Postdoc: Women Poets Inspired by the Sciences (University of Lille)



Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position from 2 September 2024 to develop the research project WISE (Women Poets Inspired by the Sciences since the Romantic Era), funded by the University of Lille’s “Initiative d’Excellence”.

The closing date for applications is 22 April 2024. 

Candidates selected for interviews who do not reside in France may request online interviews. We anticipate that interviews will take place between 10 and 18 June 2024.


Further Particulars:

Job Type: Postdoctoral Researcher

Contract type: Temporary

Academic Discipline: English Literature 

Required Qualifications: A PhD in English Studies

Employer: Université de Lille (

Location: Campus Pont de Bois, Villeneuve d’Acsq, France

Salary: Based on the salary scale of French universities: “brut salary” between 2360 € and 2834 € per month.

Hours: Full Time

Starting Date: 2 September 2024

The successful candidate will be appointed full-time for twelve months, renewable once, and will be affiliated to the CÉCILLE research centre ( 


Please submit

(1) A CV

(2) A cover letter in connection with the WISE project (3 pages max.) 

(3) A copy of your PhD degree

(4) A short example of individual written work (article, chapter, &c)

All documents must be sent in one PDF to the following addresses: and


Required Skills

  • Doctoral qualification in anglophone literature; applications are particularly encouraged from those whose work involves poetry and/or British literature. 
  • Excellent written and spoken skills in English and in French.
  • The ability to conduct field research (archives, interviews &c). 
  • Experience in the digital processing of collected data, or willingness to train in this area. 


Description of the Project:

WISE explores the contact areas between poetic writing and scientific discourse through the perspectives of women, who were long deprived of a formal scientific education. It focuses on the intensely imaginative and creative engagement British women poets have had with the objects, methods and languages of the sciences, and with their philosophical and political implications. It ranges from late 18th-century poetesses to contemporary voices that perpetuate the questionings opened during the Romantic Era, an age of political, scientific and aesthetic revolutions when disciplinary boundaries were redrawn. The project takes Britain as its epicenter, but also aims to draw a series of comparisons with women poets from other anglophone countries, in order to examine the ways in which the aesthetic possibilities awakened by these revolutions rippled across the English-speaking world through complex filiations. It will develop along four lines: (1) the relationship to scientific authority and power, (2) the imagination of the gendered body in a creative and often subversive dialogue with the life sciences, (3) the material practices and technologies available to women, and (4) writing in the Anthropocene.


The successful applicant will be expected to work in collaboration with the project coordinator on the following aspects of the project: 

(1) complement and stabilize the corpus of primary sources – in particular locate and digitalize some of the unpublished or unavailable material in the main corpus (poems) as well as additional primary sources (letters, journals, field notes…) – and conduct interviews with poetesses; 

  1. This will involve research trips for which the successful candidate will be allocated a research grant.  

(2) review secondary sources; 

(3) analyze the poems, the complementary material and the interviews. This will provide the basis for the creation of a database of digitized poems and additional resources (letters, field notes, diaries, etc.).

(4) contribute to the organization of scientific events in connection with the project.