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15 jan. 2022 : Encountering Agrippa d’Aubigné

Théodore-Agrippa d’Aubigné (1552-1630) lived through some of the most turbulent times in the history of France. A younger contemporary of Michel de Montaigne, Aubigné took a particularly active role in the religious wars and published a notably wide range of works, from autobiography to love poetry to polemical epic to satirical novel to scrupulously sourced historiography. The variety of Aubigné’s output, along with his literary, political, and military engagement on behalf of the minority Protestant community, makes him a privileged source for anyone who seeks a better understanding of early modern Europe, its inheritances, and its legacies.

Until now, Aubigné and his multifaceted corpus have largely been the province of Francophone readers, and his most widely studied work, the polemical epic poem Les Tragiques (supposedly begun on the battlefield in 1577 and self-published in Geneva in 1616), was available only to a small group of specialists able to decipher the baroque complexities of the soldier-poet’s intricate engagements with contemporaneous politics, theological disputes, classical literature, and Biblical exegesis. The recent publication of Valerie Worth-Stylianou’s fully annotated English translation of the Tragiques (ACMRS, 2020) makes this prolific and polyvalent figure accessible to a far broader audience.

To develop the new opportunities offered by this translation, we hope to create a community of collective exchange for new and renewed encounters with Aubigné and his works. We therefore invite all interested scholars to submit proposals of 200-300 words for a series of collaborative workshops that will culminate in a volume of essays (in English) edited by Andrea Frisch (U of Maryland), Katherine Maynard (Virginia Commonwealth U), and Kathleen Perry Long (Cornell University), with the participation of Valerie Worth-Stylianou and of Phillip Usher (Director of the French Renaissance Texts in Translation series). We specifically encourage the participation of scholars outside of 16th- and 17th-century French Studies (though we by no means exclude those scholars), and of teachers curious about bringing Aubigné into the classroom. Anyone interested in the following areas of inquiry will be enriched by a dialogue with Aubigné :

*satire and the early novel
*narratives of the self
*dialogues between theology and literature
*the evolution of modern historiography
*forms of polemical writing and techniques of othering : racialization, dehumanization
*resistance to monarchical power
*the literature of witness
*Protestant publication strategies and networks
*relationships among fiction, memory, and history
*the political potential of poetic literature
*representations of civil war
*authorial duplicity/multiplicity/ambiguity, within and across works
*history of emotions : their representation and mobilization
*appeals to the nonvisual : sounds, tastes, smells, and the tactile
*poetic architecture and the representations of space
*war crimes and the “cas exécrable”
*trauma studies
*religious minorities
*exile and displacement

Timeline :
Deadline for abstracts [ca. 200-300 words] : Jan. 15, 2022
Online workshop to discuss accepted abstracts : May 2022 (date TBA)
Deadline for first draft of papers : Dec. 2022 (date TBA)
Workshop at Cornell to discuss revised papers (online participation also possible) : May 2023 (date TBA)
Final papers [ca. 7000 words, in English] due : August 2023

PLEASE SEND ABSTRACTS AND INQUIRIES TO
encounteringaubigne chez gmail.com