Jean David Eynard, Pembroke

Degree: PhD
Course: English
Supervisor: Dr Gavin Alexander
Dissertation Title: Discordia Concors: Dissonant Aesthetics in Seventeenth-Century English Literature

Biographical Information

I undertook my undergraduate studies in English at Queen Mary, University of London, where I graduated with First Class Honours and was awarded the Graham Rees Prize for best dissertation in my year. I subsequently completed the MSt in English Literature (1550-1700) at New College, University of Oxford (Distinction). Much of my research at Oxford investigated the intersection between economics and epistemology in the early modern period; my master’s dissertation analysed ideas of knowledge economy in Francis Bacon’s early writings, showing his debt to earlier humanist ways of thinking about learning as a commodity.

My PhD thesis currently investigates the reception of humanist ideas of discordant poetics in seventeenth-century England, with special focus on the work of Spenser, Burton, Selden and Milton. I argue that these authors were interested in various forms of musical and pictorial dissonance, which influenced their literary practices, and which pushed them to think about the political implications of employing more or less harmonious aesthetic forms. My doctoral research is generously supported by the AHRC DTP, and by an Honorary Vice Chancellor’s Award. 

Research Interests

Aesthetics; epigraphy and material texts; antiquarianism in seventeenth century Oxford; cognitive approaches to literature; economic criticism; classical reception; early modern intellectual history.