Dr Alice Roullière

Dr Alice Roullière

Supernumerary Teaching Fellow in French


I did my PhD in Cambridge but before coming to the UK, I did my undergraduate and Masters studies in Paris, at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Sorbonne. I have a teaching degree in Classics (the 'Agrégation') but I always combined my interest for Latin and Greek with French literature during my studies. During my Masters degree, I did a Erasmus exchange in Cambridge, and then decided to come back to the UK for my doctoral studies. I was a teaching fellow at Wadham College (Oxford) for two years before joining St John's. 

Research Interests

My doctoral work focused on the sixteenth-century poet Pierre de Ronsard and poetic ghosts. Although it seems like a narrow topic, the question of ghosts led me to think about the troubled narratives around national identity that arise during the early modern period and how they intersect with the renewed interest in apparitions and the supernatural in the 16th century. My project centered on epic ghosts that Ronsard calls 'idoles' and the role they play in the political imagination of the early modern period. I have also worked in parallel on Neo-Latin and French epitaphic poems in authors like Du Bellay, Geoffroy Tory and Giovanni Pontano. My new research project now focuses on Imagined Colonialism and the representation of Peru in early modern French literature: among other things, I look at the way the reception of classical epics was changed and altered by the complex transmissions of accounts of the 'New world'. I try to understand why the Inca empire captured the imagination of early modern French authors and what was the political significance of literary works around Peru written in French. 


At St John's, I teach translation from French to English for all year groups but I mainly teach authors and texts of the early modern period, from the 16th to the 18th century. Prelims will study with me Montaigne, Racine and Laclos for example. I also teach Paper VII (Early Modern Period Paper) and Paper X (Author Paper) where you can choose to focus on two early modern authors like Lafayette, or Rabelais. 

At the MML Faculty level, I give commentary lectures on Racine for Paper X, I teach the French and Classical Tragedy Paper for students doing French and Classics and the 16th-century Poetry Paper XII option. 

Recent Publications

Alice Roullière, ‘Ronsard and the Ghost of Astyanax’, Early Modern French Studies, 42:1 (2020), 2–21.

Alice Roullière, Ashwiny O. Kistnareddy, eds.,Catching up with Time: Belatedness and Anachronies in Francophone literature and Culture, (Peter Lang: Berne), forthcoming. 

Alice Roullière, ‘Mocking the Fear of Ghosts in Ronsard’s Hymnes’, French Studies, forthcoming.