Thornton Sara

Posted on November 2, 2019


Research themes

  • British and French nineteenth-century novel

  • Victorian print culture and the urban space

  • Persistence of Victorian forms, practices and thought

  • Aesthetics, politics and economics in Britain and the Empire.

  • Emerging subjectivities (gendered, post-/decolonial and animal)

Current Project

  • Imagining Capital : aesthetic responses to economic pressures in the nineteenth-century: the representation of capital and its effects/affects in literature and the press in Britain and Empire.
  • paradigm shifts, new forms of affect, emerging subjectivities and new relationships with the environment in the Victorian period

Doctoral research themes

I welcome research projects on Victorian literature and print culture including the persistence of its thought, practices and forms (media adaptation, aesthetic and political borrowings); the effects of capital including the affect or sensibilities which cluster around money and its circulation within Britain and the Empire; the urban space and the life of the city’s inhabitants (new animal, gender or post/decolonial subjectivities).

Education and positions

  • 1980-84 : King’s College, Université de Londres, B. A. Honours: French language and literature.
  • 1984-86 : Ecole Normale Supérieure, 45 rue d’Ulm. MPhil in French and comparative literature (UFR Science des textes et des documents), Université Paris 7. Dissertation on the dynamics of seduction in La Cousine Bette de Balzac directed by Nicole Mozet et Julia Kristeva.

  • 1992 : Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle : PhD (Doctorat Nouveau Régime) in English literature on W. M. Thackeray and the vanity of the text. Jury : Hubert Teyssandier (DR). Roger Chazal, Jean-Jacques Lecercle, Marie-Christine Lemardeley, Michel Baridon.
  • 1992 : Permanent position as Associate Professor (Maître de conferences) at Université de Picardie, Amiens
  • 1998 : Associate Professor (Maître de conferences) at Université Paris Diderot now Université Paris Cité
  • 2006 : Diploma for the status of research supervisor (Diplôme d’Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches)
 at Université Paris Diderot. Jury : Marie-Françoise Cachin (garante), Cornélius Crowley, Catherine Lanone, Jean-Jacques Lecercle, Alexis Tadié. 
  • 2007 – today: Post as full Professeur at Université Paris Diderot now Université Paris Cité
  • 2017 – today: Scientific Advisor DGESIP, Ministry of Higher Edication and Research, France (MESR)

Administration and responsabilities

  • 2011-2018: Elected member of the board of Doctoral School 131 of Université de Paris now Université Paris Cité
  • 2014-today: Elected member of the scientific committee for the faculty of English Studies, Université de Paris, now Université Paris Cité
  • 2012-today: Design and co-direction of the Masters programme « Intelligence et innovation culturelles ». Two year work placement MA programme.  
  • 2014-2018: Chair of the academic association of Victorian and Edwardian Studies « Société Française d’Etudes Victoriennes et Edouardiennes » (SFEVE) 
  • 2015- 2019: Policy officer « Alumni Paris Diderot » working with the Vice-president of ‘Outreach to industry, society and health’. Position renewed for the new Université de Paris  (after P7 – P5 merger) maintenant Université Paris Cité
  • 2017-today: scientific advisor at the Ministry of Higher Education and Research (Ministère de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche)


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Articles et  chapitres d’ouvrage (sélection) :

  • Thornton, Sara and Chowdhary, Tanvi. ‘Blyton’s ghosts : Childhood receptions in India and Britain’ dans Memory and Identity : Ghosts of the Past in the English-speaking World. Edited ByLinda Pillière, Karine Bigand, London : Routledge 2022.
  • Thornton, Sara, ‘Eliot’s Mitwelt: Productive Environments in The Mill on the Floss and Middlemarch’ in Isabelle Gadoin et Catherine Lanone, In Memoriam Hubert Teyssandier, Polysèmes 26, 2021.
  •  Thornton, Sara and Bernard, Catherine, ‘Empathy, indiscipline and employability: the case of the bi-lingual Masters programme “Cultural intelligence and innovation” at the University of Paris’ in Empathy, sensibility and graduate employment – can the humanities help? Special Issue of the Journal Industry and Higher Education, Sage Publishing : London, Los Angeles, 2020.
  • Thornton, Sara, ‘Cloud, steam and smoke : structures of feeling and epistemological shifts in nineteenth-century weather’ in What’s The Weather Like In Anglophone Literature and Arts, Catherine Lanone et Jean-Pierre Naugrette (eds), Paris : Honoré Champion, coll. “Littératures étrangères”, 2020.


See publications on HAL