Dr Emily Butterworth
Reader in Early Modern French
Tel +44 (0)20 7848 2464
Address Department of French
King's College London
Room 4.41 Virginia Woolf Building
London WC2B 6LE
Research interests and PhD supervision
Emily studied French at University College London and the University of Cambridge. She was a lecturer at the University of Sheffield for four years before coming to King’s in 2006.
- Early modern French literature and thought
- Deviant speech in the early modern period
Emily works on early modern literature and thought, with a particular interest in Montaigne and in deviant speech and language. Her first book, Poisoned Words: Slander and Satire in Early Modern France, explored reputation, constructions of subjectivity, and wounding language in the early modern period.
Her second book, The Unbridled Tongue: Babble and Gossip in Renaissance France, looked at forms of excessive speech – babble, gossip and rumour – and why they were considered so personally and politically dangerous in the sixteenth century. In 2012-2015, she was Co-Investigator on an AHRC-funded project, Gossip and Nonsense in the French Renaissance: http://gossipandnonsense.exeter.ac.uk/
She has also worked on obscenity, censorship, rhetoric and women’s writing in the period, and is currently working on theological and secular conceptions of scandal.
She would welcome applications from students in these areas.
For more detail, see my full research profile.
- The Unbridled Tongue: Babble and Gossip in Renaissance France, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016
- Poisoned Words: Slander and Satire in Early Modern France, Oxford: Legenda, 2006 (reprinted 2015)
- ‘Catulle et caquet’, in La Librairie de Montaigne, ed. by Philip Ford and Neil Kenny. Cambridge French Colloquia, 2012, pp. 125-39
- ‘Scandal in Rabelais’s Tiers Livre: Divination, Interpretation, and Edification’, Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme 34:4 (2011), 23-43 (winner of Natalie Zemon Davis Prize)
- ‘Finding Obscenity in Brantôme’s Dames galantes’, Early Modern France 14 (2010), 75-89
For a complete list of publications, please see my full research profile.
Expertise and public engagement
Emily teaches specialist modules on early- and pre-modern French literature and culture, and contributes to the first-year Introduction to French Literature and to final-year language teaching.