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Professor Russell Goulbourne

Goulbourne, Professor Russell

Russell Goulbourne Head of the School of Arts and Humanities

Professor of French Literature

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1150
Address Department of French
King's College London
Room VB2.20 Virginia Woolf Building
22 Kingsway
London WC2B 6LE




Russell Goulbourne studied at Keble College, Oxford. He then taught in the Department of French at the University of Leeds between 2000 and 2013, first as a Lecturer (2000-05), then as a Senior Lecturer (2005-06) and finally as Professor of Early Modern French Literature (2006-13). He also served as Head of Department from 2008 to 2011. He moved to King’s College London in January 2014 as Professor of French Literature and was Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Humanities from January 2014-August 2018. 

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • 17th and 18th century French literature
  • Reception of classical antiquity in early modern France
  • History of the book and textual editing
  • Literary translation

Russell Goulbourne’s main research interests are in early modern French literature. He has worked on 17th and 18th century French drama, and in particular on the comic theatre of Voltaire, a number of whose plays he has edited for the Voltaire Foundation’s  Œuvres complètes de Voltaire. Current research projects include: a critical edition of some of Voltaire’s poetry; a study of the reception of the Roman poet Horace in 18th-century France; and a monograph on the concept of posterity in early modern France.

Russell Goulbourne would be happy to supervise PhD students working on any aspect of 17th and 18th century French literature.

For more detail, see his full research profile.

Selected publications
  • Voltaire Comic Dramatist (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2006)
  • Voltaire, Samson, ed. R. Goulbourne, in Les oeuvres completes de Voltaire, vol. 18C (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2008), pp.189-328
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Reveries of the Solitary Walker, ed. and trans. by R. Gouldbourne (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)
  • 'Diderot and the Ancients', in New Essays on Diderot, ed. J Fowler (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp.13-30
  • 'Conversations with the Dead in Early Modern France', Modern Language Review, 108 (2013), 90-108
For a complete list of publications, please see my full research profile.

In 2014-15 Professor Goulbourne will be teaching 17th and 18th Century elements of French literature on 4AAFF121 Introduction to French Literature, 4AAFF123 Subjects and Selves: An Introduction to French Thought and 5AAFF250 Comedy in French Literature before 1700.

Expertise and public engagement
  • Co-editor of French Studies, the quarterly journal of the Society for French Studies
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Voltaire Foundation's Oeuvres completes de Voltaire
  • OUP blog on Rousseau
  • LSE Literary Festival round-table discussion on Diderot
Russell Goulbourne is happy to talk to public media about any aspect of 17th and 18th century French literature.


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