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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages

 

Dr Claire White

Dr Claire White
Position(s): 
University Lecturer
Department/Section: 
French
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
(+44) (0)1223 760182
College: 
Location: 

Girton College
Huntingdon Road
Cambridge
CB3 0JG

About: 

Claire White joined the MML Faculty in 2017 as a University Lecturer. Before that, she held a lectureship at King’s College London (2016-17), and a Research Fellowship at Peterhouse, Cambridge (2012-16), having completed her Ph.D. at Clare College, Cambridge. As an undergraduate, Claire read French and German at Emmanuel College.

In 2019 Claire became Associate Editor of the US journal, Nineteenth-Century French Studies. She is also currently a member of the Committee of the Modern Humanities Research Association, and edits their Critical Texts series.
 

Teaching interests: 

In the MML Faculty, Claire convenes the final-year undergraduate paper on nineteenth-century French culture (FR11). She lectures across all parts of Tripos on writers such as Balzac, Mme de Duras, Flaubert, the Goncourt brothers, and Zola, as well as on nineteenth-century painting.

Claire is currently Director of Undergraduate Studies in MML.

Research interests: 

Claire specialises in nineteenth-century French literature and art, with a particular interest in class, labour politics, aesthetics, and intellectual history. She is the author of Work and Leisure in Late Nineteenth-Century French Literature and Visual Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). This book explores how writers and artists of the early Third Republic engaged critically with cultural, political and economic discourses on labour, leisure, and time at a key moment in the history of class struggle in France. She is also the co-editor of three publications: The Labour of Literature in Britain and France, 1830-1910: Authorial Work Ethics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018); a special number of the leading journal on Zola and Naturalism, Les Cahiers naturalistes (‘Zola au pluriel’, no. 91, 2017); and a special number of the journal of the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes, Dix-Neuf, on the poet Jules Laforgue (vol. 20, 2016).

Her current book project is a study of Zola’s negotiations with idealism. It reconstructs the ‘quarrel’ between idealists and naturalists from the 1880s to the turn of the century, and looks at how this struggle shaped the evolution of Zola’s fiction, and of the novel in general. The book takes in Zola’s controversial account of the Lourdes shrine, on which Claire presented at the Paris Zola ITEM seminar in 2017, as well as his involvement in the Dreyfus Affair.

Published works: 

‘The Republic of Novels: Politics and Late Nineteenth-Century French Fiction’, in The Cambridge History of the Novel in French, ed. by Adam Watt (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press).

Patrie, peuple, amitié: George Sand and Jules Michelet on the Politics of Friendship’, forthcoming in Romanic Review.

The Labour of Literature in Britain and France: Authorial Work Ethics, ed. Marcus Waithe and Claire White (Palgrave, 2018).

‘George Sand, Digging’, in The Labour of Literature in Britain and France, ed. Waithe and White (2018), pp. 61-78.

‘Zola à rebours’, Les Cahiers naturalistes, 91 (2017), 123-34.

‘Laforgue, Beauvoir, and the Second Sex’, Dix-Neuf, 20 (2016), 110-24.

‘Easy Reading: Zola’s Kitsch’, in Lucidity: Essays in Honour of Alison Finch, ed. Ian James and Emma Wilson (Legenda: 2016), pp. 72-85.

‘Work Avoidance: Idleness and Ideology in Turn-of-The-Century Utopian Fiction’, Nottingham French Studies, 55 (2016), 46-61.

‘Sensuous Communism: Sand with Marx’, Comparative Literature, 67 (2015), 62-78; winner of the SDN Publication Prize.

‘Naturalism in extremis: Zola’s Le Rêve’, Romance Studies, 33 (2015), 272-84.

Work and Leisure in Nineteenth-Century French Literature and Visual Culture: Time, Politics and Class (Palgrave, 2014).

‘Zola and Freud: Spent Energy in Thérèse Raquin’, Romanic Review, 102:4 (2011), 349-68.

‘Labour of Love: George Sand’s La Ville noire and Émile Zola’s Travail’, Modern Language Review, 106 (2011), 697-708.

‘Rewriting Work and Leisure in Émile Zola’s Travail’, Dix-Neuf, 13 (2009), 55-70.