Olivier Tonneau

Fellow and Director of Studies in Modern and Medieval Languages
Modern and Medieval Languages
Year Joined Homerton: 

I am a specialist of early-modern French thought, especially Pascal and Diderot, and lecture and supervise for the related papers: Fr4, Fr5, Fr9 and Fr10.

Research Interests: 
  • Theology, ethics, politics, the relation between philosophy and literature, Pascal, Diderot, Robespierre, the French revolution, Aimé Césaire...

Current Research Projects:

  • I currently research the historiography of the French revolution, especially from a colonial/postcolonial perspective, with a view to assessing its relevance to contemporary political debates.
Teaching And Professional Interests: 

Because it is important to make scholarship contribute to the understanding of current affairs, I am involved in the Cambridge Radical Theory And Practice Seminar.

  • Doctorate in Modern Languages from the Université Paris-IV Sorbonne, Masters of Arts from the University of Cambridge.


  • Besse Scholar 2002-2003 

Articles in academic journals and websites:

  • Dec 2015 An Apology for French republicanism, in Radical Philosophy
  • Feb 2015 Qui a peur de l'Incorruptible? Pablo Iglesias et la Révolution française (complete version), in Révolution-française.net
  • Jan 2015 On Religion and irreverence: letter from an old English fart, in Islamicommentary.org
  • Jan 2015 On Charlie Hebdo: A Letter to my British friends (complete version), in Islamicommentary.org
  • Dec 2013 '«Sur les fonts plus belle et plus lumineuse que le soleil». Analyse scaramentelle et sociale de la grâce'. In Seventeenth Century French Studies (2013:12).
  • Nov 2012 'The Science of the cross'. In Rhetorics of Eloquence, Medieval and Early Modern French Studies No 10, Nicholas Hammond and Michael Moriarty (ed),Peter Lang
  • Oct 2011 'No Happiness without Virtue. In Defense of Diderot's Defense of Virtue', in The Legacy of the Enlightenment, Timo Kaitaro (ed), Peter Lang
  • July 2010 'La Négritude et l'Afrique dans le Cahier d'un retour au pays natal', in Revue Africulture (2010:3)
  • July 2006 '«Ah! Si vous pouviez lire au fond de mon cœur…» Reconnaissance et philosophie de l'esprit', in Studies on Voltaire and the 18th Century, (2006:12).
  • July 2005 'Diderot et Socrate : la maïeutique et ses entraves', in SVEC (2005: 07)
  • July 2003 'La représentation de l'idée: désir et refus de l'allégorie chez Diderot', in SVEC (2003: 07)
  • Jan 2003 'Le vers à l'épreuve de la musique', in SVEC (2003: 01)