Dr J Patterson


My ongoing research interests centre on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature, history, and thought. In 2015 I published Representing Avarice in Late Renaissance France with OUP. This monograph considers how talk of greed slowly evolved from past traditions to inform wider debates on gender, enrichment and status in the French early modern period.

My current research traces the moral, social, and legal framing of villains. A second monograph is envisioned, provisionally entitled Villainy in Literature and Law (1450-1610): French and English Perspectives. This work will based on court cases, legal treatises, diaries, and a range of literary texts from François Villon’s Testament to Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. It will reflect on the problems of villains, vilifying speech-acts, and making reparation for vile deeds, through and beyond the parameters of early modern literature and law.

I am regularly involved in collaborative projects. In 2015 I organized with Dr Emilia Wilton-Godberfforde (Open University) an interdisciplinary colloquium on ‘Vile Beings, Bodies and Objects in Early Modern France’. This led to a special issue of Early Modern French Studies entitled Variations of Vileness, published in 2017. Recently I have participated in scholarly networks investigating early modern keywords, the relation of literature and learning to social hierarchy, and death onstage. In September 2017 I co-hosted with Dr Emma Claussen a vibrant workshop on ‘Renaissance Insults’, as part of Oxford’s Curiosity Carnival.




Representing Avarice in Late Renaissance France (Oxford: OUP, 2015), 325 pp.

Journal articles:

‘Obscenity and Censorship in the Reign of Henri III’, Renaissance Quarterly, 70, no. 4 (Winter 2017), 1321-1365.

‘Variations of Vileness: An Introduction’, Early Modern French Studies, 39:2 (2017), 1-9

‘“Diables incarnez, Machiavelistes, Heretiques”: The Villains of Pierre Matthieu’s La Guisiade Reconsidered’, French Studies 70, (2016), 1-16

‘“Viles personnes”: The Plebeian Multitudes in Charles Loyseau’s ‘Traité des ordres’, The Seventeenth Century, 31:1 (2016), 71-94 (2016)

‘Rabelais’s Uncommon Villains: A Reinterpretation of Quart Livre 45-7’, Etudes Rabelaisiennes, 54 (2015), 97-113

‘Life Writing in the Early Modern Period: The Case of Guillaume Colletet’s Vie de François Villon’, French Studies Bulletin, 36:134 (2015), 4-7

‘Unresolved Debates on Usury and Greed in Late Renaissance France: Guillaume Bouchet and Others’, Renaissance Studies, 28 (2014), 659-75

‘Avarice in the Moral Landscape of Olivier de Serres’s Theatre d’agriculture et mesnage des champs (1600)’, Forum for Modern Language Studies, 49 (2013), 244-56

‘Marie de Gournay, Poetry and Gender: In Search of “La vraye douceur”’, Seventeenth-Century French Studies, 32 (2010), 206-20


Book chapters:

‘Rabelais et son art textuaire: une lecture du Prologue du Quart Livre (1552)’, in the forthcoming Actes du colloque “Inextinguible Rabelais” (12-15 novembre, 2014) (Paris: Classiques Garnier, forthcoming 2019)

‘Jean Brinon and His Cenacle: an Enduring Sodalitas?’, in a forthcoming volume in commemoration of Philip Ford, ed. Ingrid de Smet and Paul White (Geneva: Droz, forthcoming 2018).


English translation of Isabelle Moreau, ‘François Bernier: Philosophers’ Fictions / Traveller’s Visions’, in Method and Variation: Narrative in Early Modern French Thought, ed. Emma Gilby and Paul White (London: Legenda, 2013), pp. 89-101

Educational Resources:

‘Joachim Du Bellay, Défense et illustration de la langue française’, in The Literary Encyclopedia (2015), vol French Writing and Culture in the Renaissance, 1500–1500, ed. Tim Unwin, Phillip John Usher, and David Williams. Online. 


Co-authored with Jonathan Rogers, ‘Thérèse Raquin by Emile Zola: Surgical Method in Psychiatry’, British Journal of Psychiatry, Jul. 2015, 207 (1) 36.Online. 

DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.114.157982

An Analysis of Julia Kristeva, Etrangers à nous-mêmes / Strangers to Ourselves (2013) for Mouseion Professors. Online.



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