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Dr Rowan Tomlinson



Rowan constantly updates her courses and enjoys creating new options with which to entice students back to the Renaissance. Her portfolio of courses include seven French units and one Modern Languagues unit: Introduction to French Renaissance Culture: Conventionality and the Writing Self; Before the Novel: Experiments in Prose NarrativeIdentity and Conflict: The Poetics and Politics of French Renaissance Writing; The French Renaissance: Myths and Realities; Me, Myself, and I: The Essays of Michel de Montaigne; Burning Books: Radicalism Before the Revolution; Journeys Through Poetry (co-taught with Ruth Bush); and Ancients and Moderns: Cultures of Humanism in Renaissance Europe. All these courses are historical in nature and prioritise detailed engagement with primary texts as a means of learning about Renaissance culture. However, this concern with the historical particularity of the early modern is underscored by a constant consideration of the ‘timeless’ issues facing the student of literary history (why do we study literature; what do we understand by the ‘literary’; where does the ‘meaning’ of a text lie?), as well as by a belief in the importance of foregrounding and questioning our own methods of reading past cultures (how do we as contemporary readers read the early modern?). In addition, Rowan is a seminar leader and lecturer on the first-year Shaping France course, a lecturer on Reading Literary and Visual Cultures, and teaches prose and translation to final-year students. She also teaches for the MA in Comparative Literature and the MA in Translation and on Bristol's Foundation Year in the Arts and Humanities: 

Rowan is keen to work with postgraduate students and welcomes queries from those interested in exploring study at masters and doctoral level on any topic linked to 15th, 16th, and 17th-century European culture and/or classical reception. In 2018 she was instrumental in helping three doctoral candidates develop their ideas and applications and secure offers for highly competitive AHRC studentships from the South, West, and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership. 

Supervisees to date have worked on the reception of Thucydides in early-modern French culture and on women writers' appropriation of the term 'pudeur' in 16th-century France.