Research

A photograph of the early Oulipo (Source)

The OuLiPo (Workshop of Potential Literature, founded in Paris in 1960) is a unique case in literary history, proposing mathematical methods to conceptualize and produce literature. Founded in the midst of the Cold War, disillusioned by World War II, surrounded by a myriad of scientific and technological developments, the OuLiPo dialogues with other disciplines, capitalizing on the post-war purchase of mathematics as a solution to the two culture debate. Natalie’s primary doctoral research explores the Oulipo’s addition of mathematics as a tool for literary production, focusing specifically on the group’s activity from 1960 to 1970. The first and second generation members (with a particular emphasis on Raymond Queneau, François Le Lionnais, Jean Lescure, Harry Mathews, Jacques Roubaud, Georges Perec, and Italo Calvino) are therefore the main literary figures treated in this study, with Michèle Audin being a notable exception (a relatively recent member of the group, she has been instrumental in theorizing the Oulipo’s use of mathematics and has also developed some particularly interesting mathematical constraints herself).

As the Oulipo is an interdisciplinary movement, Natalie’s interests naturally extend beyond this specific case in experimental literature to various secondary specializations:

  1. History of Science
  2. Translation
  3. Digital Humanities
  4. 19th Century Narratives
  5. Italian Studies