Professor Curtis’s published research has largely been focused on subversive writers of the early Stalin Period (1920s and 1930s). She has spent a great deal of time working in archives in Russia and abroad, and this has enabled her to publish a range of analytical and biographical studies of the life and works of the satirical novelist/playwright Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940). More recently she has turned her attention to Evgeny Zamiatin (1884-1937), an anti-utopian writer much admired by George Orwell. Recently she completed work on the first full biography of Zamiatin to appear in any language; she has also co-edited (with a St Petersburg colleague) a scholarly edition in Russian of his most famous novel, based on a unique typescript she discovered in an American archive.
Professor Curtis has developed a particular interest in Russian drama, and runs a specialist option for students which involves the study of plays from the 1820s right up to the present day. Over the last few years she has been involved in helping with productions of Russian plays in several British theatres (the RSC at Stratford, the Barbican and National Theatres in London, the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry) by providing cast workshops, writing programme features, working on translations, and advising directors and design staff. Future research plans include a study of the 21st-century theatre scene in Russia, parts of which have been notably bold in their challenges to the political establishment.
Spanish literature of the modern period (C19th and C20th), especially modernismo, poetry, cinema, music and the visual arts. More recently my interests have extended to questions of gender and sexual difference in representation. Member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/cilavs/ ), University of London (Birkbeck), and of the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing (CCWW: http://www.igrs.sas.ac.uk/research/CCWW.htm ) at the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, University of London (IGRS). Member of the editorial committee of HiPLAM (Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Monographs Bristol, and of FEDRO. Revista de estética y teoría de las artes (www.institucional.us.es/fedro ) of the University of Seville.
Tom Earle’s researches are concerned with Portuguese literature in the early modern period, especially poetry and drama; the historiography of the Portuguese expansion in Africa and Asia; scholarly editing; the history of the book, concentrating on books in Oxford libraries written in Latin by Portuguese scholars before 1640.
Associate Professor of French, Fellow of St Catherine's College
I work in the field of eighteenth-century literature and thought, with a particular interest in the ways in which authors create a public image of themselves, both in their lifetime and after their death.
Michael Holland’s main research area is the work of Maurice Blanchot. This entails more generally an interest in French literature and thought from 1848 onwards, and in French politics since 1870. In addition, he has done research in the field of avant-garde theatre since late nineteenth century, from Jarry and Mallarmé to Ionesco.
Tom Kuhn’s main research interests are in political literature in the 20th century. He has worked particularly on Bertolt Brecht, and is the series editor of the main English-language edition of Brecht’s works. In addition, he has written on exile and anti-fascist literature, and on more recent drama. He is currently leading the ‘Writing Brecht’ project. Outputs include several major new publications of Brecht’s work in English. He is also working on a book on Brecht’s use of visual art and other pictorial material.
Jonathan Mallinson works on French theatre and prose fiction in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He has a special interest in comedy, prose fiction, women’s writing, and in the reception of canonical neo-classical writers in the Enlightenment. Current research projects include a critical edition of Voltaire’s Lettres d’Amabed, and a book on the seventeenth-century French novel.
My main areas of research are the literature and culture of the ‘threshold period’ between 1780 and 1830, modernism, and contemporary drama. Increasingly I have been working in the field of Medical Humanities and the Enlightenment Studies.
I am currently engaged in writing an intellectual biography of Jean-Gaspard Deburau. He was a Bohemian immigrant who arrived in early nineteenth-century Paris to play a small part in his father’s street theatre, but he subsequently became the star attraction, the quintessential white-faced Pierrot who greatly inspired contemporary writers such as Théophile Gautier and Baudelaire. He gave a new direction to the art of mime just as the most famous genre of mime, the Commedia dell’arte, was waning. He became (and still is) a model for mime theatre either to imitate or reject. The most famous image of him is ‘Baptiste’ in the 1945 film by Carné and Prévert, Les Enfants du paradis, played by Jean-Louis Barrault, himself one of the great twentieth-century actor-mimes. My book has a number of aims. On one level, I am identifying as much as is possible the kinds of physical techniques he used, or at least their aesthetic principles. On another level, I am considering not so much the man as the myth created around him, even in his own time, as an example of the way the Romantic movement manufactured an image which conformed more to Romantic aspirations than to anything else. An important dimension of my book will be the iconography.
Richard Parish has worked on French seventeenth-century theatre (Racine: the limits of tragedy, 1993; editions of Bérénice, Phèdre, Le Tartuffe), comic fiction, and in particular on the writing of, or associated with, the Catholic Counter-Reformation. In addition to a book on the Lettres Provinciales (Pascal’s Lettres Provinciales: a study in polemic, 1989) and editions of La Bruyère (Dialogues sur le Quiétisme) and Voltaire / Condorcet (Eloge et Pensées de Pascal), he has recently published in book form the Bampton lectures which he delivered in 2009 (Catholic particularity in seventeenth-century France: Christianity is strange, 2011). He is currently working on the Mémoires of Saint-Simon.
Charlotte Ryland’s research interests are in German literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a particular focus on the intersection between literature and politics, on the representation of the Holocaust, and on comparative literature and translation. Her PhD thesis, on the poetry and translations of the post-Holocaust poet Paul Celan, was published in early 2010: ‘Paul Celan’s Encounters with Surrealism: Trauma, Translation and Shared Poetic Space’ (Legenda). She is editor of the bi-annual journal New Books in German and Postdoctoral Researcher on the Writing Brecht project in the Modern Languages faculty at Oxford. Charlotte is committed to languages outreach and to widening participation at university level, and was the founding co-ordinator of the Oxford German Network.
My primary research interest is the relationship between technology, communication, the body, and collective politics. I focus in particular on how metaphors of disease (media parasites, viral media, smartphone addiction) govern the way we think about new communication technologies.
King Alfonso XIII Professor of Spanish Studies and Fellow of Exeter College
Jonathan Thacker’s main research interests are in the Spanish Golden Age. He has written on the prose and drama of Miguel de Cervantes and on various aspects of Golden-Age drama, including its metatheatrical elements, its translation and performance, and its ideological content. He is a member of the ARTELOPE project at the Univeristy of Valencia (and the ProLope group at the Autònoma in Barcelona. He is also an investigator on the AHRC-funded ‘Out of the Wings’ project which seeks to disseminate information about and encourage performance of Spanish theatre in English translation. He has acted as a consultant on productions of Golden Age theatre including at the Royal Shakespeare Company. He is Series Editor for Aris and Phillips Hispanic Classics, published by Oxbow Books.
Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly’s main research interests are in German literature and culture from the late 15th to the early 18th centuries within their European context, in women’s writing in all periods and in the representation of women in German literature and culture. She has made a special study of early modern court festivals of all kinds throughout Europe and of court culture. Her most recent book is Beauty or Beast? The Woman Warrior in the German Imagination from the Renaissance to the Present (OUP 2010). She is the Project Leader of ‘Marrying Cultures: Queens Consort and European Identities, 1500-1800’, one of the 18 projects funded by HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) as part of its ‘Cultural Encounters’ programme. The project involves collaboration with colleagues in Germany, Poland and Sweden. She is a Fellow of the British Academy.
Wes Williams’ main research interests are in the field of Renaissance and/or early modern literature; he has written a book on pilgrimage writing, and continues to explore travel narratives of various kinds across the period. He is now writing a book on monsters and their meanings from, roughly, Rabelais to Racine (by way of Shakespeare, Montaigne and a few others). He also works on European film, and in the theatre as a writer and director.