Rosemary Lloyd began her career at IU Bloomington as a visiting professor of French and Italian in the College of Arts and Sciences for the 1990-1991 academic year. She was reappointed with a changed in title from visiting professor to professor in 1991, received tenure in 1992, and was appointed to the Graduate School faculty in 1993. She was the chair of the Department of French and Italian from 1995 to 1999, named the Rudy Professor of French and Italian in 1999, and received a Guggenheim Fellowship in French Literature in 2002 from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Lloyd was born and raised in South Australia. While studying French and German at the University of Adelaide, she developed a particular love of nineteenth-century French poetry, especially that of Baudelaire and Mallarm. After earning a B.A. and M.A., she went to the University of Cambridge, England, to prepare her Ph.D. under the direction of the great Baudelaire scholar Alison Fairlie. On completion of her doctoral thesis, she was elected a fellow of New Hall (now Murray-Edwards College) Cambridge, and the following year was appointed to the modern and medieval languages faculty. While there, she was one of a team who introduced a new topic to the Cambridge curriculum, that of the interplay of literature and the fine arts. This experience strengthened a long-held fascination with painting, which is now an active part of her research interests. She taught at Cambridge for 12 years before moving to IU. At IU, the riches of the Lilly Library's collection of rare books and manuscripts allowed her to develop further interests, particularly in the area of artists' books. IU also gave her the opportunity to teach courses on Australian literature and fine arts, an area in which she has also published various articles, and which is a central part of her study of written still lifes. She retired in 2007 and now lives in South Australia.