Rachel Hindmarsh

I am a DPhil Candidate at Trinity College, Oxford, funded by the University of Oxford AHRC DTP and supervised by Professor Wes Williams. Prior to commencing my DPhil in early modern French, I completed both my undergraduate studies and an MPhil, a 25,000-word project on Apollinaire’s sensory modernism under the supervision of Professor Susan Harrow and Dr Albertine Fox, at the University of Bristol.

Alongside my DPhil, I am the co-convener of the French Graduate Seminar, the French Sub-Faculty Graduate Representative, and member of the TORCH Writing Technologies Network. I am also committed to Access and Outreach work, and during my role as the Graduate Access Representative at Trinity College I have in Hillary 2021 launched a nation-wide graduate lecture series (Trinity Talks: Beyond the Classroom). 



My DPhil project explores the relation of medicine, temporality, and narrative in the raucous 16th century fictions of François Rabelais. It takes Rabelais as a provocative yet productive case study to demonstrate how attention to the temporality of medicine in fictional writing can open new vistas for how we understand the specific force of literature in early modern France. Across four chapters charting each stage of a medical encounters - anamnesis, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment — it animates a wide range of medical practices and practitioners in Rabelais’s texts, asking at each turn how rethinking the temporality of early modern medicine makes us rethink the temporality of literary interpretation. 

My thesis draws on and develops broader interests in the histories of narrative, experience, corporeality, and popular and professional medical cultures of the early modern period. Fundamentally interdisciplinary in scope, it bridges the (porous) boundaries between early modern French Studies and the contemporary Medical Humanities. 



Paper VII: Early Modern Literature 1500-1800, St Edmund Hall

Paper X: Early Modern Literature (Rabelais), Wadham College

Paper X: Early Modern Literature (Montaigne), co-taugh with Professor Katherine Ibbett at Trinity College 

Paper IIA: Translation from Modern French, St Catherine’s College 

I have also undertaken a range of teaching for Access and Outreach initiatives, including seminar sessions for 25-30 students at Trinity College, lectures as part of Trinity Talks: Beyond the Classroom, and teaching French grammar, translation, and Zola at the UNIQ Summer School programme for students from under-represented groups in Higher Education. 



Hindmarsh, R, “Blindness and Boldness”: Haptic Imaginaries from the Operating Theater to the Pandemic Everyday’, Nursing Clio Medical Humanities Collaborative Blog-Project (peer-reviewed), https://nursingclio.org/2021/04/22/blindness-and-boldness-haptic-imaginaries-from-the-operating-theater-to-the-pandemic-everyday/ 


Selected talks: 

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)



Subscribe to Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages