Professor in Sixteenth Century French Literature (full professor, first rank) at Le Mans University
My research deals with the following topics:
1/ At the intersection with history (Renaissance times):
- Historical and biographic writing:
- The revival of the biographic genre (“Lives”) in Sixteenth century Italy and France; the rise of individual glory vs. collections of Famous Men; editing collections with portraits; specific features due to the religious orientation of the writer, the trade or the gender involved (artists, men of letters, female heroes); exemplarity, Famous Men vs. Great Men; Plutarch’s inheritance; works by Giovio (Paolo), Vasari (Giorgio), Beza (Theodore), Thevet (André), Boissard (Jean-Jacques);
- Poetics of biography or prosopography; the art of writing one’s life or death in Renaissance times; Enea Silvio Piccolomini’s Commentarii and the Siena Library; commonplaces in life writing; glory and treason as main topics; lives of artists as connected to the birth of art criticism (Sixteenth and Seventeenth centuries, Italy, France and Northern Countries); Ann Moss’s Printed Commonplace-Books (contribution to the French translation);
- How to write a Sixteenth century author’s intellectual biography today: D. Frame’s Montaigne (contribution to the French translation); a biography of Marguerite de Navarre (work in progress for Aden Editions in Brussels).
- Rhetoric, eulogy:
- Claude de Seyssel’s Louënges du roy Louis XII (critical edition of the 1508 text);
- Paradoxical eulogy (Erasmus, Alberti, Rabelais).
- Political thought:
- Political concern and memory, testimony: Seyssel (Claude de);
- Polemics, discursive strategies, protesting discourses, pleas for religious tolerance: Castellion (Sebastian); Erasmus; von Hutten (Ulrich); Montaigne; Crespin (Jean);
- Words, expressions defining deviant thoughts in French and Latin Sixteenth century texts.
2/ Eccentric humanists:
- Impertinent writings, censorship, indecency, limits of acceptability, satire, Lucian’s inheritance: Alberti (Leon Battista), Erasmus, Rabelais, Straparola (Giovan Francesco), Des Périers (Bonaventure)…
- The Hebrew-literature controversy (Reuchlin vs. Pfefferkorn) and the Epistolae obscurorum virorum (Ulrich von Hutten);
- Parody, disrespectful re-writing in prose and verse, twisted, distorted models: Rabelais, d’Aubigné (Agrippa)’s Hécatombe à Diane;
- The topic of “morosophy”, Erasmus and his followers, the serious-playful style.
3/ Allegoric language in literature and art:
- Poetics, features, reception of allegories; the part played by strangeness and impropriety in allegoric productions; Dante; iconography;
- Illustrated books (engravings illustrating works by Straparola, Marguerite de Navarre, La Fontaine, Perrault…);
- Ekphrasis in prose and verse (Ronsard’s Odes).
4/ Poetics of short narratives and the art of variation:
- Poetics and reception of short narratives: exemplum, novella; conversational genres; Marguerite de Navarre’s Heptameron (including the topic of women as preys); François de Rosset’s Histoires tragiques;
- Hermeneutics of Fairytales.
5/ The Fairytale genre:
- Historical and theoretical approach; Straparola’s Facetious Nights; Basile’s Pentameron; Perrault’s Histoires ou contes du temps passé; Countess d’Aulnoy’s Contes des fées and Contes nouveaux;
- Cultural transfers (Venice, Naples, Paris, Basel); French translations of Straparola’s Nights by Louveau (Jean) and Larivey (Pierre); Medieval exempla, Renaissance tales coming from the Kalilah wa Dimna collection or John of Capua’s Directorium vitæ humanæ ; the text as palimpsest: Perrault and Basile’s Pentameron, Perrault and La Fontaine’s Contes en vers; the origin of the name « Carabas » (Le Nain de Tillemont and Philo of Alexandria);
- The way modern artists adapt, make use of fairytales vs. the re-writing process at Perrault’s times; interpretation and re-writing in modern children books of Fairytales with illustrations;
- Fabulous, fictional worlds vs. allegoric worlds;
- The philosophic motif of the helping animal.
6/ New forms of literacy:
- Hypertext; rReading/producing multi-layered e-texts and re-defining authorship; modes of reading; abridged versions of patrimonial works.
7/ Humanism in Early Modern Education :
- Ann Moss’s Printed Commonplace-Books (contribution to the French translation);
- Promoting the study of Greek (Henri Estienne) and Hebrew (Reuchlin, Buxtorf);
- Scolastic colloquia by Erasmus and Mathurin Cordier.