Andrew Counter

Andrew Counter

Tutor in French; Professor of Modern French Literature
Modern Languages
MA, PhD Camb

Andrew Counter joined New College and the Sub-Faculty of French in 2015, after positions at King's College London (2012-15) and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (2009-12), and a Research Fellowship at St John's College, Cambridge (2008-09). He read French and Russian at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he went on to complete his PhD in French. Professor Counter is a member of the Advisory Board of the U.S. journals Nineteenth-Century French Studies and Romanic Review


Professor Counter teaches all aspects of nineteenth- and twentieth-century French literature on Paper VIII, as well as nineteenth- and some twentieth-century special authors on Paper XI. He also supervises extended essays on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century topics. His lectures focus on the political, historical and broader cultural contexts of nineteenth-century French literature. 

Research Interests

Professor Counter's research considers the intersections of law, politics, sexuality and literature in France between the Revolution and the Second World War. His work draws on a broad range of methodologies and considers multiple genres, including literary, legal, medical and political discourse, though he has a particular interest in the novel. His first book, Inheritance in Nineteenth-Century French Culture (Oxford: Legenda, 2010), was an interdisciplinary study of the use made by writers of fiction and non-fiction alike of the narratives, vocabulary and ideology of inheritance and property transmission. His second book, The Amorous Restoration: Love, Sex and Politics in Early Nineteenth-Century France (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), explores the Bourbon Restoration (1814-30) as a period when discourses of love and sexuality provided an important vehicle for political discussion, and especially for the working through of post-revolutionary political resentments. This book co-won the Modern Language Association's Also and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Studies in 2017. Professor Counter’s current project is provisionally entitled Thinking Sexual Ethics through Modern French Literature.

Professor Counter has been awarded numerous research grants and prizes. In 2019-20, he held a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for his Thinking Sexual Ethics project; before that he was Co-Investigator (with Dr Nick White, University of Cambridge) on an AHRC-funded Research Network entitled ‘The Art of Friendship in France, 1789-1914’. In 2013, he was the recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize, awarded to ‘outstanding scholars who have made a substantial and recognised contribution to their field’. 

He is eager to hear from prospective graduate students wishing to pursue research on any aspects of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French literature (though especially prose fiction) and cultural history, particularly those with an interest in the study of sexuality and literature.

Selected Publications

  • The Amorous Restoration: Love, Sex, and Politics in Early Nineteenth-Century France (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016); co-winner of the Scaglione Prize (French) 2017
  • Inheritance in Nineteenth-Century French Culture: Wealth, Knowledge and the Family (Oxford: Legenda, 2010)
  • The Art of Friendship in France, from the Revolution to the Great War, ed. with Nicholas White, special issue of Romanic Review, 110 (2019)
  • ‘George Sand, Antisex Feminist’, forthcoming in Novel: A Forum on Fiction
  • ‘Use, Value, Justification: On History and Historicism in Nineteenth-Century French Studies’, Dix-Neuf, 25 (2021), 329-44  
  • ‘Zola’s Repetitions: On Repetition in Zola’, Modern Language Review, 116 (2021), 42-64
  • ‘Wilde, Zola, Dreyfus, Christ: Fin-de-siècle Passions’, Representations, 149 (2020), 103-33
  • ‘A Nation of Foreigners: Chateaubriand and Repatriation’, Nineteenth-Century French Studies, 46 (2018), 285-306
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