Dr Jennifer Oliver

Supernumerary Teaching Fellow in French, St John's College

I am a Supernumerary Teaching Fellow in French at St John’s College. My research is centred on sixteenth-century French literature, culture, and thought. My forthcoming book, The Direful Spectacle: Shipwreck in French Renaissance Writing, which is based on my doctoral thesis, examines the theme of shipwreck in the French Renaissance, reading fictional and allegorical shipwrecks alongside the eyewitness accounts of travel writers in order to explore the relationship between the material and the metaphorical. My current research project is concerned with how early modern French writers (including Rabelais, Ronsard, Montaigne, and Agrippa d’Aubigné) contemplated the connections and tensions between poetics, technology, and the natural environment. Recently, my article ‘Rabelais’s Engins: War Machines, Analogy, and the Anxiety of Invention in the Quart Livre’, was published in Early Modern French Studies (December 2016).

Before taking up the Supernumerary Teaching Fellowship at St John’s, I studied at the College for my undergraduate degree (on the French Sole course), followed by a Masters and doctorate on early modern French topics (the latter thanks to the Elizabeth Fallaize Scholarship). 

I have given classes and introductory talks on French grammar, Renaissance love poetry, and cinema for a range of access and outreach schemes at Oxford and beyond, including the UNIQ summer school. I currently run, with Dr Jonathan Patterson, the Faculty’s French Film competition for school students in Years 7-13. 




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