'Complicity in Fin-de-Siècle Literature', presented at the Cambridge Seminar Series in 19th Century French Studies, Emmanuel College, Cambridge, 29 April 2019 

'Selling Scandal: Infamy and Complicity in Rachilde and Lorrain', presented at the 2018 NCFS Annual Colloquium, 'Celebrity/Obscurity', Manhattan Beach L.A., 25-27 October 2018. (Co-awarded the 2018 Naomi Schor Memorial Prize)

'A Decadent Patroness? Rachilde as Taste-Maker in the Mercure de France', presented at Women Writing Decadence: European Perspectives, 1880-1920 - University of Oxford, 7-8 July 2018