A TORCH Book at Lunchtime webinar on ‘Born to Write: Literary Families and Social Hierarchy in Early Modern France’ by Professor Neil Kenny.
Book at Lunchtime is a series of bite-sized book discussions held weekly during term-time, with commentators from a range of disciplines. The events are free to attend and open to all.
About the book:
It is easy to forget how deeply embedded in social hierarchy was the literature and learning that has come down to us from the early modern European world. From fiction to philosophy, from poetry to history, works of all kinds emerged from and through the social hierarchy that was a fundamental fact of everyday life. Paying attention to it changes how we might understand and interpret the works themselves, whether canonical and familiar or largely forgotten. But a second, related fact is much overlooked too: works also often emanated from families, not just from individuals.
Professor Neil Kenny is a Professor of French at Oxford University, a Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College and Lead Fellow for Languages at the British Academy. He specialises in early modern French literature and thought, especially from the early sixteenth to the mid-seventeenth century. Professor Kenny’s current focus is on the relation of literature and learning to social hierarchy and previous projects have investigated different kinds of knowledge and belief.
Professor Caroline Warman is a Professor of French Literature and Thought at Oxford University, and President of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. She specialises in the circulation of ideas and materialist thought and has recently completed a book on Diderot called The Atheist’s Bible: Diderot and the ‘Eléments de physiologie’.
Professor Ceri Sullivan is a Professor of English Literature at Cardiff University and the author of five books on the literary features that structure early modern texts about religion, trade, bureaucracy, and rhetoric. She is the general editor of the English Association's series Essays and Studies and her most recent publication is Shakespeare and the Play Scripts of Private Prayer.