Christophe Barnabé

Christophe Barnabé

Stipendiary Lecturer in French
Modern Languages
MA Paris-Sorbonne, PhD Bern

I joined New College in 2022 as Stipendiary Lecturer in French after a teaching position at Somerville College. I am also a Lecturer at Merton College. I studied in Paris, where I earned a degree in Psychology and Psychoanalysis from Paris Diderot University, and a master's in French and Comparative Literature from Paris-Sorbonne. I then became an associate researcher at the University of Bern, where I taught, and completed in 2020 a PhD in French and Comparative Literature funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. 


At New College, I teach translation into French for Prelims and FHS, French poetry of the 19th and 20th centuries, and literary theory. I also run a French poetry creative writing workshop at the Maison Française

Research Interests

My research broadly includes 20th and 21st century French literature, especially poetry, as well as modern poetry in Spanish and English written on both sides of the Atlantic. I am particularly interested in the study of literary discourse as a means to dismantle traditional dichotomies opposing art and knowledge, magic and science, or rational and irrational modes of thinking. My doctoral research was mainly concerned with the notion of healing. My thesis studies four European poets (Philippe Jaccottet, Antonio Gamoneda, Ted Hughes and Paul Celan) whose work spans the second half of the 20th century. It aims to understand how and why these poets, each in their own way, all seem to call on poetry's ancient healing roots, precisely at a time when medical science has reached an unprecedented level of efficiency. 

Besides my work in the field of medical humanities, I have also written or taught about the intersection of poetry, painting, and music; fiction and hagiography; and, more recently, about the reconstruction of a poem's genesis through archival research. 

Selected Publications

‘Les brisures souterraines de Jacques Dupin’, Genesis, no. 58 (2024), pp. 25-36.

‘Sur le Nil. En longeant les carnets d’Esther Tellermann’, L’Étrangère, no. 56 (2022), pp. 106-121.
‘Philippe Jaccottet lisant L’Été: comprendre un malaise’, in Albert Camus et la poésie, ed. by Danièle Leclair and Alexis Lager (Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2022), pp. 47-58.

Mutam cinerem’ (on Anne Carson’s Nox), Critique, no. 879-880 (2020), pp. 658-669. 
‘Du bruissement des organes à la musique des vers: la cénesthésie à l’œuvre dans “Les Nerfs” de Jules Supervielle’, in La figure du poète-médecin, XXe-XXIe siècles, ed. by Alexandre Wenger et al. (Geneva: Georg, 2018), pp. 79-98.

‘Abrupt Majesty. Francis Ponge Face to Face with Fautrier’s Paintings’, in Jean Fautrier. Matière et lumière (Paris: Paris Musées, 2018), pp. 178-189.

‘Le lieu du perpétuel commencement: Mark Strand, Haydn, et les sept dernières paroles du Christ’, Europe, no. 1026 (2014), pp. 291-304.

(For a full list of publications see my Faculty profile.)

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