Professor Susan R Harrow

MA Hons (Edin.), Ph.D.(Edin.), Officier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques

  • BS8 1TE

Personal profile

Research interests

Susan Harrow is Ashley Watkins Professor of French. She joined Bristol in 2007 from an established professorship at the University of Sheffield.  Her research and teaching interests lie in the later-nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially poetry and the novel with a particular focus on the interrelation of literary modernism and visual culture. The author of four published monographs, she wrote The Material, the Real and the Fractured Self: Subjectivity and Representation from Rimbaud to Réda (University of Toronto Press, 2004) and has recently published Colourworks: Chromatic Innovation in Modern French Poetry (2020 with Bloomsbury Academic Press: <>), which was awarded the R. Gapper Book Prize (2021) by the Society for French Studies. The paperback edition of Colourworks: Chromatic Innovation in Modern French Poetry was released by Bloomsbury in 2023. Following Zola; La Curée (University of Glasgow, 1998), she published Zola, the Body Modern: Pressures and Prospects of Representation (Legenda, 2010, recently re-issued in paperback). She has recently completed a fifth monograph, on epistolarity and the letters of Cézanne, Van Gogh, Nerthe Morisot, Mallarmé, and Zola, supported by a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship.  Her new book project is a cultural geo-history of Guillaume Apollinaire supported by the award of a University of Bristol Research Fellowship (2023–24).  She has served as a Strategic Reviewer at AHRC and as a member of the REF 2021 Sub-Panel for Modern Languages and Linguistics and also as an Interdisciplinary Advisor to the Sub-Panel.  She was elected President of the Society for French Studies (2010-12), the longest-established and largest association in French studies. In 2011 she was awarded the rank of Officier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques for services to French culture. She is currently serving as the President of the Zola Society of Great Britain.  She has appeared several times as an expert on BBC Radio, most recently on the flagship programme 'In Our Time'.


Increasingly, undergraduates are keen to extend their studies into Postgraduate work, with all the intellectual, personal and professional benefits this brings. Susan Harrow has supervised to successful completion PhDs including studies of French modernist poetry (Max Jacob); the significance of glass in c19th literature and culture;  c19th representations of the Sahara in text and image; and has co-supervised a practice-based PhD on the translation of landscape writing. Recent and current PhD co-supervision includes studies of colour in the theatre of Lorca and epistolarity in Flaubert, Joyce, and Beckett. She would be delighted to hear from prospective postgraduates (that is, undergraduates at any stage) who are keen to pursue projects in the areas of later-nineteenth- and earlier-twentieth-century French literature and inter-disciplinary studies, possibly with a visual culture component. She contributes to the MA unit on Visual Culture: Text and Image.

Her specialist Undergraduate units are all interdisciplinary in nature and involve narrative, poetry, visual culture, theatre, and critical thought:

  • FREN 20041: Paris 1857–1897: Image and Text
  • FREN 30096: Around Cubism
  • FREN 30040: Surrealism: Disruptive Desire in Textual and Visual Culture

External positions

Elector. Board of Electors for the Drapers Chair of French, University of Cambridge

1 Jan 202230 Apr 2023

REF 2021 Sub-Panel Member and interdisciplinary research advisor, Higher Education Funding Council for England

1 Jan 202031 Dec 2021

AHRC Strategic Reviewer, Arts and Humanities Research Council

1 Jan 2017 → …

Curator, Selected Essays, MHRA

1 Jan 2017 → …

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Cabot Institute City Futures Research


Dive into the research topics where Susan R Harrow is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles