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Professor Margaret McGowan FBA

The Renaissance; interdisciplinary approaches to court literature and art; their political and cultural contexts; critical approaches to the History of the Dance and its printed, manuscript and visual sources
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About this Fellow

Professor McGowan studied at the University of Reading. She has been at the University of Sussex since 1964, serving as Dean of the School of European Studies from 1977-1980; as Pro-Vice-Chancellor from 1981-1986 and 1989-92; and as Deputy Vice Chancellor from 1992-1998. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and President of the Early Dance Circle. In 2009, she won the Wolfson Prize for her book Dance in the Renaissance: European Fashion, French Obsession. She was made a CBE in 1998. 


Current post

  • Research Professor of French, University of Sussex

Past Appointments

  • Professor of French, University of Sussex, 1974 - 1997
  • Reader, University of Sussex, 1968 - 1974
  • Lecturer, University of Sussex, 1964 - 1968
  • Lecturer, University of Glasgow, 1957 - 1964
  • Lecturer, Université de Strasbourg, 1955 - 1957

British Academy Appointments

  • Vice-President, 1996 - 1998
  • Member of Council, 1995 - 1996


The Court Ballet of Louis XIII

Margaret McGowan, 1989 Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Moy Qui Me Voy: The Writer and the Self from Montaigne to Leiris

Edited by Margaret M. McGowan and George Craig, 1989 Oxford University Press

Ideal Forms in the Age of Ronsard

Margaret M. McGowan, 1985 California University Press

Form and Meaning: Aesthetic Coherence in Seventeenth-Century French Drama

Edited by Margaret M. McGowan and Ian D. McFarlane, 1982 Avebury

Montaigne's Deceits: The Art of Persuasion in the Essais

Margaret M. McGowan, 1974 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

L'art du Ballet de Cour en France, 1581-1643

Margaret M. McGowan, 1963 Éditions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Other Early Modern Languages and Literatures to 1830 Fellows

Professor Joachim Whaley

The Holy Roman Empire in its European context from the fifteenth century to 1806; the legacy of the Holy Roman Empire in German-speaking central Europe from 1806 to the present

Professor Simon Franklin

History and culture of Russia & Eastern Europe, Medieval & Early Modern; cultural and social history of information technologies

Professor Michael Allen

Renaissance philosophy, particularly the Platonism of Marsilio Ficino & Pica della Mirandola; Renaissance poetry, magic, mythology, iconography & hermeneutics; Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare.

Professor Nigel Leask

Literature & culture of the 'long Romantic period', with a focus on empire, nation & travel writing. My recent focus is Scottish literature & thought 1750-1850, with a special emphasis on Robert Burns & his poetic & intellectual circle.