Professor Alison Saunders
Professor Alison Saunders

Professor Alison Saunders

Emeritus Professor

Department of French, School of Language and Literature University of Aberdeen Old Aberdeen AB24 3UB


My main research interest lies in the field of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century French literature, particularly in the field of poetry, and that of word and image. As well as literary and social questions, my research also covers bibliographical, and now increasingly, cross-disciplinary aspects. Having published a book on the sixteenth-century blason poétique , and a descriptive catalogue of the sixteenth-century poetry holdings of the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal in Paris, I then turned my attention towards emblematics, an ever-expanding field of interdisciplinary study now extremely fashionable among European and North American scholars. I have published two substantial books on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century French emblem literature, several facsimile editions of major French emblem books, and a large number of articles and chapters in books. In collaboration with two colleagues I have produced a 2-volume descriptive bibliography of French emblem books. My current major research commitment is a similarly collaborative bibliographical project on the massive, but seriously under-documented, published output of the seventeenth-century Jesuit polymath Claude-François Menestrier. In addition to this I am also working more generally on the ’reading’ of emblematic materials.

Within the School of Language and Literature I am Undergraduate Programme Coordinator for French, and Honours Adviser for French. I am also Postgraduate Officer for the School. Within the University I am an ex-officio member of Senate and serve on various Senate and other University committees.

I am a member of the cross-disciplinary Centre for Early Modern Studies (CEMS), and I serve on the Advisory Board of Galsgow Emblem Studies.


Teaching Responsibilities

I teach Honours courses on French Emblem Literature; the Renaissance in France; Seventeenth-Century French Literature and Society; The Middle Ages in France; and at postgraduate level I also contribute a course on the Emblematic Mentality to the MLitts in Early Modern Studies and Visual Culture.