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Publications in VIVO

Braider, Christopher

Professor Emerita/Emeritus


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • My research explores the literary, theatrical, artistic, philosophical, scientific, and theological culture of Western Europe as a whole from the Renaissance to the end of the 18th-century Enlightenment. A growing focus is what early moderns called 'the experimental,' a word that covers both the kind of natural scientific activity for which modern English coined the term 'experiment' and the properties of experience in general, whether methodized or spontaneous. A second, more theoretical emphasis of my work is extending the early modern sense of 'the experimental' to a general reassessment of the nature of humanistic scholarship and of the processes of imaginative creation behind the objects (texts, images, monuments, traditions) humanists study.


selected publications


courses taught

  • FREN 1610 - How to Be French, 1: The Ancien Regime
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Explores medieval and early modern French culture in the widest sense, encompassing masterpieces of French literature, architecture, and visual art as a key to the habits, customs, and practices of everyday life. Major themes are "living and dying," "heroes, villains, and kings," "courtliness, civility, and the art of love," and "crafty little guys."
  • FREN 3110 - Main Currents of French Literature 1
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Surveys 19th and 20th century French literature. Close reading of selected texts and the principal writers and schools.This course or FREN 3120 are required for all majors.
  • FREN 4990 - Senior Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Preparation of a 15-page research paper in French presented to two members of the department faculty and defended orally in class. Recommended prerequisite: at least one course numbered FREN 4100 or above and all third-year requirements and advisor consent.
  • FREN 5120 - French Special Topics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2020
    Different topics are offered and, in a number of cases, cross-listed with other departments. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours on different topics.
  • FREN 5310 - 17th Century French Tragedy and Poetry
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Close readings of tragedies by (among others) Corneille and Racine, placed in the context of baroque and neoclassical political and artistic culture as illustrated by philosophy, painting, and science. Drawing on recent criticism and theory, explores heroic drama's role as a symptom and agent of early modern French social and intellectual history. Readings in French, but may be taught in English.
  • FREN 5330 - Moliere and 17th Century French Comedy
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020
    Close readings of the comedies in context with the works of, e.g., Corneille, Rotrou, Cyrano, Boileau, and La Fontaine. Themes include Moliere and the institution of literary authorship, comedy's role as social critique, the deconstruction of the early modern subject, and the cultural politics of the scandals surrounding L'ecole des femmes and Tartuffe. Readings in French, but may be taught in English.


awards and honors

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