Dr Christie Margrave

PhD (St Andrews); FHEA; MLitt (St Andrews); PGCE (Jesus College, Cambridge); MA (St Andrews)
Lecturer in French Studies
College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: +61 (02) 6125 2768

Areas of expertise

  • Literature In French 200511
  • Postcolonial Studies 200211
  • Stylistics And Textual Analysis 200526
  • Comparative Literature Studies 200524
  • Cultural Studies Not Elsewhere Classified 200299
  • Culture, Gender, Sexuality 200205
  • Latin And Classical Greek Literature 200510

Research interests

18th- and 19th-century French and Francophone literature and culture; 18th- and 19th-century French history and criticism; literary criticism; textual analysis; women's writing; gender; postcolonialism; ecocriticism; ecofeminism; postcolonial ecologies; landscape; Space; Sentimental novel.


I joined the ANU in February 2019 as a Lecturer in French Studies. Prior to my position here, I worked in Wales in the UK as a Lecturer in French at Aberystwyth University, as a Lecturer in French and Translation Studies at Cardiff University, and as a Lecturer in French and Latin at Bangor University. I obtained my PhD from the University of St Andrews in 2015. During my PhD, I spent two years in Paris, working as a lectrice at the Université de Paris IV - La Sorbonne. My undergraduate degree (St Andrews 2007) was in French and Latin, and prior to beginning my PhD, I trained as a Latin teacher at Jesus College, Cambridge. My first book, Writing the Landscape: Exposing Nature in French Women’s Fiction, 1789-1815, is to be published by Legenda in early 2019. My area of research expertise is 18th- and 19th-century French literature, particularly women's writing and literature from the French colonies. 


Researcher's projects

Writing the Landscape: Exposing Nature in French Women’s Fiction, 1789-1815 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2019)

This monograph analyses the works of several French female novelists from the period 1789-1815. The penchant of women writers of this era for sentimental novels has led critics to take their writing at face value as apolitical and domestic. And their presentation of nature has, thus far, been dismissed completely. However, the natural landscape was not just a backdrop. On account of the supposed link between women and nature, women in post-revolutionary France were pigeonholed into a very restrictive sphere centred around domesticity and submission to their male counterparts. Yet Cottin, Genlis, Krüdener, Souza and Staël re-appropriate nature in order to reclaim the voice denied to them and to their sex by society. By highlighting self-expression, and by celebrating the figure of the melancholic wanderer, the social misfit, or the visionary, in the setting of an often tempestuous Nature, these writers also exerted substantial influence on the literary Romanticism which was soon to capture the European imagination.

New Project: Ecocritical Awareness in Eighteenth and early Nineteenth-century French Literature

The project analyses late 18th- and early 19th-century French literature from an ecocritical perspective. It aims to shed new light on the way we view French literature of the Enlightenment, early Romanticism, the Industrial Revolution and the colonial period. It is a project with great potential for interdisciplinarity, exploring literature, sociological history, the historical portrayal of industrial development and ecological thought and centres around several areas of burgeoning research, including ecocriticism, ecofeminism, ecotheology, and postcolonialism.

Enlightenment philosophes such as Montesquieu and Voltaire had argued in the early 18th century that geographical climate directly influenced society, politics and culture. However, by the 19th century, this argument had developed into the modern belief that society affects the environment, and that the latter must be conserved. In order to track the development of that about-turn in thought, I examine French literature from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Thus far, I have developed two major research areas in the new project:

1. Ecofeminist thought in 18th- and 19th-C French literature

I spoke on this topic at the Australasian Association for Literature (AAL) annual conference in July 2017: Literary Environments: Place, Planet and Translation. 

Output: Christie Margrave, ‘Early Developments of Ecofeminist Thought in French Women’s Early Romantic Fiction’, Essays in French Literature and Culture, 55 (2018) pp.43-62.

2. Postcolonial Ecocriticism in 18th- and 19th-C French lit

Through the lens of postcolonial ecocritical theory, I analyse the ways in which the history of the land is inseparable from Francophone socio-political history (both on a regional and an international level) in the works of writers including Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (the Indian Ocean), Évariste Parny (Madagascar), Nicolas-Germain Léonard (the Caribbean), Le Vaillant (Africa), Traversay (Martinique), Bergeaud (Haiti), Saint-Lambert (North America), Marceline Desbordes-Valmore (Guadeloupe). Many of these authors’ works are significantly understudied. However, bringing them to light through the lens of postcolonial ecocriticism (Deloughrey and Hangley (2011), Huggan and Tiffin (2010), Grove (1995)), allows the reader to perceive how they foreground landscape as a participant in the changing nature of France and her colonies, and allow us to begin to map the colonial metropole’s relationship to non-metropolitan space.

I presented a paper on this topic in a panel on Ecoregional Identities in collaboration with colleagues from the UK's Society of Dix-Neuviémistes at the ASFS conference in December 2018. An article based on the paper will appear in a special issue of the journal Dix-Neuf in December 2019.



Available student projects

I am keen to supervise PhD, Masters, and Honours projects in French and Francophone literature and cultural studies. I have specific interests in 18th- and 19th-century French literature (and particularly women's writing of the 18th- and 19th- centuries), in Francophone postcolonial literature, and in ecocriticism in French literature.

Past supervision topics:

A Study of the Functions of Camfranglais in Contemporary Cameroonian Society with Reference to the Lyrics of Koppo. (Undergraduate)

‘Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité’, est-ce que les rêves de la Révolution française sont accomplis en France d’aujourd’hui ? (Undergraduate)

Translating the content, style, and cultural focus of Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s Les Dix enfants que madame Ming n’a jamais eus in order to make it accessible to a contemporary British audience. (Undergraduate)

The Challenges of Translating Folk Tales: a Case Study of the Breton tale “Le filleul du roi”. (Undergraduate)

Pied-Noir Artists as Cultural Translators. (Masters)

Deux Morceaux de Meursault: Translation Challenges in Camus’ L’E?tranger and Daoud’s Meursault, contre-enquête. (Masters)

Revolution: Our Fight for France, a translation and commentary of extracts from Révolution : C’est notre combat pour la France (2016) by Emmanuel Macron. (Masters)

A translation of various sketches from Dany Boon’s stand-up show Waïka (2006) for subtitling purposes. (Masters)


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