Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Leeds
Website URL
Sixteenth-century France, seventeenth-century France, history of printing, books and news, international works and translation, the European Reformation
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am interested in the cultural, social and political history of sixteenth and seventeenth-century Europe, especially France.

My early research focused on sixteenth-century France, and the processes and effects of the French Reformation, particularly how different media forms were used to explore different problems faced by the French Reformed community during the period of the Wars of Religion.

My current research focuses on early printed news and its movement between different countries, in particular translations of news pamphlets in western Europe in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. I am interested in printed news before the development of the newspaper, in particular the ways in which news moved between countries, which stories were translated and why, the sources used for news reports, the formats that were used, how stories were told and translated, and the ways in which printers sold ‘foreign’ news to readers. My work combines detailed textual analysis of the translations undertaken and consideration of broader concerns about change, time, space and community identity in the post-Reformation era. As part of this, I have worked with projects like the Universal Short Title Catalogue at the University of St Andrews, and I was an Associate Member of the News Networks In Early Modern Europe Network. In 2017, I was awarded the Katherine F. Pantzer Jr Fellowship by the Bibliographical Society to investigate formatting and typographical changes in translated news pamphlets. As well as publishing several essays on related aspects, I am currently working on a monograph, provisionally titled ‘New and True? Translation, News and Pamphlets in Early Modern England and France’, which is under contract with Brill.

I’m also interested in the ways that the events of the French Reformation and the French Wars of Religion were recorded, both at the time and as they passed into history. I was awarded a Huntington Fellowship in 2017-18 to investigate how the French Wars of Religion were written about in England as they were happening, comparing original compositions with translations of French works. I’ve also got an interest in how the French Wars of Religion have been represented in art, literature and film over time.

I also research print practices and history of the book. I received funding from the Printing Historical Society in 2016-17 to investigate how and why printers copied each others works during the French Wars of Religion. This project led to a bigger project, funded by a British Academy Small Grant, looking at printing piracy during the French Wars of Religion. I have also edited a collection of essays on International Exchange in the European Book World with Matthew McLean at the University of St Andrews.

In 2012 I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. I’m also an elected member of the Bibliographical Society, and a member of the Society for Renaissance Studies, the Sixteenth Century Studies Society and the Renaissance Society of America. I am the Deputy Director of the Centre for the Comparative History of Print(Centre ChoP) at Leeds, and I am on the editorial board of Library and Information History and of Livre. Revue historiqueIn 2019 I was elected to the committee of the Society for the Study of French History.

Recent Publications


  • Sara Barker, New and True: Translation, News and Pamphlets in Early Modern England and France (under contract with Brill)
  • S.K. Barker, Protestantism, Poetry and Protest: The Vernacular Writings of Antoine de Chandieu (c. 1534-1591) (Ashgate: 2009)

Edited Collections:

  • Matthew MacLean and Sara Barker (eds.), International Exchange in the Early Modern Book World ed. by  (Brill: 2016)
  • Sara K. Barker and Brenda M. Hosingon (eds.), Renaissance Cultural Crossroads (Brill: 2013)
  • S.K. Barker, Revisiting Geneva: Robert Kingdon and the Coming of the French Wars of Religion (St Andrews Studies in French History and Culture: 2012)

Peer Reviewed Articles:

  • S.K. Barker, ‘D’une plume de fer sur un papier d’acier”: Faith, Nationalism and War in the Poetry of the first French War of Religion’, International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 2013 (0), 220 (pp. 151-171).
  • S.K. Barker, ‘Face to Face and Side by Side: Printing Cross-Confessional Poetry in Late xvith and Early xviith century France’, Mémoires du livre / Studies in Book Culture, 4 (2013)

Peer Reviewed book chapters:

  • Sara Barker, ‘Translating Treason: Printed Accounts of Conspiracies Against Henri IV in France and England’ in Alexander S. Wilkinson and Graeme J. Kemp (Brill: 2019) pp. 178-202
  • Sara Barker, ‘Time in English Translations of Continental News’ in News Networks in Early Modern Europe ed. by Raymond J; Moxham N (Brill: 2016) pp. 328-349.
  • S.K. Barker, ‘Strange News: Translations of European Sensational News Pamphlets and their Place in Early Modern English News Culture’ in The Book Trade in Early Modern England: Practices, Perceptions, Connections ed. by Hinks J; Gardner V (London: Oak Knoll Press & The British Library; 2013) pp. 161-186.
  • S.K. Barker, ‘”Newes Lately Come”: European News Books in English Translation’ in Renaissance Cultural Crossroads: Translation, Print and Culture in Britain, 1473-1640 ed. by Barker SK; Hosington B (Leiden: Brill; 2013) pp. 228-244.
Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
England, France, United Kingdom, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
Pre-17th century, 17th century, Early Modern
Expertise by Topic
Book History, Libraries & Archives, Literary History, Material Culture, Pedagogy, Religion, Urban History