Wes Williams


Professor of French Literature at the University of Oxford, Wes Williams is also a Fellow in Modern Languages at St Edmund Hall. He is also currently Knowledge Exchange Champion for the Humanities, based at TORCH. His main research interests are in the field of Renaissance studies: the critical study of genre and of subjectivity; investigations into the politics of literature, experience, and the popular and professional cultures of the early modern period. His first book – Pilgrimage and Narrative in the French Renaissance: ‘The Undiscovered Country’ (OUP, 1999) – was the first full-length study of the place of Christian pilgrimage in European Renaissance culture. His second major study, Monsters and their Meanings in Early Modern Culture; Mighty Magic (OUP, 2012) explores the cultural, medical, and legal  meanings of monsters from, roughly, Rabelais to Racine (by way of Montaigne, Titian, Shakespeare and a host of others). He is currently working on the long and enduring history of the idea and practice of ‘voluntary servitude’. An award-winning play-wright and director, he has also contributed to a number of radio broadcasts and films, and is a founder-member of the Oxford Amnesty Lectures.

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