Wes Williams

Wes Williams is the Director of TORCH, Professor of French Literature at the University of Oxford, and also a Fellow in Modern Languages at St Edmund Hall.
His main research interests are in the field of Renaissance studies; the critical study of genre and subjectivity; and the intersection of theory and practice in the literary, political, religious, and professional cultures of the early modern period. He also works on contemporary theory and film. Alongside award-winning work writing and directing for the theatre, he has also contributed to a number of radio broadcasts and films.
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 the Jerusalem pilgrimage in European Renaissance culture. He continues to work on narratives of travel and encounter, displacement and diaspora throughout the early modern period.
His second major study, Monsters and their Meanings in Early Modern Culture; Mighty Magic (OUP, 2012) explores the cultural, medical, and theological significance of monsters from Rabelais to Racine — by way of Montaigne, Shakespeare, Titian, Pascal, Corneille, and a host of others. Political monsters (from Nero to the present) are a focus of his most recent work in this field.
He is currently writing a short Life of Rabelais, an account of the strange case of Magdeleine d’Auvermont, and a study of the long, enduring history of ‘voluntary servitude’. 

Jérôme Baudry

Jérôme Baudry is Assistant Professor of History of Science and Technology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), where he leads a team of passionate researchers. He also curates the EPFL’s Collection of scientific instruments.

His research interests include the histories of intellectual property and of technical drawing, and the history and sociology of public participation in science. He is keen on experimenting with non-traditional methods in history, from digital humanities to the reconstruction of past experiments and artifacts. 
 
He is currently working to complete a book-length study of the rise of intellectual property in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century France.

Matthew Landrus

Supernumerary Fellow, Wolfson College & Faculty of History
I examine intersections between practical arts, technology and natural philosophy during the fourteenth through eighteenth centuries. As a specialist on the working methods and intellectual interests of artist/engineers, I study cross-disciplinary investigative and inventive approaches in the histories of ideas, science and technology. Much of this work focuses on European material culture, though often in connection with global, transcultural developments. Examining the transmission and development of knowledge, I work mainly with early notebooks, manuscripts, informative objects and built environments that help assess trajectories of innovative engagements.
Although I focus on early modern Italy, my research has extended beyond core subjects to developments of the following courses: the science of art, history of medicine, history of collecting, princely courts, the Grand Tour, British history, architectural history, historiography, philosophy, transcultural objects, South Asian visual culture, illuminated manuscripts, paradoxes in visual culture, and modern art. I have also worked on a broad range of exhibitions, focusing in recent years on the work and reception of Leonardo da Vinci.
https://www.history.ox.ac.uk/people/dr-matthew-landrus

Michael Drolet

Michael teaches the History of Political Thought and Political Theory at Worcester College, University of Oxford. He is an intellectual historian with interests in 18th, 19th, and 20th century French philosophy, and French political, social, and economic thought. He has written widely on French liberalism, French Romantic Socialism, and contemporary French thought. He is author of Tocqueville, Democracy and Social Reform (2003), a Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title, and The Postmodernism Reader: Foundational Texts (2004).

Michael’s interest in 18th and 19th century French thought extends to a wide range of topics including the interface between science, technology, and political, social and economic thought. He is interested in competing conceptions of humanity’s relationship with/to nature, and is animated by questions pertaining to how eighteenth- and nineteenth-century scientists, inventors, engineers, economists, and political and social thinkers understood humanity’s relationship to nature, and engaged with issues around industrialisation and its impact on the natural environment. Michael’s research examines how the work of scientists and engineers feeds into how political and economic theorists engaged with questions around how industrial pollution, industrial hazards, and environmental degradation impacted on social and political life. His recent work explores strands of nineteenth-century French political economy that are sensitive to environmental concerns, strands that are fashioned around an idea of environmental sustainability. Ideas of the circular economy are of particular interest to him. These ideas find a fascinating and novel expression in the work of Pierre (1797-1871) and Jules Leroux (1805-1883). And Michael is, with Ludovic Frobert (CNRS-ENS-Lyon), writing on the life and works of these two socialists.

Michael has over the last ten years been interested in the group of romantic socialists known as the Saint-Simonians, followers of Henri Saint-Simon (1760-1825). He has written extensively on Saint-Simonianism, and, in particular, one of the movement’s leading thinkers, Michel Chevalier (1806-1879). He is writing an intellectual biography of Chevalier.

Michael is also interested in the relationship between knowledge, science, and political and social practices. He is co-organiser with Ludovic Frobert (CNRS-ENS-Lyon), Thomas Bouchet (Centre Walras, Université de Lausanne) and Marie Thebaud-Sorger (CNRS-CentreAlexandre Koyré, EHESS) of the Encyclopédie Nouvelle project (http://triangle.ens-lyon.fr/spip.php?rubrique794), an interdisciplinary project that examines the role and impact of Pierre Leroux (1797-1871) and Jean Reynaud’s (1806-1863) Encyclopédie Nouvelle. The project consists of an international network of scholars. Its workshops examine how socialist and republican considerations were at the forefront of the epistemological, methodological, and moral concerns of the Encyclopédie’s entries. The project explores how the very locus of knowledge itself was a politically contested domain.

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