Lili Owen Rowlands

Lili Owen Rowlands


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Personal profile

Personal profile

I am a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. I teach and write about modern and contemporary French literature, film, visual cultures and critical theory, with a focus on questions of autobiography, desire, sex, feeling, gender and precarity. Broadly speaking, all of my work centres on the porous border between the exterior world and interior selves, on how material conditions and discourses delimit who people can be and how they make sense of their lives.

Research interests

My current research project is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and examines what contemporary French first-person texts and films reveal about disparaged, dangerous and overlooked forms of work at a time when life and labour have become increasingly enmeshed. I’m particularly interested in the work of cleaning, caring and sex working.

I’m also preparing my doctoral thesis for publication. The book will address the intersection of literary experiment, life-writing and feminist theory in France since the early 2000s through a focus on the writings of Anne F. Garréta, Paul B. Preciado, Virginie Despentes and Didier Eribon.

I am co-editor of a forthcoming special journal issue of Paragraph on Paul B. Preciado, the influential contemporary theorist of gender, sexuality and post-Fordism, as well a collected volume entitled Rage: Affect and Resistance in French and Francophone Culture and Thought, 1968–2020 (forthcoming with Peter Lang). I regularly review contemporary French culture for public-facing publications like the London Review of Books and the New Yorker.


I currently teach undergraduate and postgraduate modules across French, Comparative Literatures and Cultures, and Liberal Arts degree programmes in areas including postcolonial Francophone literatures, black feminism, Modernism and affect theory.

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 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

Education/Academic qualification

French, PhD, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 22 Apr 2022