Elizabeth Kukorelly

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Dre. Elizabeth Kukorelly


I obtained a Bachelor of Science in International Relations from the London School of Economics in 1991, and Licence ès Lettres from the University of Geneva in 2001. I completed a Doctorate ès letters at the same institution in 2008, entitled: ‘Samuel Richardson’s Pamela Part II: Authorship, Readership and Moral Authority in the Early Novel’.

I have worked at the English Department of Geneva University since 2002, as an assistant, maître assistante, and finally as chargée d’enseignement since 2014. My research interests include the early English novel, discourse analysis (Foucault and Bakhtin), non-literary texts and their interactions with ‘literary’ texts, early eighteenth-century cultural studies (including gender, legal and conduct concerns), and interdisciplinary approaches to literary studies. My current research looks at eighteenth-century conduct books for young women, in particular from the perspective of reader reception, translation and dissemination.

I am presently employed on a Swiss National Science Foundation-funded project, Civility, Cultural Exchange and Conduct Literature in Early Modern England, 1500-1800. This project is working on a bibliographical database of courtesy, civility and conduct books published in London from 1500 to 1700. I am working on a monograph on English and French translations of conduct books for young women in the eighteenth century, in which I look at issues of cultural transfer in the domain of ideal female behaviour. I also look at the role of European conduct literature for women in early Republican America, as I explore how ideal womanly behaviour was an agent in the consolidation of the ideology of the new state.

My teaching has usually focused on one or more of these aspects; I have been particularly concerned to give students the opportunity to read non-literary texts. As such, I propose gender and queer studies seminars, seminars that look at criminals and other marginal figures, and seminars that address colonial and imperial issues. In my teaching I also use (and discuss the pros and cons of) digital versions of eighteenth-century texts such as those found on Eighteenth-Century Collection Online.

I participated in the eighteenth-century Triangle Azur (Suisse Romande Universities) Doctoral School ‘Les Archives des Lumières’ at its inception in 2003. I am involved in the Etudes Genre group of the Faculty of Letters, and have given a number of lectures in the context of the ‘Cours général en Etudes Genre’. I regularly organize CUSO doctoral workshops, and together with colleagues at the Universities of Fribourg and Neuchâtel, have recently set up a new specialized section of the CUSO English-studies doctoral programme, specifically for doctoral candidates working on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century topics.

I am outreach officer for the English department, which means that I actively promote English studies at orientation days in Geneva and elsewhere in Switzerland. In addition, I organize workshops for high-school students, on various themes (monsters, introduction to gender studies). I also convene an occasional discussion group/seminar, together with a colleague from the Spanish department, and one from the Section of earth and environmental sciences, around the general theme of sustainable development. Particular topics have included: urgency, vulnerability and ambiguity.

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Research labels:

Art – culture
Colonialism – postcolonialism – decolonialism
Ecology – environment – sustainability