Professor of Medieval French, Fellow of St Peter’s College
My specialism is medieval French and Anglo-Norman language and literature. I have a particular interest in text editing and manuscript studies, and have worked in areas including comic and satirical literature, hagiography, and Apocalypse translations and commentaries.
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.
Toby Garfitt works mainly on French literature between the two world wars, with a special interest in Catholic writing (Mauriac, La Tour du Pin) and non-metropolitan literature. He has supervised theses on Gide, Camus, and Francophone literature from Africa, the Caribbean, and Vietnam, and runs a regular Francophone seminar. Recent books include a biography of Jean Grenier, the philosopher and essayist who was the mentor of Albert Camus; French Catholic intellectuals in the interwar years; and French and British literary responses to the First World War. He is now working on the contemporary novelist and essayist Sylvie Germain. Translation studies is another area of interest.
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.
My reseach interests focus on the dialogue between vernacular and Latin culture, and on dialogue as a literary form. Since 2009, I have been involved in Oxford’s first Marie Curie international training network in the humanities: the project on ‘Mobility of Ideas and Tranmission of Texts’ (MITT) studies the medieval transmission of learning from the universities to the wider readership that could be reached through the vernacular. Together with partners in Antwerp, Freiburg, Lecce, and Leiden, we have built up a network of 20 graduates and post-docs and held regular interdisciplinary workshops, including the Oxford confernce on ‘Medieval Women and their Books’, held jointly at the Talyorian and at Somerville in October 2012.
Recent publications include studies on the use of song in mystical writing, and collaborations with colleagues from musicology on the interplay between music and text in the ‘Jenaer Liederhandschrift’ (conference May 2014) and the ‘Carmina Burana’ manuscript. I am interested more generally in the relationship between cultures in the middle ages – Latin and the vernacular, manuscript and voice, lay and institution, and in the role which gender plays in negotiating such cultural tensions.
Colin Thompson works primarily in Golden Age Spanish literature and has a particular interest in the writing of the Spanish mystics St Teresa of Ávila and St John of the Cross. His research interests include a wide range of Golden Age poetry and literary theory, the drama of Calderón, the prose fiction of Cervantes, and the relationship between literature and painting in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish art.
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.