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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Dr Rebecca Sugden

Dr Rebecca Sugden
Research Fellow
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
+44 (0)1223 332415

Gonville & Caius College
Trinity Street
United Kingdom


Rebecca joined Gonville & Caius College as Research Fellow in French in October 2018. She studied French and Spanish at Murray Edwards College, graduating with a double starred First in 2014, and completed her MPhil in European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures (2014-15) and her PhD in French at St John’s College (2015-18).

 Rebecca’s work has been awarded the Nineteenth-Century French Studies Association’s Naomi Schor Memorial Award (2016), the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes’ Postgraduate Prize (2018) and Publication Prize (2019), and the George Sand Association Memorial Prize (2019).

Teaching interests: 

Rebecca teaches and examines across all parts of the MML Tripos, including:

Fr1 (‘Introduction to French Literature, Linguistics, Film and Thought’)

FrB2 (‘Translation from French’)

Fr5 (‘Revolutions in Writing, 1700-1900’)

Year Abroad Projects

Fr11 (‘Gender, Desire and Power in Nineteenth-Century French Literature’)


She also supervises and examines postgraduate students specialising in nineteenth-century French literature and culture for the MPhil in European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures.

Research interests: 

Rebecca specialises in nineteenth-century French literature and culture, with a particular interest in the relationship between the novel and the political history of the period. Her doctoral research, which she is currently developing for publication as a monograph, drew on a range of authors to address the interplay between conspiracy theory and literary fiction in July Monarchy France (1830-48). In interrogating the affinities between aesthetics and the history of ideologies, Rebecca’s project seeks to set the novel in dialogue with wider conspiracist discourses on European political history in the years leading up to the upheaval of 1848.

Published works: 

‘Balzac et les espaces ténébreux du complot’, forthcoming in Secrets, complots, conspirations (XVIIIe – XXIe siècles), ed. by Christian Chelebourg and Antoine Faivre (Nancy: Presses universitaires de Lorraine, 2019)

‘Mécanique et mimésis dans La Bête humaine’, forthcoming (2019) on Archives zoliennes (ArchiZ), the digital platform of the Équipe Zola, affiliated with the Institut des textes et manuscrits modernes (ITEM, CNRS) and the Centre de Recherche sur les Poétiques du XIXe siècle (CRP19) at Université de la Sorbonne nouvelle-Paris III

‘Esthétique de la dentelle blanche: Au Bonheur des Dames’, forthcoming on Archives zoliennes, 2019

‘Terre(ur): Reading the Landscape of Conspiracy in Balzac’s Une ténébreuse affaire’, Nineteenth-Century French Studies, 47.1-2 (Fall-Winter 2018-19): 48-65

‘Lignes brouillées dans La Bête humaine’, Les Cahiers naturalistes, 91 (2017): 85-96


Book reviews:

‘Marie-Astrid Charlier, Le Roman et les Jours: Poétiques de la quotidienneté au XIXe siècle’ (2018), forthcoming in French Studies


‘George Sand, Œuvres complètes: La Petite Fadette, opéra comique et comédie vaudeville, ed. by Gretchen van Slyke and Bruce Gustafson’ (2018), forthcoming in French Studies


Naturalisme. – Vous avez dit naturalismes?, ed. by Céline Grenaud-Tostain and Olivier Lumbroso’ (2015), Nineteenth-Century French Studies, 46.1-2 (Fall-Winter 2017-18)

‘Biancamaria Fontana, Germaine de Staël: A Political Portrait’ (2016), Journal of European Studies, 47.1 (March 2017): 80-82

  • ‘William Olmsted, The Censorship Effect: Baudelaire, Flaubert and the Formation of French Modernism’ (2016), Journal of European Studies, 46.3-4 (October 2016): 385-86