My research interests focus on early modern France, particularly the urban culture of French provincial cities in the late-fifteenth through the mid-seventeenth centuries. My first book, Between Crown and Community, investigated the political culture of Poitiers, a mid-sized provincial capital from the reign of François I (1515-1547) to that of Henri IV (1589-1610). I am currently finishing a project on local history writing in French provincial towns throughout France in the period of roughly 1550-1660. My interests thus embrace questions of the intersection of politics and religion, the nature of religious conflict, the relationship between localities and the state, cultural interactions between local elites and the well-known scholars of the Republic of Letters, the development of history writing from the early modern period to the present, and more generally the social, cultural, intellectual and political conditions of the early modern period.
Research and Teaching Interests:
In addition to undergraduate teaching, I welcome the opportunity to work with graduate students, as a main dissertation adviser on virtually any topic related to early modern France in the period of roughly 1450-1700 or as a committee member for students wanting to do a field in early modern Europe.
I am currently finishing a book manuscript on local history writing in France during the period of roughly 1550-1660. The book explores the outpouring of local history writing during this period, with a special focus on how local scholars from a range of French cities, from large provincial capitals to much smaller towns, used available sources to craft a useful urban past. The book therefore examines networks of erudite scholars in Paris and the provinces, the exchange of information, the ways that questions such as a town’s origins could be used to make politically useful statements, the sources of historical conflict, and the ways that contentious issues such as the Wars of Religion and the Fronde were represented in subsequent history writing on the local level. The book also focuses on two figures who served as nodes of historical exchange: François de Belleforest in the 16th century and André Duchesne in the 17th century.
I am also interested in the kinds of exchange–intellectual, social, political–that took place in the process of genealogical history writing in 17th-century France, particularly between erudite scholars and the noble families who commissioned the works.
I also continue to be intrigued by urban politics in French provincial cities and plan a project on the political role of the clergy in provincial towns in the period of roughly the mid-15th century to the mid-17th century.
Between Crown and Community: Politics and Civic Culture in Sixteenth-Century Poitiers (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2004). Preview
- “In Medias Res: A Review Essay,” H-France Salon 9, issue 13, no. 1 (August 2017).
- “Reading Municipal Lists, Interpreting Civic Practice from the Insights of Robert Descimon to Seventeenth-Century Bourges,” in Social Relations, Politics, and Power in Early Modern France, ed. Barbara B. Diefendorf (Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 2016), 134-57. Preview of article
- “Le livre des privilèges à l’épreuve du temps: entre histoire municipale et théories politique et sociale de la ville,” in À la croisée des temps. Approches d’histoire politique, juridique et sociale, ed. Pierre Bonin, Fanny Cosandey, Élie Haddad and Anne Rousselet-Pimont (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2016), 169-79.
- « Henri Drouot et les historiens anglo-saxons : une influence paradoxale, » Annales de Bourgogne 87-88 (October 2015): 59-72. Pre-publication version
- “Cosmography, Local History, and National Sentiment: François de Belleforest and the History of Paris,” French Historical Studies 35, n. 1 (winter 2012): 31-60.
- « La république urbaine et la République des lettres : André Duchesne, Jean Rogier, et le sens de l’histoire locale à Reims au XVIIe siècle, » Histoire, économie, société 30, n. 2 (June 2011) :29-46.
- « Réseaux savants et choix documentaires de l’histoire locale française: Ecrire l’histoire de Bourges au deuxième moitié du xviie siècle,» Histoire urbaine 28 (August 2010) : 65-84.
- “La Rochepozay, Ghost-Writer: Noble Genealogy, Historical Erudition, and Political Engagement in Seventeenth-Century France,” Proceedings of the Western Society for French History 37 (2009): 1-20.
- “The ‘Bourgeoisie Seconde,’ the Catholic League, and Urban Society,” French History 17 (December 2003): 342-51.
- “The Shadow of the Revolution: Continuities in Society and Politics in Early Modern France,” Journal of Urban History 28 (September 2002): 769-777.
- “The Benefit of the Ballot? Elections and Influence in Sixteenth-Century Poitiers,” French Historical Studies 24 (fall 2001): 621-52.
Courses for 2017-18
Hist 4B, Western Civilization, 1050-1700 (winter), Hist 4B Syllabus
Hist 121C, History of France, 1515-1715 (spring). This course is cross-listed with French 154C. History and French majors will automatically gain credit in their majors, irrespective of the course number under which they are enrolled.
Hist 201E, Graduate Reading Seminar on “Memory and its Practices in Europe, c. 1400-1700″ (spring): This course is dedicated to the dual goal of understanding how memory was theorized and understood in Europe in the late medieval and early modern periods and of examining the range of genres and practices that were employed to create and preserve specific, privileged memories during that time. The course thus begins with an initial focus on medieval and Renaissance theories of memory and then considers how textual practices helped contemporaries to remember and preserve access to the ever-increasing amount information available to them. It then turns to several memory genres: first memory genres focused on the self, including memoirs, journals, biographies, and genealogies; then genres with significant points to make about religious communities, including hagiographies, martyrologies, and processions. The course will then turn to a couple of examples of intense memorialization in the early modern period, including the French Wars of Religion, and possibly the Dutch Revolt. The course will then turn to the processes of codification and collection, including the relationship between law and memory, the development of archival practices, and the enthusiasm for cabinets of curiosities, antiquities, and museums. Finally, the changes to the theories of memory ushered in by changing understandings of the human body by the late-17th century will be examined.
Two guests will take part in the seminar: Professor Michael Breen, an expert in early modern law and justice, will participate in and help set the program for the week on memory and the law; and Dr. Louis Caron, an expert in late-seventeenth-century medical theory, will help us to understand the changing theorization of memory in this period.
Hist 4B, Western Civilization, 1050-1700
Hist 121A, Renaissance Italy, 1300-1530
Hist 121B, Renaissance Europe, 1348-1550
Hist 121C, History of France, 1515-1715
Hist 121D, Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Europe, 1450-1700
Hist 121Q, Undergraduate Reading Seminar in Renaissance Europe
“The Religious Cultures of Renaissance Europe”
“Reform and Religious Violence in Sixteenth-Century France”
“Popular and Elite Cultures in Renaissance Europe”
“Renaissance Monarchy: Theory and Practice”
Hist 121R, Undergraduate Research Seminar in Early Modern European History, 1450-1700
Hist 194AH/BH, Undergraduate Honors Research Seminar
Hist 201E, Graduate Reading Seminar in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe
“Urban Space in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe”
“The Individual, Violence, and the State in Early Modern Europe, 1450-1750”
“1500: Change or Continuity?”
“Readings in Sixteenth-Century France”
Hist 202, Historical Methods
Under normal circumstances, I am happy to work with students wanting to do Honors Contracts, Independent Studies (Hist 199), or Independent Reading Courses (Hist 596)
Honors and Professional Activities:
UC President’s Research Award in the Humanities, 2007-2008
Professeur Invitée, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, April 2012
Co-editor of H-France Forum, for history in the period of the Middle Ages-17th century
Guest editor of H-France Salon, Vol. 7, Issue 13: “New Directions: French Scholarship on Early Modern France“