Professor Hugh Roberts: ‘Laughter and Nonsense: Early Modern Practice and Modern Theory’

Hugh Roberts is Professor of French Renaissance Literature at the University of Exeter. Following his monograph, Dogs’ Tales: Representations of Ancient Cynicism in French Renaissance Texts (2006), on doubtless the only philosophers to have made comedy an essential part of their teaching, he founded and ran an international network on obscenity in Renaissance France, leading to the publication of two co-edited collections. With Annette Tomarken, he has edited the complete works of the early seventeenth-century comedian known as Bruscambille. He is currently running, in collaboration with Emily Butterworth (King’s College London), an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project, ‘Gossip and Nonsense: Excessive Language in Renaissance France’.

Dr Clare Finburgh, The University of Essex: ‘“Rire aux larmes; rire aux armes”: Laughter as Political Satire in the Theatre of Valère Novarina’

Clare Finburgh is Senior Lecturer in Modern Drama at the University of Essex. She has co-written Jean Genet (with David Bradby, 2011), on Genet’s plays in production. She has also co-edited Genet: Performance and Politics (with Carl Lavery and Maria Shevtsova, 2006) and Contemporary French Theatre and Performance (with Carl Lavery, 2011). She has published widely both on Genet, and on a range of contemporary French and Francophone theatre-makers, including Valère Novarina, Noëlle Renaude and Kateb Yacine. She has translated into English two plays by Noëlle Renaude. By the Way was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2008.


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