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Durham University

School of Modern Languages and Cultures: French Studies

Staff in the Department of French

Go to the MLAC staff pages.

Dr Samuel Bootle, BA (Oxford), MRes, PhD (University of London)

Assistant Professor / Director of Studies in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 44679
Room number: 238, Elvet Riverside II

Contact Dr Samuel Bootle (email at

I studied French and Philosophy at Christ Church, University of Oxford, and went on to complete a PhD on French Literature at Birkbeck, University of London, in 2011. I then spent a year back at Christ Church as a Temporary Lecturer, and three semesters at the University of St Andrews as a Teaching Fellow and Lecturer, before arriving in Durham in January 2014. 

My research focuses on nineteenth-century French literature, especially poetry. I am interested primarily in questions of exoticism and nationalism. I recently completed my first monograph, Laforgue, Philosophy, and Ideas of Otherness, which deals with the reception of German philosophy in the work of the late nineteenth-century French poet Jules Laforgue and the importance to this reception of contemporary discourses that cast Germany as 'other'. I have also co-edited (with Dr Claire White, Cambridge) a Special Issue of Dix-Neuf, the journal of the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes, on Laforgue.

In 2016 I completed a two-month fellowship at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, to begin work on a new project dealing with the reception of Buddhist thought in nineteenth-century France. 

Research Groups

  • Transnationalism - Co-Convenor

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

Conference Paper

  • 2014 'Sea Sponges, Polyps and Mechanical Fish: the Decadent Aquarium. Modern Language Association Annual Convention 2014 in Chicago, USA'.
  • 2013 'The Underwater World, Underground: Laforgue and Huysmans on the Berlin Aquarium. Society for French Studies Annual Conference at Nottingham University'.
  • 2012 'Le Nihilisme oriental: Buddhism in Nineteenth-Century French Literature. St Andrews French Research Seminar at St Andrews University'.
  • 2011 'The Discourse of Disease: Laforgue's Reception of Schopenhauer. Society of Dix-Neuviémistes 9th Annual Conference at Birmingham University'.
  • 2010 'Genius and the Unconscious: Laforgue's Reception of Hartmannian Aesthetics. Oxford French Postgraduate Seminar at Oxford University'.
  • 2010 'Jules Laforgue and the Illusion of Spontaneity. Society of Dix-Neuviémistes 8th Annual Conference at Bangor University'.
  • 2010 'Laforgue's 'Afrique Intérieure': A Vital Chaos? Society of Dix-Neuviémistes Postgraduate Conference'.
  • 2009 'Laforgue's Reading of Schopenhauer in its Cultural Context. Cambridge French Graduate Research Seminar at Cambridge University'.

Journal Article

Show all publications

Selected Grants

  • 2016: Transnational French Modernisms (£1500.00 from MHRA)