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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics

 

Rebecca Courtier

College: Churchill                

Email: rsac2@cam.ac.uk    

Supervisor: Prof Sylvia Huot

Research Topic: Marginal and migrant figures in medieval and modern-day Francophone literatures

 

About
Rebecca Courtier (she/her) completed her undergraduate degree in Modern and Medieval Languages and obtained an MPhil in European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures at the University of Cambridge. She is now a PhD candidate in the French department.

 

Research       
Rebecca’s doctoral thesis considers notions and negotiations of ‘Frenchness’—or, what it means to be ‘French’—across the centuries, bringing medieval and modern-to-contemporary Francophone (con)texts together in dialogue via transtemporal considerations of cultural identity and figures of alterity. These (cultural) ideas of sameness and ‘difference’ are interrogated through comparisons of portraits of marginal and/or migrant figures in medieval (11th-15th cs.) and modern-day (20th-21st cs.) Francophone literatures, as well as through applications of modern critical theory (20th-21st cs.) to the ‘French’, and more widely, European Middle Ages.

Rebecca’s research interests include Francophone and Anglophone critical race theory and postcolonial theory, migration studies, refugee studies, ecocriticism, intersectionality, gender studies, and women’s studies, with reference to the medieval period and the present day. She is particularly interested in questions of ‘race’ and culture within and across forms of embodiment, spaces, time(s), modes of subjectivity, and in narrative creation and community building, for and as scholar activism.

 

Scholarships/Prizes

2019    Open-Oxford-Cambridge DTP AHRC Studentship – AHRC scholarship for 77+ students annually (in the Arts & Humanities). Full award for PhD in French.

2019    Vice Chancellor's Award (Cambridge Trust) – Full award for 250 highest ranked applicants for doctoral research (across all subjects), held in honorary status (following offer of full award from OOC DTP).

2018    Cambridge Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) DTP studentship – Full award for MPhil study.

2018    Highly Commended Entrant for two papers (in the ‘Literature’ category) submitted to The Undergraduate Awards.

2013, 2015, 2017        Prize Scholarships awarded by Churchill College for achieving First Class (Part IA; Part IB) and First Class with Distinction (Part II) in examinations for MML Tripos.

 

Teaching
Rebecca lectures on the FR7 module (Part II); she has supervised students for FR3 (Part IB) and FR7 (by examination or for the Optional Dissertation). For these papers, Rebecca teaches on the subjects of cultural identity and discourses of ‘difference’, and specifically, medieval French literary representations of ‘race’ and/or (pseudo-)Muslim figures, as well as those of womanhood or motherhood.

Rebecca welcomes inquiries for supervision of Year Abroad Projects, Optional Dissertations, and coursework for the MPhil in European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures (ELAC) on topics associated with her teaching/research interests.

 

Selected Papers
Conferences
‘This Becket which is Not One: An Irigarayan Reading of La vie de saint Thomas Becket’, The International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 8 July 2021.

‘This Lady which is Not One: Normativity, Gender, & Doubling in the Romance of Tristan’, Society for French Studies 2021 Annual Conference, Virtual, 29 June 2021.

Panel Chair for ‘Mobilities and Nations' session, Identities in Motion: An Interdisciplinary Symposium on Mobilities and Crossings, UnCaNI (University of Cambridge Nationalisms & Identities Research Group), University of Cambridge, 28 June 2021.

‘Fact or fiction? Reading ‘in-between’ the lines of La Fille du comte de Pontieu and Peau noire, masques blancs’, From Myth-making to Blatant Falsehood in Francophone Writing and Culture. An Interdisciplinary Conference, Churchill College, University of Cambridge, with The Open University, supported by Language Acts and Worldmaking, 17 June 2021.

‘Feminine Jurisdiction: St Thomas Becket as Mother of the Church’, Thomas Becket: Life, Death, and Legacy, Canterbury Cathedral, 28 April 2021.

‘Heterotopian spaces of the Chanson de Guillaume’, Fluid-e, French Graduate Conference 2020, New York University, 27 October 2020.

'Reading the paradigm-example and epic communities of La chanson de Roland’, Through the Nation: An Interdisciplinary Symposium on Identities and Space, UnCaNI (University of Cambridge Nationalisms & Identities Research Group), University of Cambridge, 24 June 2019.

'Personhood, Politics, Place, Parole: Reading ‘in-between’ the lines of La Fille du comte de Pontieu and Peau noire, masques blancs', Delays/Retards: French Graduate Conference 2019, University of Cambridge, 26 April 2019.

'Mary and Mélusine: Marvellous Mothers of the Middle Ages', Gender and Sexuality: Identities and Intersectionalities, Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Reading, 29 March 2019.

Seminars
‘‘[Q]ue fais tu ilec?’: Reading interpellation and position(ality) through Aucassin et Nicolette’, ASNC/Old French Day, University of Cambridge, 14 September 2021.

‘Revolutionary Love, Radical Poiesis: Cultural Reversals in French Literature’, Cambridge Medieval Literature & Culture Seminar (“CamMedSem”), University of Cambridge, 10 June 2021.

‘Towards a migrant consciousness: reading Saladin and Patrick Chamoiseau’s Frères migrants’, The Online Medieval French Seminar, Virtual, 22 July 2020. Revised version presented at UnCaNI (University of Cambridge Nationalisms & Identities Research Group), University of Cambridge, 22 February 2021.

‘Heterotopian spaces of the Chanson de Guillaume’, UnCaNI (University of Cambridge Nationalisms & Identities Research Group), 2 March 2020.

 

Publications
Articles
‘Reading ‘in-between’ the lines of La Fille du comte de Pontieu and Peau noire, masques blancs’, in Catching Up with Time: Belatedness and Anachronies in Francophone Literature and Culture, ed. by Ashwiny O. Kistnareddy and Alice Roullière (Berne: Peter Lang, 2021), forthcoming.

Reviews
‘Theorising Medieval Race: Saracen Representations in Old French Literature’, Victoria Turner (2019), in Medium Ævum, 90.1 (2021): 170-71.

Review of Student Workshop for the Cambridge Medieval Literature & Culture Seminar (“CamMedSem”), 4 March 2021. Access here: https://www.cammedsem.co.uk/news/CamMedSem-Student-Workshop-Review-(Lent-21)

 

Other activities and roles
Rebecca is one of the convenors, along with Emily Kate Price, Matt Lampitt, and Cat Watts, for the Cambridge Medieval Literature & Culture Seminar (“CamMedSem”), a departmental seminar associated with the French section of MMLL.

Rebecca is a Graduate Member of The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement at the University of Cambridge.

She is also a member of The Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies.