Politics and Politiques
My PhD research was on early modern French literature, especially during the tumultuous years of civil war (1562-98) known as ‘the Wars of Religion’. I focused especially on politics and political language. My thesis, which became a book published by Cambridge University Press in 2021, looked at how the meanings and uses of the word ‘politique’ itself changed over time. One of its main findings is the story of how the figure of the ‘politician’ developed in French, and European, political imagination. I wrote about this for aeon+psyche.
After my PhD I have continued to think about the politics of literature, and how politics is represented in literature. My recent article on ‘political homelessness’ in sixteenth-century France, taking Montaigne’s Essais as a case study, was named runner up in both the Forum Prize (2021) and the Society for French Study’s Malcolm Bowie Prize (2022). Read it here.