Simon Gaunt
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Personal profile

Research interests


Simon Gaunt was Professor of French Language and Literature from 1998 until his death in December 2021. An obituary can be read here. His main research interests were: Old French literature; medieval Occitan literature; textual criticism (editing medieval texts); modern critical theory. He worked on a wide range of twelfth- and thirteenth-century texts, including troubadour lyric, chansons de geste, verse and prose courtly romance, fabliaux, beast epic, hagiography, the Roman de la Rose and medieval travel literature. He had a particular interest in theoretically oriented approaches to medieval literature and textual criticism, notably in relation to feminism and queer theory, Marxism, psychoanalysis, anthropology and postcolonial theory. His books included, most recently, Marco Polo's Le Devisement du Monde: Narrative Voice, Language and Diversity (Boydell and Brewer, 2013) and (with Karen Pratt) The Song of Roland and other Poems of Charlemagne (OUP, 2016). He was PI on the AHRC-funded project Medieval Francophone Literary Culture Outside France ( and he was also PI on the ERC-funded project The Values of French:


Research interests (short)

Old French literature; medieval Occitan literature; textual criticism (editing medieval texts); modern critical theory.

Biographical details

  • BA Warwick (1982); PhD Warwick (1986)
  • Research Fellow, Downing College, Cambridge (1986-88)
  • Lecturer at University of Cambridge and Fellow of St Catharine’s College (1988-98)
  • Professor of French Language and Literature, King's College London, from 1998; Head of Department 1998-2004
  • Fellow of King's College London, from 2015
  • Honorary Fellow, St Catharine's College, Cambridge, from 2016
  • Fellow of the British Academy, from 2018

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Irony in troubadour poetry, University of Warwick

Award Date: 1 Jan 1986


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