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Professor Susan Harrow


Susan Harrow is Ashley Watkins Professor of French. She joined Bristol in 2007 from an established Chair at the University of Sheffield.  Her research and teaching interests lie in the later-nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially poetry and the novel with a particular focus on the interrelation of literary modernism and visual culture. The author of four monographs, she published The Material, the Real and the Fractured Self: Subjectivity and Representation from Rimbaud to Réda (University of Toronto Press, 2004) and has recently completed Colourworks: Chromatic Innovation in Modern French Poetry. Following Zola; La Curée (University of Glasgow, 1998), she published Zola. the Body Modern: Pressures and Prospects of Representation (Legenda, 2010). She is currently developing a project on epistoliarity and the letters of Mallarmé, Zola, Van Gogh, Manet, and Morisot.  She is a Strategic Reviewer at AHRC and a member of the REF 2021 Sub-Panel for Modern Languages and Linguistics.  She served as President of the Society for French Studies (2010-12), the longest-established and largest association in French studies. In 2011 she was awarded the rank of Officier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques for services to French culture. 


Increasingly, undergraduates are keen to extend their studies into Postgraduate work, with all the intellectual, personal and professional benefits this brings. Susan Harrow has supervised to successful completion PhDs including studies of French modernist poetry (Max Jacob); the significance of glass in c19th literature and culture;  c19th representations of the Sahara in text and image; and has co-supervised a practice-based PhD on the translation of landscape writing. Current PhD co-supervision includes studies of colour in the theatre of Lorca and epistolarity in Flaubert, Joyce, and Beckett. She would be delighted to hear from prospective postgraduates (that is, undergraduates at any stage) who are keen to pursue projects in the areas of later-nineteenth- and earlier-twentieth-century French literature and inter-disciplinary studies, possibly with a visual culture component. She is convenor of the MA (pathway) Visual Culture: Text and Image.

Her specialist Undergraduate units are all interdisciplinary in nature and involve narrative, poetry, visual culture, theatre and critical thought:

  • FREN 20041: Paris 1857–1897: Image and Text
  • FREN 30096: Around Cubism
  • FREN 30040: Surrealism: Disruptive Desire in Textual and Visual Culture