Jack Nunn

Literary anthologies affect what, whom, and how we read. The activity of anthologisation – the gathering together, selecting, and arranging of literary texts – also has significant implications for our understanding of national identity, literary history, and canon formation. My doctoral thesis sets out to better understand the craft of anthology-making by looking closely at the case of France in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, a time that saw a remarkable rise in the production of poetry collections.


Through in-depth case studies of manuscripts and early printed books, my project asks questions about the anthology as a medium of publication, and about the artistry involved in the designing and editing of anthologies. I focus especially on writing by the ‘Grands Rhétoriqueurs’, a long-neglected network of French and Burgundian poets renowned for manipulating language in often dazzling feats of virtuosity. Named authors in my corpus include more canonical ones such Jean Molinet and Jean Lemaire de Belges, as well as lesser-known poets like Guillaume Cretin, Henri Baude, and Jean Robertet.


My research is fully funded by the Besse Studentship with Exeter College.


Research Interests

15th- and 16th-century French literature

Anthologies and mise en recueil

Book history and early print culture

Literary theory

Network Studies

Cognitive approaches to literature



Peer-reviewed Publications

‘Bodies, Temporalities and Archives: Literary and Filmic Production after the 2010 Haitian Earthquake’French Studies Bulletin, 44.166 (2023), 1–11. Winner of the Society for French Studies R. Gapper Undergraduate Essay Prize 2021/22.

Book review: ‘Fleurs et jardins de poésie. Les anthologies poétiques au XVIe siècle (domaine français, incursions européennes). Sous la direction d’Adeline Lionetto et Jean-Charles Monfferan. (Rencontres, 531.) Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2021. 403 pp’, French Studies (forthcoming).

Selected Conference Papers

Invited lecture (1 hour): ‘Les réseaux coloniaux et maritimes dans l’œuvre de Jean Parmentier (1494-1529)’, dans le cadre du séminaire Pensée et pratique poétique du réseau à la Renaissance (1500-1550), dir. Élise Rajchenbach, Université de Lyon / Université Jean Monnet Saint-Étienne, May 2024.

‘ “Querez la paix”: Teaching (and Teasing) Readers in an Anthology of Rhétoriqueur Poetry’, part of the panel French as a Language of Instruction in the Middle Ages, Society for French Studies 64th Annual Conference, Newcastle University, June 2023.

‘Anthological Identities: Naming Names in the Robertet Manuscripts’, Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference, University of Oxford, April 2023.

‘Cosmetic Surgery? Gathering the Works of Jean Molinet (1531)’, European Society for Textual Scholarship 18th Annual Conference, University of Kent, April 2023.

‘Cretin imprimé : le cas des Traictez singuliers de Galliot Du Pré (1526)’, Colloque international: Guillaume Cretin, écrivain polygraphe, Université Grenoble Alpes, January 2023.

Background and Outreach

I am strongly committed to dismantling the barriers and inequities that structure access to Higher Education, and to advocating for social equality through the study of arts and humanities. Before coming to Oxford as a first-generation student, I was educated at state comprehensive schools in Barnsley and Rotherham, South Yorkshire. In 2021, I graduated from Worcester College, Oxford with a Congratulatory First in Modern Languages (French), and gained a distinction in an MSt in medieval French the following year, funded by the Ogilvie Thompson Scholarship (2022). It is always a delight to work with students from non-selective state schools and colleges: I regularly deliver academic taster sessions and talks in schools, and am involved in numerous mentoring programmes. Please contact me if I can help with similar activities.

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