Francois.e Charmaille, Christ's

Degree: PhD
Course: English
Supervisor: Dr Phil Knox
Dissertation Title: Transgender Grammar: Alan of Lille and the Harley 2253 Manuscript

Biographical Information

I first came to Cambridge for my BA in English at Robinson College (2016-2019). I then moved to Christ's to complete my MPhil in the French department (2019-2020), writing my dissertation on the Roman de la Rose.

Research Interests

My thesis examines writers of the 12th-14th centuries, and their complex understanding of the way language relates to the social world; specifically, I argue that they saw grammar as inextricably linked to what we have come to call "gender" and "sexuality". This project touches on a wide range of poets and poems in Latin, English, and French, including: Alan of Lille, the Harley 2253 manuscript, the Roman de la Rose, Walter of Châtillon, both versions of the Mariage des Sept Arts, Matthew of Vendôme, the Carmina Burana, Hildebert of Lavardin, the Ruodlieb, Gilles de Corbeil, Peter of Blois, Gautier de Coincy, Baudri of Bourgueil, the pseudo-Ovidian De Vetula, Peter Damian, John of Salisbury, and the Roman de Silence.

On a broader scale, I am primarily concerned with trans theory and the contributions it can make to our understanding of medieval culture. Within this context, I am also interested in Hildegard of Bingen, medieval medical writing, the chansons de geste, medieval climatologies, Marie de France, the Gawain-poet, Marguerite Porete, the Auchinleck manuscript, Gwerful Mechain, Huw Arwystli, the Ovide moralisé, Bernardus Silvestris, and Christine de Pizan. In addition to trans and queer theory, my work is informed by a sustained and rigorous engagement with French thinkers of the postwar era, including Michel Foucault, Louis Althusser, Frantz Fanon, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Nancy, Aimé Césaire, Luce Irigaray, Emmanuel Levinas, Jacques Lacan, Édouard Glissant, and Roland Barthes.

Areas of Supervision

In the English tripos, I am able to teach papers I.3, I.4, II.6, II.15, and II.16. In MML, I am able to teach FR3 and FR7. I am also happy to supervise coursework on any of the topics outlined above, as well as many other areas of medieval literature and theory.