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Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership - Student Profiles



I undertook my undergraduate studies in English at Queen Mary, University of London, where I graduated with First Class Honours. I subsequently completed the MSt in English Literature (1550-1700) at New College, University of Oxford (Distinction). Much of my research at Oxford investigated the intersection between economics and epistemology in the early modern period; my master’s dissertation analysed ideas of knowledge economy in Francis Bacon’s early writings, showing his debt to earlier humanist ways of thinking about learning as a commodity.

My doctoral research investigates the reception of humanist ideas of discordant poetics in seventeenth-century England, with special focus on the works of Spenser, Davenant, Cowley and Milton. I argue that these authors were interested in various instances of musical and visual dissonance, which influenced their literary practices, and which pushed them to think about the political implications of employing more or less harmonious aesthetic forms.


Other Academic Interests:

Epigraphy and material texts; antiquarianism in seventeenth century Oxford; economic criticism; cognitive approaches to literature; commedia dell'arte; early modern intellectual history.

Department: English
Supervisor: Dr Gavin Alexander
College: Pembroke College
AHRC subject area: English Language and Literature
Title of thesis: Discordant aesthetics in Seventeenth Century England
 Jean David  Eynard