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Dr Nina Rolland


Visiting Research Fellow

Areas of interest

My research interests are in comparative literature and rely on three main areas that intersect with one another:

  • Word and Music Studies: I am interested in the relations between literature and music from the nineteenth century until nowadays. My PhD thesis ‘Bodies in Composition: Women, Music and the Body in Nineteenth-Century European Literature’ examined the female body as a way to incorporate music in French, British, and German novels. I have explored how fiction incorporates music but also how music uses literature, particularly through song settings of poetry when I worked as a Research Associate on the ‘Baudelaire Song Project’ (AHRC-funded led by Prof. Helen Abbott).
  • Gender Studies: I am interested in rethinking musical and literary canons through discourses used around women and through the works of female composers.
  • The Digital Humanities: I have used digital tools (such as Sonic Visualiser) to analyse song settings of poetry as part of my research on the ‘Baudelaire Song Project’. I also worked on the ‘SoundsFrench AI app’ project (OWRI-funded led by Prof. Helen Abbott) to help learners of French improve their pronunciation. My current project proposes a statistical analysis of the vocabulary used around music in 19th-century French literature using the R programming language.


Whilst teaching at Reading, I convened and taught FR2HTF ‘How to Think in French’ and I co-taught on the following modules:

  • FR1L3 Advanced French Languages I
  • FR2L4 Advanced French Language II
  • FR1IFC Introduction to French Culture
  • ML1TRANS Thinking Translation
  • ML3IC Identity and Conflict in Modern Europe
  • ML1EN1COMP What is Comparative Literature?


I have been a Lecturer in French at the University of Reading and at Queen Mary University of London. I previously held positions at the University of Birmingham, the Institut français of Düsseldorf (Germany), the University of St Andrews, the University of Kent, and Saint Bonaventure University (USA).

Academic qualifications

  • BA in French/Lettres Modernes (Sorbonne University)
  • BA in Philosophy (Nanterre University)
  • MA in Comparative Literature (Sorbonne University)
  • PhD in Comparative Literature (University of Kent/ Sorbonne Nouvelle University)
  • PGCHE/FHEA (University of Kent)


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