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Durham University

School of Modern Languages and Cultures: French Studies

Staff in the Department of French

Go to the MLAC staff pages.

Emeritus Professor Richard Maber, MA, DPhil (Oxon), FRHistS

Emeritus Professor / Chairman of the Centre for Seventeenth-Century Studies, in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43431
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 43421
Room number: 212, Elvet Riverside I

Contact Emeritus Professor Richard Maber (email at r.g.maber@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

I read French and German at Wadham College, Oxford (1961-64), then after a brief spell as Junior Lecturer at Magdalen College (1965-66) I was offered a Lectureship in Durham in 1966 and have been here ever since, as Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader, Professor, and now Emeritus Professor.

My principal fields of research are: (a) 17th-century intellectual history, particularly the international scholarly interchanges of the République des Lettres: I am currently engaged in the major project of editing the extensive correspondence of the French scholar, poet, and man of letters Gilles Ménage (1613-1692), for which I was awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus Research Fellowship; (b) more specifically French literature, especially poetry, drama, and prose fiction; and (c) interdisciplinary 17th-century studies.

I am the founder (1985) and General Editor of the interdisciplinary journal The Seventeenth Century, now on Volume 34. The journal is currently published by Taylor & Francis Ltd. See: www.tandfonline.com/rsev .

I have supervised PhD and research MA students on a very wide range of subject-areas within the 17th century: on studies of French theatre, poetry, and correspondences, but also on topics as diverse as heraldic imagery in English poetry, English translations of French poetry, women in Jacobean drama, Algernon Sidney’s political thought, English radical theology, ghost-beliefs in early-modern England, and the marketing of English portrait prints in the later 17th century. In addition, I supervised and directed the work of c.90 students on the interdisciplinary taught MA in 17c Studies. In the past 10 years I have examined PhD/DPhil and MPhil theses at the universities of Aberdeen, Cambridge, Copenhagen, Durham, Nottingham, Oxford, and Zimbabwe.
 

I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society; Committee member of the Thomas Harriot Seminar (early modern science and intellectual history); member of the Editorial Board of the North American Society for Seventeenth-Century French Literature (NASSCFL); and member of the Équipe, CORECOL, (Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin / Institut de France). I was Honorary Secretary of the Society for Early Modern French Studies (SEMFS), 2006-2018. I was a founding member of the Conseil d'administration, and founding Vice-Président of the Centre International de Rencontres sur le 17e Siècle (1990), and in 2012 directed their Colloque International, 'La France et l'Europe du nord au XVIIe siècle', in Durham Castle.

In 2007 I was Visiting Professor at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.  

I have organized and directed a total of 27 international conferences: in the French Department, as Director of the University’s interdisciplinary Centre for 17th-Century Studies 1989-2009, and as Secretary of SEMFS 2006-2018.

Within the University, I am a committee member of the Friends of Palace Green Library, and Editor of the Friends’ publication The New Durham Philobiblon. 

My other research interests include: i) the international diffusion of medieval travel literature: with my wife, Angela Tregoning, I have published a comparative study of the early Latin, Italian, French, German, and English versions of the voyage to China (c. 1316-1330) of Odoric of Pordenone; ii) the Diary of the Victorian curate Francis Kilvert (1840-1879), one of the most delightful and best-loved of all English diaries: I have published, also with Angela Tregoning, the first complete edition of one of only three surviving original notebooks, which is preserved in Durham University Library Special Collections; iii) Cornish language and literature, particularly of the Late Cornish period: I have published a study of the prosody and dating of a 17th-century englyn, and also a discovery of a 17th-century manuscript comparing versions of the Lord’s Prayer and Creed in Cornish, Welsh, and Breton.

Research Interests

  • 17th-century French literature and intellectual history
  • International learned correspondences in the 17th century
  • Interdisciplinary 17th-century studies
  • Medieval travel literature
  • Francis Kilvert's diary
  • Celtic languages and literatures (middle and late Cornish)

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2008: Committee Member: since 1985, of the Thomas Harriot Seminar: early modern science and intellectual history.
  • 2008: General Editor of the journal The Seventeenth Century since 1985:
  • 2007: Fellow of the Royal Historical Society:
  • 2007: Member of the Editorial Board of the North American Society for Seventeenth-Century French Literature (NASSCFL):
  • 2007: Visiting Professor at the University of Kansas, Lawrence:
  • 2006: Honorary Secretary of the Society for 17th-Century French Studies:
  • 1990: Founding Member: of the Conseil d'administration, and founding Vice-Président, Centre International de Rencontres sur le 17e Siècle. 2012: Director of the CIR 17 Colloque International, 'La France et l'Europe du nord au XVIIe siècle', Durham Castle

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article

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Related Links

Selected Grants

  • 2008: Leverhulme Emeritus Research Fellowship
  • 2007: British Academy Overseas Conference Grant
  • 2005: AHRC Research Leave Award
  • 2005: British Academy Small Research Grant