Dr James Illingworth

Personal details | Publications | Research | Teaching

Teaching Fellow in French

Dr James IllingworthDepartment: Modern Languages

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 5895

Email: ji60@le.ac.uk

Office: Room 1202, Attenborough Tower

Address: School of Arts, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH

Personal details


I am a Teaching Fellow in French and a specialist of nineteenth-century literature and culture, with particular interests in genders studies, queer studies, book history, and literary theory. I studied French at Oxford, where I developed my interest in nineteenth-century aesthetics, and subsequently moved to Queen’s University Belfast to complete a PhD on the novelist George Sand. I previously taught French language and culture at Queen’s Belfast during my postgraduate studies, and then during a post at the University of Exeter. I first taught at Leicester in 2018, but returned to the University in September 2019.


  • MA, University of Oxford
  • MSt, University of Oxford
  • PhD, Queen’s University Belfast


Journal articles and book chapters

  • ‘“Le Médecin de son âme”: Empathy and the Limits of Medical Knowledge in George Sand’s Novels’, George Sand Studies, 37-38 (2018-2019; forthcoming).
  • ‘Joséphine Bowes (1825-1874), Shopaholic or Patroness of the Arts?’, in Plaisirs de femmes: Women, Pleasure and Transgression in French Literature and Culture, ed. by Maggie Allison, Elliot Evans, and Carrie Tarr (Bern: Peter Lang, 2019), pp. 73-87.
  • ‘The French Library of John and Joséphine Bowes’, French Studies Library Group Annual Review, 13 (2016-17), 37-45.
  • ‘The Allure of the Occult: The Bonapartes and the Sibyl of Saint-Germain’, in The Allure of Napoleon: Essays Inspired by the Collections of the Bowes Museum, ed. by Tom Stammers (Barnard Castle: The Bowes Museum, 2017), pp. 29-32.

Book Reviews

  • ‘Le corps déchaîné’, Le Magasin du XIXe siècle, 9 (2019, forthcoming). [Review article of Jeannette Winterson’s Frankissstein].
  • Marilyn Mallia, Présence du roman gothique anglais dans les premiers romans de George Sand, Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2018, French Studies, 73, 3 (2019), 463-64.
  • Lise Bissonnette, Maurice Sand: Une œuvre et son brisant au XIXe siècle. Montreal: Les Presses universitaires de Montréal, 2016, H-France Review, 18, 115 (2018), 1-4.
  • Adrianna M. Paliyenko, Genius Envy: Women Shaping French Poetic History, 1801-1900, University Park, Penn State University Press, 2016, Modern & Contemporary France, 26, 1 (2018), 100-101.
  • George Sand, Jeanne, édition établie et présentée par Laetitia Hanin, Œuvres complètes, sous la direction de Béatrice Didier, 1844, Paris, Honoré Champion, 2016, Cahiers George Sand, 39 (2017), 228-29.
  • Manon Mathias, Vision in the Novels of George Sand, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015, Modern & Contemporary France, 25, 3 (2017), 343-44.

Encyclopaedia Entries

  • “La Petite Fadette”. The Literary Encyclopedia, vol., ed. by Nigel Harkness. First published 30 August 2017.


My primary research focus is on gender in the long nineteenth century. My thesis examined the representation of the body in the works of the foremost French woman writer of the period, George Sand (1804-1876), examining her works through aesthetic, medical and religious lenses. I am currently working this thesis into publications. I am also working on ecological aspects of Sand’s texts and her re-workings of Ovid, as well as Sand’s reception in the USA.

I have additional research interests in book history and the history of collecting, and have produced publications on Joséphine Bowes (1825-1874), the co-founder of the Bowes Museum in Country Durham, and her library that the museum has preserved. My research in this area seeks to bring to light an important and overlooked cultural figure, while also re-addressing our notion of the French literary ‘canon’.

Between 2016 and 2018 served as Postgraduate Representative to the Executive Committee of the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France (ASMCF), co-organising two postgraduate study days at Nottingham and the IMLR in London. I have also served as a peer reviewer to the journals Dix-Neuf and Woman: A Cultural Review.

Grants and Awards

  • George Sand Association Memorial Prize – Highly Commended (2019)
  • Bourse doctorale de l’Adeffi (2017)
  • ASMCF Poster Prize (2015)
  • AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship (2014-2018)


  • FR1010 Advanced French Language
  • FR2045 Media and Cultural Practices in France (Module coordinator)

I have previously taught on:

  • FR1020 Beginners French I (Module coordinator)
  • FR2010 Post-Advanced French Language
  • FR2018 Post-Beginners French Language
  • FR3060 Modern World Literature
  • TS1001 Introduction to Interpreting

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