Olivia Tolley

(BA, MSt Oxon)
Stipendiary Lecturer in French, St Catherine's College (2018-2019)

Early modern French literature and culture; gender and the history of sexuality, monstrosity, animal studies, posterity, book history, book illustration, the Querelle des femmes and the Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes. 

My doctoral thesis, entitled ‘Writing Women into the History of Rabelais’ Reception (1628-1785) explores the ways in which Rabelais’ work was adapted for, and read by, women, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. I consider how these early modern instances of reappropriation can help us to reread Rabelais’ primary text and re-evaluate questions of gender and sexuality in the work.

My postdoctoral project will explore the configuration of the laughing woman in early modern French literature and culture, as a figure that occupies the intersection between gender, subversion and humour. 


2018-2019 Stipendiary Lecturer in French, St Catherine’s College, Oxford - Language, Translation, Early Modern Components of Prelims Papers III, IV, FHS Papers VII (1530-1750), VIII (18c), Paper X (Rabelais, Montaigne, LaFayette, Voltaire, Diderot) and Paper XII (French poetry of the mid-sixteenth century)

2017-2019 Tutor in French Thought, Prelims French Sole (Descartes, Rousseau, Bergson, Beauvoir)

2015 — 2016 Assistant Lecturer in French, Worcester College, Oxford


Conference Papers 

18 March 2019- ‘«Qui est cette folle qui me pousse si rudement?»: Subversive laughter in Louise Labé’s Débat de Folie et d’Amour (1555)’, Women and Quarrels in Early Modern France, University of Exeter


1-3 July 2019 — ‘Cat-Woman: Reading the feminine feline with La Fontaine and Marie d’Aulnoy (1688/1697), Society of French Studies Annual Conference, Royal Holloway 


24 April 2018 - ‘Frolicks and «frotterie»: Staging Rabelais in the French Court (1628-1643)’
French Postgraduate Seminar, University of Oxford


25 Nov 2016 - Picking Paratexts: ‘Le Rabelais badin’ in Dufresnoy’s ‘Parallèle Burlesque’ (1711)
Éditorialités, Maison Française d’Oxford

11 Oct 2016 - Rabelais en 1741: «la beauté de l’ouvrage fait d’abord la réputation de l’Auteur»
La fabrique du XVIe siècle au temps des Lumières, ENS de Lyon

11 June 2015 - ‘(Re)constructing Rabelais: From Revival to Revolution (1651-1791)’
Oxford Early Modern French Seminar, Maison Française d’Oxford

16 Jan 2015 - ‘Visualising Rabelais in the Eighteenth Century’,Matérialités, Université de Fribourg

6 May 2014 - ‘Diderot’s Rabelaisian Eyes’
French Postgraduate Seminar, University of Oxford

Conference and seminar organisation and convening

2014-2017 - Co-convenor of French Postgraduate Seminar, University of Oxford

Feb-Nov 2016 - Co-convenor, Conference: Éditorialités, Maison Française d’Oxford

2015-2016 - Graduate Convenor, Early Modern French Seminar, University of Oxford

Jan 2015 - Graduate Assistant, British Society for Eighteenth-century Studies 2015 Annual Conference, University of Oxford

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