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25 October 2021

Dr Alice Hazard publishes new book on the Face and Faciality

The Face and Faciality in Medieval French Literature (1170-1390) is a monograph about how the role of the faces is less about identity and rather about how we and interact with the world around us.

On the left, Dr Alice Hazard is holding their book. On the right is a picture of the book cover.
Dr Alice Hazard holding their book.

Dr Alice Hazard in King’s French department has published her monograph, The Face and Faciality in Medieval French Literature (1170-1390). This book explores the face as a medieval literary motif and as a modern phenomenon.

Dr Hazard's book examines the role of the face in mediating ethical, social, emotional and psychic encounters in a series of French narratives from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, as well as in a selection of fourteenth-century manuscripts.

In the context of medieval allegory, Arthurian romance and the bawdy fabliaux (a humorously indecent metrical tale or narrative poem), the book looks at how the face is, although universally understood, strangely inconsistent in what and how it communicates.

At the same time, the book explores how various modern theorists focus on the face not just as an object of study but also as a way of framing broader discussions. The book uses these ‘face-theories’ to push the boundaries of what ‘face’ means and its limitations, interrogating the idea of face as a universal and static signifier of one's state of mind or being.

This book goes towards understanding the face in our own time not as a simple reflection of one's nature but as a changing, complex and enigmatic phenomenon. And Alice would like to place thanks on her Department colleagues for contributing to the publication. 

I’ve been working on this book for many years, and I can’t think of a member of the French Department who hasn’t helped the project along in some way

Dr Alice Hazard

You can find out more about the book and order a copy here.

In this story

Alice  Hazard

Lecturer in Medieval French Education