Professor Neil Kenny FBA
About this Fellow
My first academic positions were as Frances A. Yates Fellow at the Warburg Institute (1985â€“7), Stipendiary Lecturer at New College Oxford (1987â€“9), and Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London (1989â€“94). I then taught in the Department of French at the University of Cambridge many years (1994â€“2012), before going to Oxford. My main research area is the literature and thought of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century France. I have long been interested in how different kinds of knowledge were shaped and communicated by literary forms in general and by language in particular. The work on language focused first on â€˜conceptsâ€™ (in particular that of curiosity) and then on â€˜tensesâ€™ (and the attitudes they communicate towards the dead). My current research is rather different: it examines the relationship of literature and learning to social hierarchy in early modern France. It tries to explore connections between literary and intellectual history on the one hand, and social history on the other.
- Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford
- , Department of French, Cambridge, 1970
- Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford, 1970
Early modern literature in its historical and intellectual contexts, especially poetry and drama; Edmund Spenser's engagement with Gaelic Ireland, the dynamics of Tudor and Jacobean patronage, the aesthetics of Renaissance tragedy.
English literature of the long eighteenth century, especially Gibbon, Swift, Burke and Johnson; sixteenth-century historiography and historical drama; the history of literary criticism; the theory and practice of textual editing
English literature of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, especially Sir Philip Sidney, Shakespeare, and Samuel Johnson; post-medieval palaeography; bibliography and the history of the book
The historically-informed study of seventeenth-century English literature; scholarly editing of seventeenth-century texts; stylistic criticism