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Dr Isabelle Moreau
110 Malet Place, First Floor
French Department
  • Reader in Early Modern Studies
  • Faculty of Arts & Humanities
Research Summary

My scholarly work is centred on relations between literary and philosophical discourses in early modern Europe, particularly seventeenth-century France. It focuses on two central issues: the interplay between narrative fictions and philosophical discourse; and the circulation of ideas and their textual transformations.

Research areas:

- Seventeenth-century literature and thought; Cultural history and history of ideas, with a special interest in libertinism and free-thinking.
- The status of fiction in philosophy and literature in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Issues of fiction, rhetoric and make-believe in relation to intellectual history and science.
- Eighteenth century literature and thought; Diderot, the Encyclopedie, clandestine and libertine writing. The Mind-Body Problem in Early Modern Europe. Materialism in thought, literature, medicine and the emerging sciences 1600-1800.
- Early Modern Travel narratives and post-colonial theories.

I am internationally active and committed to research-led teaching both in France and England.
Since my arrival at UCL, I have given invited lectures in France and Canada, and research seminar papers in Cambridge, Oxford and London; I have also given numerous papers at international conferences in France, England, Ireland, the US. I have organized an international conference in France in 2008; co-organized an international two-day conference in Oxford, in May 2012; and I am currently co-piloting two workshops and the setting up of a website to publicize a project on 17thCentury narrative fictions, founded by the British Academy. I have produced a strong and growing list of book- and article-length publications in early modern studies, with a special emphasis on history of ideas.


Teaching Summary

At UCL, I have designed and taught a wide range of courses across the undergraduate and MA curriculum. In order to initiate and maintain recruitment to courses on the Early Modern period, I have designed several new seminars, from first- to final-year, which appeal to areas of student interest. With colleagues, I worked to revise FREN1102 (introduction to literature) and now teach three of its keystone lectures. In my capacity of convenor of the course, I have introduced new teaching methodologies to the department by means of a collaborative work with UCL special collections. I have designed and taught a new 4th year course on the figure of the libertine, and two new interdisciplinary MA courses for the French department.

Apart from my specialist area, I currently contribute to the MA Comparative Literature with two courses, on Postcolonial theory (Modern Literary Theory) and on Early Modern Travel narratives (Comparative Literary Studies); I also contribute to the core course of the newly launched MA in Early Modern Studies.


01-FEB-2007 – 31-AUG-2007 Temporary Lecturer French Department University of Burgundy, Dijon
01-SEP-2005 – 31-AUG-2006 Temporary Lecturer French Department University Sophia Antipolis, Nice
01-SEP-2004 – 31-AUG-2005 Temporary Lecturer French Department University of Burgundy, Dijon
01-SEP-2001 – 31-AUG-2004 Temporary lecturer French Department University Jean Monnet, Saint Etienne
01-SEP-2000 – 31-AUG-2001 Assistant Lecturer French Department University Jean Monnet, Saint Etienne
Academic Background
2005 PhD Doctorat Universite de Saint Etienne
2000 DEA Diplôme d'études Approfondies Universite de Saint Etienne
1998 MAI Maîtrise Universite de la Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III)
1997 BA Hons Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Universite de la Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III)
1996 Dipl. Diplom Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon
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