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Durham University

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Mr Samuel Bailey, BA (Hons, Dunelm), MSt (Oxon)

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Research Interests

My research approaches seventeenth-century French cabaret poetry through the lens of disability studies. I am particularly interested in the works of Denis Sanguin de Saint-Pavin, Théophile de Viau, Marc-Antoine Girard de Saint-Amant and François Maynard. As a genre, cabaret poetry includes much frank discussion of human embodiment in ways that sharply diverge from classical ideals of beauty to encompass physical deformity, debilitating disease, the disabling effects of old age and the valorisation of conventionally unattractive characteristics. My PhD thesis asks whether these poets’ treatment of non-standard bodies in their work challenges seventeenth-century notions of beauty, masculinity and absolutism. Beyond my thesis, I am interested in feminist thought, queer theory and early modern debates surrounding gender, libertinage and sexuality.

Title of Thesis

Representations of disability in seventeenth-century French cabaret poetry

Research Interests

  • Seventeenth-century French poetry
  • Disability
  • Queer theory
  • Feminist thought
  • Libertine literature
  • The literature and philosophy of the Enlightenment

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2018: Symposium of Sound (Co-organiser):

    The Symposium of Sound was a two-day conference at Grey College, Durham, supported by Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership. It aimed to foster an interdisciplinary conversation on the subject of sound studies, including papers on topics as diverse as silent film, psalm screamers and the social history of the foghorn. Keynote speakers were Prof. Helen Abbott (Birmingham) and Dr Edward Allen (Cambridge) with a performance by French and Occitan poet Aurélia Lassaque. Feedback can be found here:


Conference Paper

  • (2018), Disability, Desire and Homosocial Networks in the Cabaret Poetry of Denis Sanguin de Saint-Pavin (1695-1670), Durham Early Modern Studies Conference 2018: Authority, Gender and Social Relations. Durham.
  • (2018), Embodying Disability in Seventeenth-Century French Cabaret Poetry Manuscripts, Medieval and Early Modern Student Association (MEMSA) Seminar Series. Durham, England.
  • (2018), Research Methods for Archival and Manuscript Work, Medieval and Early Modern Student Association (MEMSA) Research Methods Seminar: Archives and Manuscripts. Durham, England.
  • (2017), Man, I Feel Like a Woman: The Gender Crossings of the Chevalier/Chevalière d'Éon (1728-1810), University College MCR Research Seminar. University College, Durham, England.

Is supervised by

Selected Grants

  • 2017: Northern Bridge DTP Studentship