This major international conference on the theme of ‘Vile Beings, Bodies, and Objects in Early Modern France’ will be hosted in Oxford by the Maison Française, 9-11 July 2015.

This conference seeks to explore aspects of vileness across early modern culture in France (c.1500-1700). Our aim is to assess the extent to which individuals and objects might be grouped within different categories of vileness but also to trouble these very classifications as analytical constructs. Of particular interest are the circumstances in which vileness is said to occur – and cease. We encourage a variety of disciplinary perspectives, and especially comparative approaches which look to languages and cultures beyond France.

Confirmed speakers to date include historians whose research relates French history to that of England and mainland Europe (Dr Hannah Skoda, Dr Graeme Murdock); specialists in comparative literature (Dr Will McKenzie); and an array of French specialists whose subject knowledge branches out into cognate disciplines such as theology (Professor Richard Parish), linguistics (Professor Neil Kenny), dramatic theory (Dr. Joseph Harris) and modern critical theory (Professor Wes Williams). We are fortunate to have confirmed the participation of Professor Nicholas Hammond, Professor Hugh Roberts, Dr Emily Butterworth and Dr Emma Herdman, whose work on early modern French notions of gossip and obscenity has proved instrumental in conceiving the conference theme. We are delighted that Professor Helen Swift, Professor Marie-Claire Thomine, Dr Tom Hamilton, Dr Jennifer Oliver, Ms Emma Claussen, and Ms Victoria Harvey will contribute their wide-ranging expertise in panels on history, poetry and prose narrative.

The conference will bring together a new grouping of 21 scholars, from graduate students to established researchers.

The event will be open to Oxford University members, and to the public. Non-speakers will be subject to a conference fee of £40. For more information, see the Registration page.
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For more information, please contact Jonathan Patterson or Emilia Wilton-Godberfforde.

About the Maison Française d'Oxford ...

Linked with the University of Oxford, this research centre facilitates Franco-British academic collaborations. As a member of the network of research institutes established abroad by the French Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs (www.ifre.fr) and the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the MFO is a centre for the Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (INSHS) of the CNRS. For more information, please visit http://www.mfo.ac.uk/.