Catharsis in testimony: Refugee experience and Huguenot autobiographical writings
My current research project explores Huguenot refugees’ engagement with autobiographical texts in the years surrounding the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, broadly speaking the period 1681-1745.
My study firstly seeks to shed light into the reasons why refugees turned in increasing numbers to autobiographical writing in the aftermath of persecution and flight from France. It then proceeds to explore the intellectual frameworks, rhetorical strategies and personal agendas which shaped migrant authors’ depiction of themselves and others within these accounts, using these insights to contribute to our understanding of ‘refugee experience’. The final section of my work explores the how authors’ idiosyncratic framing of their own experiences were often selectively disregarded by memory brokers seeking to provide coherent vindicating narrative of persecution, flight and resettlement.
More generally, I am interested in the early modern religious and cultural history of Europe, especially the British Isles, France and Switzerland. Other areas of interest to me include pre-modern religious heterodoxy, in particular radical Protestantism, the use of anthropological approaches in History and past and present discourses on ‘marginality’ and ‘power’.