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Research at St Andrews

Emma Herdman


Emma Herdman
Postal address:
School of Modern Languages
Buchanan Building, Union St
St Andrews
United Kingdom


Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 463651

Research overview

My research interests are in the literature, history and culture - in French and in Latin, in texts and in images - of Renaissance France, especially in relation to the classical world. I am particularly interested in themes of transgression and restraint. My recent work has focused on areas such as:

  • attitudes in early modern Europe to alcohol, to vileness, to women and sexuality, and to theft;
  • literary and artistic representations of the atrocities committed during the French religious wars;
  • (as part of a wider research network) obscenity.

A recurrent motif in my work is birds, as light and inconsequential figures that can nevertheless carry some weighty themes. My current book-length project, Flights of Fancy: Avian Themes in Renaissance France, examines the relationship between ornithological knowledge and the imaginative representation of sixteenth-century birds and of what they can symbolise.

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