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Institute in Paris

Dr Louise Lyle

Senior Lecturer in French Studies, Admissions Officer

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I came to ULIP in 2008 as Lecturer in French and Comparative Studies, having previously worked in the French Departments of the Universities of Sheffield and Birmingham.

I completed my PhD on social Darwinism in French fin-de-siècle literature at the University of Sheffield in 2003. Anyone interested in the study of French history or culture is privileged to have the opportunity to do so in Paris, and I’m constantly reminded of this in my everyday life in the city.

The best thing about working at ULIP is seeing how our students use the city to help them grow into polished, confident individuals with highly developed linguistic and intercultural skills. ULIP offers a unique experience and it’s a privilege to be involved in delivering that.

Teaching Specialisms

  • French and comparative literature of 19th and 20th centuries
  • Translation


  • My research focuses on the influence of ideologies inspired by the life-sciences (e.g. social Darwinism, Lamarckism, eugenics, Lysenkoism) in French literary text from the nineteenth century to the present day.
  • I am currently working on a monograph on Social Darwinism in French literature as well as a network reflecting on comparative approaches to eugenics in the British and French colonial empires.                                                                       


  • PhD in French Studies (2003), University of Sheffield. ‘Social Darwinism and the evolutionary “Struggle for Frenchness” in fin-de-siècle French fiction’
  • PGC(H)E (2002), University of Sheffield
  • MA in French Literature (1999) University of Pennsylvania
  • MA in French Language & Literature (1996) University of Glasgow



  • Histoires de la Terre: Earth Sciences and Physical Culture, 1740-1940 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2008). Co-edited with D. McCallam.
  • Social Darwinism in the French Ideological Novel, 1880-Present, under contract to Ashgate for publication in 2012-13.

Journal Special Issues

Articles / chapters

  • ‘Charles Darwin dans Le Jardin des supplices’, Cahiers Octave Mirbeau, no. 14, 2007, pp. 47-64. 
  • ‘Maternity and Cultural Reproduction in French Fin de Siècle Fictions’, French Studies Bulletin, no. 104, 2007, pp. 58-61.
  • ‘Le Struggleforlife: Contesting Balzac through Darwin in Zola, Barrès and Bourget’, Nineteenth-Century French Studies, no. 36: 3&4, 2008, pp. 305-19.
  • 'Science Bourgeoise et Science Prolétarienne: French Literary Responses to the Lysenko Affair', New Readings / New Screenings e-journal, no. 9, Summer 2008. Reprinted in The Lost Decade? The 1950s in European History, Politics, Society and Culture, ed. H. Feldner, C. Gorrara and K. Passmore, (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press), 2011, pp. 213-229.
  • ‘Reading Environmental Apocalypse in J.-H. Rosny Aîné’s Terrestrial Texts’, Histoires de la Terre, ed. by L. Lyle and D. McCallam (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2008), pp. 219-34.
  • ‘Ideology and the Individual in Jonathan Littell’s Les Bienveillantes’, French Studies Bulletin, no. 109, 2008, pp. 85-88.
  • ‘French Views on Eugenics as seen through Selected Writings of Georges Duhamel’, French Cultural Studies, vol. 20 no. 3, 2009, pp. 257-272.
  • ‘On the Evolution of Humanity and the Oppressions of Darwinism in French Postwar Fiction’, in The Evolution of Literature: Legacies of Darwin in European Cultures, ed. by N. Saul and S.J. James (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011), pp. 213-226.