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Mr Samuel Bailey

PhD Research

BA (Hons, Dunelm), MSt (Oxon)

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
PhD Research in the School of Modern Languages and CulturesER277 (Tuesday 10am-12pm) 


Research Interests

My research puts seventeenth-century French lyric poetry into dialogue with Disability Studies. I am particularly interested in the works of Denis Sanguin de Saint-Pavin, Paul Scarron, Théophile de Viau, Anne de Rohan, Marc-Antoine Girard de Saint-Amant, Madame de Lauvergne and François Maynard. These poets and others wrote lyric verse that presents non-normative human embodiment in ways that sharply diverge from classical ideals to encompass disability, deformity, disease, mental health issues, and more generally the valorisation of conventionally unattractive characteristics.

My PhD thesis asks whether these poets’ treatment of physical and mental variability challenges entrenched seventeenth-century ideals of beauty, gender, and human physiognomy. As I undertake this inquiry, I read my primary corpus of lyric verse alongside various theoretical approaches to disability and embodiment. Theories addressed over the course of my thesis include crip theory (especially Alison Kafer and Sami Schalk), premodern normativity (Elizabeth Bearden), metaphor theory (Amy Vidali), the grotesque and carnivalesque (Mikhail Bakhtin), homosociality and the closet (Eve Sedgwick), transhumanism and posthumanism (especially Julie Singer and Pramod Nayar). As well as using these theories to help unlock my primary texts, I ask how the primary texts might allow me to nuance or interrogate current theoretical approaches to disability with specific attention to early modern France.

Title of Thesis

Representations of disability in seventeenth-century French cabaret poetry

Research interests

  • Environmental Ethics
  • Indigenous Histories
  • Queer Theory
  • Seventeenth-century French poetry
  • Disability Studies
  • Feminist thought
  • Libertine literature
  • The literature and philosophy of the Enlightenment

Esteem Indicators

  • 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:


Chapter in book

  • Bailey, Sam, Jean Dagen & Gillian Pink (2019). Vauvenargues, Réflexions critiques sur quelques poètes, Réflexions critiques sur Rousseau et Introduction à la connaissance de l'esprit humain. In Notes et écrits marginaux conservés hors de la bibliothèque nationale de Russie. Voltaire Foundation, Oxford. 145.

Conference Paper

  • Bailey, Sam (2020), Poetry and the Cabaret: The Functions of a Public/Private Space in Seventeenth-Century Lyric Verse, Society of Early Modern French Studies Postgraduate Conference. Online.
  • Bailey, Sam (2019), Disability, Transhumanism and the Incomplete in Seventeenth-Century French Cabaret Poetry, Early Modern French Conference; Incompleteness/L'inachèvement. St. Hilda's College, Oxford, England.
  • Bailey, Sam (2019), Disabled Body Language in French Lyric Poetry of the Grand Siècle: from Metaphor to Realism, MML Graduate Network Conference: Bodies and Embodiment. Oxford, England.
  • Bailey, Sam (2019), Disability Trouble in a Prenormal World, The Freak and its Discontents: A Conference in Interdisciplinary Studies. Dublin, Republic of Ireland.
  • (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.