Florence has just finished her PhD thesis in English literature on refrains in the sixteenth century. She has looked at refrains (similar to the chorus of a song: think of ‘we will rock you’) in three literary and social environments: oral ballads, court poetry under Henry VIII (yes, the one of the many wives), and the Shakespearean stage. This included studying the refrain as structure in the poem, but also as carrier of cultural meaning, when refrains are for example handed down between different songs over hundreds of years. Florence has submitted a chapter on rhetoric and dance for The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Dance, and is currently writing a chapter on how songs create a kind of aural nationhood in Shakespeare’s plays for The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Music. She is also writing a chapter on triumphal processions in Renaissance poetry and art across Europe for a collected edition.
Since submitting her PhD, Florence has started working as a postdoctoral research assistant at the University of Geneva, where she is editing a 300 year old German version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. She is excited to explore Switzerland, and to trace the footsteps of famous Genevans like Calvin, Rousseau, Mary Shelley, and Saussure.
Follow Florence on Twitter at @FlorenceHazrat.
Society and the Female Voice: Shakespeare’s Singing Madwomen, 15 September 2016