Nicholas Hunter BA, MA

Nicholas Hunter

Department of Modern Languages
Language Tutor in French Studies

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I teach on a variety of language and content modules. I lecture mainly on early-modern French literature and culture, particularly 17th-Century texts, and on 20th-Century writing and film.


B.A. French Studies; M.A. in Seventeenth-Century Studies, both at Durham.


I was born and grew up in South Yorkshire. After undergraduate and postgraduate study at Durham University I was appointed to the University of Birmingham in 1999.


I teach Year 1 and Year 2 French written language classes and run a cours de soutien for Year 2 students. I also teach and lecture on Introduction to French Literature and Film Studies and Cultural Intersections in Year 1 and Renaissance to Realism and French Text and Interpretation in Year 2. I am the convenor of the Year 1 language course and Cultural Intersections.

My Final-Year option, Princesses, Poisoners and Power: Gender and Society in Seventeenth-century French Texts, analyses the complex and surprising representations of gender and its intersection with power in a variety of seventeenth-century French texts by female and male writers (letters, plays, fairy tales and novels). Particular attention is paid to the social and political consequences of ‘transgressive’ behaviour displayed by both women and men and the strategies available to combat the use and misuse of authority.


My principal interests lie in seventeenth-century literature and culture. I’m particularly interested in the ways dramatists use patriarchal structures of authority as a means of controlling the representation of - sometimes actively disruptive - female characters, thereby neutralising their potential to challenge or threaten the established social order. I have also undertaken research on the education of children in 17th-Century France with particular reference to the writings of Fénelon. I hope soon to explore documentary and literary representations of the garden during the reign of Louis XIV.

Other activities

Undergraduate Examinations Officer for the School and for French Studies.


  • 'Visualising female education in Fénelon's Traité de l'éducation des filles', published in Text(e) / Image, ed. by Margaret-Anne Hutton, Durham French Colloquies No. 7, 1999.