St Cross College
Mathilde is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography of the University of Oxford. She works under the supervision of Dr. Dace Dzenovska and Prof. Denis Laborde (Directeur d’études, EHESS – Médaille d’argent du CNRS 2020). Mathilde’s research interests include French modernity, alternative economies, and rural lifeworlds in the Anthropocene.
In situating her ethnographic investigations in the Northern or ‘French’ Basque Country, a rural region of France preserved from the emptiness that pervades most rural areas in post-industrial countries, Mathilde endeavors to understand how ‘cultural’ ecosystems were destroyed as much as ‘natural’ ones in the name of French modernity. The Northern Basques have resisted this, and never has such resistance to the fraught dream of modernity been so timely. Once deemed ‘backward’ and hopelessly ‘pre-modern’, the Basque rural lifeworld and its counter-hegemonic apparatuses of power thus become enticingly futuristic in the Anthropocene. Mathilde is particularly interested in the endogenous economic experiments that currently are made in the Northern Basque, such as the creation of a thriving alternative currency.
Mathilde’s doctoral research aims more generally at ‘returning’ intellectually to the countryside at a time – the Anthropocene – when this is more than ever necessary. In reflecting anthropologically on the rural, Mathilde wants to reveal the much neglected cultural dimensions of the global environmental crisis.
Mathilde has taught at the Stanford University Program in Paris.
Apart from her academic work, Mathilde works as a consultant for various organizations, including the French multinational hospitality business AccorHotels where she assists Brune Poirson (former Secretary of State to the Minster of the Environment of France) to make tourism practices more sustainable in France. As such, Mathilde is committed to making anthropological knowledge present outside of academic institutions.
Mathilde was first trained as a classe préparatoire student in the humanities at Lycée Henri IV, before receiving an East Asian Studies master’s degree (Mention Très Bien) from Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in France. Subsequently, Mathilde studied Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford (Master of Science, Distinction).
Awards and Grants
Summer 2022: Peter Memorial Fund and Philip Bagby Fund School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford.
Winter 2022: Travel & Research Fund Grant St Cross College, University of Oxford.
Winter 2022: Travel Award Bursary, University of Oxford.
Fall 2021: Kuo Tong Soo Bursary St Cross College, University of Oxford.
Fall 2021: Academic Skills & Languages Fund Grant St Cross College, University of Oxford.
Spring 2019: Fondation pour l’Etude de la Langue et de la Civilisation Japonaises sous l’égide de la Fondation de France Research Grant.
Spring 2019: Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales Travel Grant.
Winter 2018-2019: National Taipei University of Education Visiting Student Grant.