Dr Nina Rolland

Department of Modern Languages
Research Associate

Contact details

Ashley Building, office 303
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a Research Associate in French studies, working on the The Baudelaire Song Project (AHRC-funded 2015-2019), led by Professor Helen Abbott. I specialise in the relationship between literature and music in 19th century Europe.


  • PhD/Doctorat in Comparative Literature (University of Kent/Paris 3 Sorbonne)
  • Master in Comparative Literature (Paris 4 Sorbonne)
  • BA (Licence) in Lettres Modernes (Paris 4 Sorbonne)
  • BA (Licence) in Philosophy (Paris 10)


Before joining the University of Birmingham in September 2017 I was a Teaching Fellow in French and Comparative Literature at the University of St Andrews.

I graduated with a BA in French and an MA in Comparative Literature from the Université Sorbonne - Paris 4 before completing my PhD in 2016, which was jointly supervised by the Universities of Kent and Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3. I also hold a BA in Philosophy from Paris 10 and a PGCHE from the University of Kent.


I have taught courses on French Language, French Literature and Culture and Comparative Literature at the University of St Andrews, the University of Kent, and Saint Bonaventure University. I also taught French at the Institut français of Düsseldorf.


My current research, within the context of The Baudelaire Song Project, focuses on the analysis of song settings of poems by Baudelaire.

My broader research interests lie in 19th and 20th century European literature - particularly French, British, and German literature - and are situated at the intersection of varied disciplines such as word and music studies, gender studies, and medical humanities. They centre on three main areas: the relations between music and literature, gender and the arts, and representations of the body. These themes were connected in my doctoral thesis entitled ‘Bodies in Composition: Women, Music and the Body in Nineteenth-Century European Literature’, in which I focussed on the representation of female musicians. Analysing texts by George Sand, Balzac, Flaubert, George Eliot, Wilkie Collins, E.T.A Hoffmann, Eichendorff, and Thomas Mann, I examined the female body as a key juncture between music and literature.


  • Bodies in Composition: Women, Music, and the Body in Nineteenth-Century European Literature, book manuscript in progress.
  • Nina Rolland and Edlira Mandis, ‘Variety Theatre and Theatre of Variations: Performance, Female Body and Music in Emile Zola’s Nana (1880), Kate Chopin’s The Awakening (1894) and Arthur Schnitzler’s Fräulein Else (1924)’, in European Drama and Performance Studies - Consuming Female Performers (1850s-1950s), 5.2, (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2015), pp. 55-72.
  • Review: Pek van Andel and Danièle Bourcier, De la serendipité dans la science, la technique, l’art et le droit. Leçons de l’inattendu, Paris, Hermann, 2013 & Sylvie Catellin, Serendipité, Du conte au concept, Paris, Seuil, 2014. In: La vie des idées, Books and Ideas , 3 Juillet 2014. ISSN : 2105-3030. [http://www.booksandideas.net/Serendipity-Expect-The-Unexpected.html]

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