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Professor Edward Nye

Professor Edward Nye

  • Tutorial Fellow in French
  • Associate Professor of French


I became a Fellow of Lincoln after an undergraduate degree in French and Philosophy at Leicester University, a Master's in Linguistics and Computing at Leeds University, a DPhil. in French at Merton College, Oxford, and the Kathleen Bourne Junior Research Fellowship at St Anne’s College, Oxford.

College teaching

I teach French literature and language to undergraduates reading for a four-year degree (with one year abroad), focusing mostly on the period 1500-1840. I supervise graduate students in eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century French literature.


In the past, I have mainly focused on aesthetic theories of literature and the aesthetics of stage dance. I am currently writing a book on the most famous mime actor of the nineteenth century, Jean-Gaspard Deburau, and on the place of mime art in the artistic, aesthetic, cultural, and social context of the nineteenth century. The most famous image of him is 'Baptiste' in the 1945 cult French film by Carné and Prévert, Les Enfants du paradis, in which he is played by Jean-Louis Barrault, himself one of the great twentieth-century actor-mimes. I also have a research interest in Deaf Studies, notably the history of sign language, its value as one of the greatest philosophical and cultural legacies of the Enlightenment, and its subsequent significance in the arts and in society.

Select publications

Mime, Music and Drama on the Eighteenth-century Stage: The Ballet d’Action (CUP, 2011)

Portraits of Deburau in Janin’s Deburau, l’histoire du Théâtre à quatre sous’, L’Esprit créateur (doi: 10.1177/1748372716673239). 2019, Vol. 59,1, pp. 66-81

‘The Pantomime repertoire of the Théâtre des Funambules’, Nineteenth-century Theatre and Film (doi: 10.1177/1748372716673239). 2016, Vol. 43.1, pp. 1-18

‘The Romantic Myth of Jean-Gaspard Deburau’, Nineteenth-Century French Studies (doi: 10.1353/ncf.2015.0016). 2015–16, Vol. 44.1–2, pp. 46-64.

‘Jean-Gaspard Deburau: Romantic Pierrot’, New Theatre Quarterly (doi: 10.1017/S0266464X14000232). 2014, Vol. XXX, pp. 107-119