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I am a Stipendiary Lecturer at St Catherine's College, Oxford. I also work on a Public Engagement Project funded by the Wellcome Trust, 'Thanks for the Memories', which brings together the fields of Immunology and Music to explore the topic of immune memory. I completed by DPhil, fully funded by the University of Oxford AHRC DTP and supervised by Professor Wes Williams, in 2023. 


My research examines the relation between literature and medicine in early modern France, and suggests that this can offer a productive, and often provocative, challenge to the contemporary medical humanities.  Broader interests include the histories of narrative, experience, corporeality, and popular and professional medical cultures of the early modern period, and continuities to modern day. 

My thesis positions the raucous fictions of Rabelais – who was also a practising physician, and avid editor of classical medical texts – as a case study for how we can rethink the relation between medicine and literature in early modern France. Rabelais scholarship has often focused on therapeutic laughter, and the contemporary medical humanities privileges dissection and cure as analogical models of literary interpretation. My thesis, particularly wary of how these paradigms are dependent on medical discourse as a master model to be applied to literature, revealed how time functions as an unexpectedly powerful lens for understanding both medicine and fiction in this period, and is central to Rabelais’s thinking about the relation between the two. This focus on time reimagines the classic medical-literary encounter, and in so doing affords an original contribution to the fields of early modern French literary studies, the cultural history of medicine, and the medical humanities.

My postdoctoral project , Bodily Doubt: Medicine and Fiction in Early Modern France,  sets modern and early modern medical sceptical philosophy into dialogue with physicians’ manuals, notes, and case histories, so as to examine the particularity of doubt as a form of embodied knowing. Particular attention is paid to the experience of patients who, in illness, can no longer rely on the tacit or transparent functioning of their bodies, and for whom being doubtful has a particular charge and force. I compare this medical corpus to fictional, modular narratives that represent medical doubt to examine how medicine and literature reciprocally inform and challenge each other in early modern France. 



Paper IIA: Translation from Modern French 

Paper III: Short Texts

Paper IV: Narrative Fiction

Paper VII: Early Modern Literature 1500-1800

Paper X: Early Modern Literature, Special Authors

I have also undertaken a range of teaching for Access and Outreach initiatives, including at the UNIQ Summer School programme for students from under-represented groups in Higher Education. 


Selected publications:

Hindmarsh, R, ‘Elemental Rabelais: A Pharmaceutical Poetics’, Elemental Objects in Brepols’s Techne series, edited by Koen Vermir and Dániel Margócsy (Forthcoming)

Hindmarsh, R, “Blindness and Boldness”: Haptic Imaginaries from the Operating Theater to the Pandemic Everyday', Nursing Clio Medical Humanities Collaborative Blog-Project (peer-reviewed), 


Selected talks: 

Prognosing Prudently: Medicine, Time, and Narrative in Rabelais, Renaissance Society of America 68th Annual Meeting, Dublin (30 March-2 April 2022)

Vocal Encounters in Early Modern France, North Eastern Modern Language Association, Baltimore (March 10-13, 2022)

Tracing Threads: Reading as Suturing in Early Modern France, Durham Early Modern Studies Conference (postponed until July 2021 due to the pandemic)

Diagnosing the Present, Diagnosing the Female Body: Medicine and Temporality in Rabelais, University of Bristol French Seminar (postponed until July 2021 due to the pandemic)

Rabelais's Walnuts, Experimenting the Early Modern Elements, TORCH Writing Technologies Network (in association with the Maison Française d'Oxford) (March 2021)

Swelling Balls and Bellies: Diagnostic Encounters in Rabelais's Birth Scenes, Cambridge French Graduate Research Seminar (June 2020)

Fracture: Sound and Subjectivity in Apollinaire's Epistolary Correspondence with Madeline Pages, Society for French Studies Annual Conference, Royal Holloway, University of London (May 2019)