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Michelle's DPhil project explores the representation of China in French literature from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century, especially as it involves gender, identity, and power play. China is thought of as both a declining (but potentially rival) empire and a museum of beauty, cruelty, and exotic practices which occupied a unique place in the imagination of French literature in this period. To understand modes of control, transgression, and intercultural crossing in the French literary approach to China, gender and empire offer a vantage point to identify areas ranging from hackneyed Orientalism to intertextual dialogue and aesthetic experimentation. Key authors include Judith Gautier, Octave Mirbeau, Pierre Loti, Paul Claudel, Victor Segalen, George Soulié de Morant, and Chen Jitong.

Prior to her DPhil at Wadham College, she completed a two-year Master’s degree in Littératures : théorie, histoire at the École normale supérieure in Paris, an MSt in Modern Languages at Linacre College, Oxford, and a BA in Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Taiwan University.

Her other research interests include nineteenth-century French literature and the visual arts.

Alongside academic work, she is a fan of Italian literature and a translator. She is currently translating Madame Bovary for a new edition in Traditional Chinese.

Publication

'Between the Picturesque and the Political: Judith Gautier and Pierre Loti’s Play La Fille du Ciel', Dix-Neuf (17 December 2023), DOI: 10.1080/14787318.2023.2291594

Teaching

French Sole Seminar (Literary Theory), 2022-2024

Conference presentations

'Entre le pittoresque et le politique: La Fille du Ciel par Judith Gautier et Pierre Loti', Écrire l'autre: en Chine et en France (colloque), École normale supérieure (Ulm), 2-3 June 2023

'Between the Picturesque and the Political: Pierre Loti's Play La Fille du Ciel', Magic: Enchantment and Disenchantment, University of Oxford, 27-29 March 2023

'L’androgyne chinois: Bijou-de-ceinture ou le jeune homme qui porte robe, se poudre et se farde par George Soulié de Morant', Genre et Chine (journées d'étude), Université libre de Bruxelles / Musée royal de Mariemont, 10-11 June 2022

'Homosocial Relations in Victor Segalen's René Leys', Relation(s): Annual Graduate Conference (online), Princeton University Department of French and Italian, 29 April 2022

'Romancing the Chinese Empire: Gender in Victor Segalen and George Soulié de Morant', French Graduate Seminar, University of Oxford, 15 February 2022

Outreach

'French Melodrama and Chinese Politics', The French History Podcast (August 2023).

Translation Workshop (French), UNIQ Summer School, University of Oxford (July 2023)

French Sixth Form Masterclass video on Kiffe kiffe demain by Faïza Guène

Translations

《地圖下的風起雲湧:烽火又起》(臺北:寶鼎, 2023)by Émilie Aubry and Frank Tétart, Le Dessous des cartes: Le retour de la guerre (Paris: Tallandier, 2022). 

《眼淚的歷史:情緒、空間與性別,近代法國的感性與濫情》(臺北:臺灣商務, 2022)by Anne Vincent-Buffault, Histoire des larmes, XVIIIe-XIXe siècles (Paris: Payot, 1986).

《我的風格畫畫全書:素描‧粉彩‧水彩‧壓克力‧油畫》(臺北:奇光出版,2020) by Arnaud Nanteuil et al., Manuel complet de l’artiste débutant : Dessin, pastel, aquarelle, acrylique, huile (Paris: MANGO, 2015).

《沉默的一百種模樣:跨越時代、地域與文化,尋訪關於身體、戰爭、災變、性暴力與精神創傷的無聲告白》(臺北:臉譜文化,2020) by Harriet Shawcross, Unspeakable: The Things We Cannot Say (Edinburgh: Canongate, 2019).

《私運書的人:敘利亞戰地秘密圖書館紀事》(臺北:商周出版,2018) by Delphine Minoui, Les Passeurs de livres de Daraya: une bibliothèque secrète en Syrie (Paris: Seuil, 2017).

《漫遊⼥子:大城小傳,踩踏都會空間的女性身姿》(臺北:網路與書,2018) by Lauren Elkin, Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice and London (London: Chatto & Windus, 2016).