Dr Thibaut Maus de Rolley

Dr Thibaut Maus de Rolley

Associate Professor


Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2012

Research summary

Research interests: Renaissance literature and thought; comparative literature (French, Italian, Spanish, English); narrative fiction; early modern demonology and witchcraft; literature and demonology; travel writing; imaginary voyages and alternative worlds (especially lunar travel narratives); literature and geography; the early modern imagination of space; history of science.

I currently work on two related fields: (a) the interactions between demonological and geographical knowledge in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a period which is both the 'Age of Discovery' and the 'Age of Demonology'; (b) the study of a series of documents (court records, printed and manuscript confessions, pamphlets, accounts of exorcisms) related to the 'affaire Gaufridy', a French case of demonic possession and witchcraft (Aix-en-Provence, 1609-1611) that led to the conviction and execution of the priest Louis Gaufridy.  

My book Elévations (Geneva: Droz, 2011) deals only partly with the devil. It traces an interdisciplinary 'pre-history' of aerial and cosmic voyages in French and European Renaissance literature, from Ariosto's Orlando furioso (1516-32) to Kepler's Somnium (1609-34), at the cross-roads between narrative fiction (epic poetry, chivalric romance, satire) and learned discourses (in particular cosmography, astronomy and demonology).

Teaching summary

Courses taught at UCL:

  • FREN1102 ('Reading French Texts', Lectures on Marguerite de Navarre);
  • FREN1103 ('Introduction to Medieval and Early Modern French Literature');
  • FREN2103 ('The Renaissance Period: Love in the Renaissance');
  • FREN4114 ('Old Worlds, New Worlds: Humanism and Travel Writing');
  • FREN4217 ('Fiction and the Archives: Rewriting Criminal Stories in Early Modern France');
  • ELCS6055 ('First Contact: European Encounters with the New World');
  • ELCS6105 ('Travel Writing');
  • ELCS4023 ('Men on the Moon: Cosmic Voyages in the Early Modern Period');
  • CLITG003 ('Men on the Moon: Cosmic Voyages in the Early Modern Period', MA Course);

  • ARTFGE01 ('Magic, Demonology and Witchcraft in the Early Modern Period'; 'Utopia and the New World'; 'The Interpretation of Rabelais', Core Course of the MA in Early Modern Studies).


Universite de la Sorbonne (Paris IV)
Doctorate, Doctorat | 2009
Universite de la Sorbonne (Paris IV)
Other higher degree, Master of Arts | 2002
Universite de la Sorbonne (Paris IV)
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts | 1998


BA (Sorbonne, 1998), ‘Agrégation’ (ENS Lyon, 2000), MA (Paris 8/Sorbonne, 2002), PhD in French and Comparative Literature (Sorbonne, 2009). Former scholar of the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon (1995-2003).

Before joining UCL in 2012, I taught in Montreal (Université de Montréal, 2001-02) and Paris (Sorbonne, 2003-07) as a postgraduate teaching assistant and teaching fellow, and in Oxford as a Besse Senior Scholar (Worcester College, 2007-10) and a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow (Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages and Oriel College, 2010-12).