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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Mr Austin Collins

Influence of the Early Modern French Monarchy in Material, Visual, and Spatial Culture, 1547-1589 in the Department of History

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Academic Background

I completed a BA degree in History and French from Catawba College in North Carolina, United States, where received Honors and Magna Cum Laude graduation distinctions. As part of my Honors distinction, I conducted original research work which culminated into my Honors Thesis, entitled A Toutes les Gloires de la France: An Analysis of the Spatial Iconography the French Monarchy Portrayed in Renaissance France. In the fall of 2019, I completed my MA in Early Modern History from King’s College London. While at KCL, I conducted research on my dissertation, entitled Notre Treschreftien Roy: The Early Catholic Polemical Response during the French Wars of Religion.

Project Overview

I am aiming to explain how the general public reacted to the growing influence of the Valois Monarchy in Sixteenth-Century France. During this time, the French Wars of Religion engulfed the kingdom, which deeply destabilized the central monarchy erected by Francis I. A quick succession of kings, Henri II, Francis II, Charles IX, and Henri III, needed to secure of the kingdom, as many political factions such as the Guise and Bourbon’s attempted to wrest control away from the Valois. During this time of political chaos, I am seeking to understand how the general public in the core of the kingdom, such as the towns of Blois and Amboise, and those on the periphery, such as Angoulême and Lyon, reacted to the growing influence of the Valois through material, visual, and spatial perspectives, as the monarchy transitioned from the public to the private sphere.

Publications and Conferences

A Toutes les Gloires de la France: An Analysis of the Spatial Iconography the French Monarchy Portrayed in Renaissance France (2018):

 Southern Regional Honors Council (April 2018) – Arlington, Virginia.

 18th Annual Undergraduate Honors Symposium (March 2018) – Greensboro, North Carolina.

Revolution and War: The Rise of a Nation (2017):

 Alpha Chi Annual Convention (April 2017) – Louisville, Kentucky.

 Southern Regional Honors Council (March 2017) – Asheville, North Carolina.

Research Interests

  • Early Modern France, 1515-1715
  • French Renaissance Culture and Society
  • French Wars of Religion
  • Valois Monarchy Ceremonies and Rituals
  • Visual and Material Culture
  • Spatial History

Is supervised by