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Between Fait-divers and Grand récit: The French Wars of Religion and the Genres of Historiography in the Sixteenth Century

Dec 2, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Andrea Frisch (University of Maryland)

Wednesday, December 2, 2020
12:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m.

Early Modern Cosmopolitanisms Lecture

Online event via Zoom

As was the case with many events of the European sixteenth century, the French Wars of Religion (1562–1598) were registered in a number of different media and across a wide range of genres simultaneously, both within and without the French kingdom.  This proliferation of documents yielded a large and diffuse record of the conflicts that did not easily lend itself to a consensual account of any aspect of the period.

This talk will address the phenomena of “remediation”–the shaping of material across media–, and “regeneration” –the shaping of material across genres–with respect to specific events of the French Wars of Religion, with the aim of situating elite French historiography within the complex web of discourses about the wars from which it explicitly sought to distinguish itself. At the center of Frish’s reflections is the histoire mémorable, since in 16th- and 17th-century France–in contrast to her European neighbors–some form of this label was regularly applied to accounts of current events. As a generic indicator, the category is deeply ambiguous: On the one hand, the term “mémorable” implied a shared inheritance of consensually venerated material traditionally associated with a unifying History; on the other, in the glut of printed matter in the age of confessional conflict, the epithet “mémorable” was repeatedly attached to divisive accounts of current events directly linked to contemporary political debates.

Andrea Frisch received her Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from UC Berkeley in 1996. Her research focuses on literary and historiographical works in the social, cultural, and political context of the Protestant Reformation, with special attention to Francophone material.

For more information about Professor Frisch’s publications and current projects, please visit the event webpage.

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This lecture is presented as part of Early Modern Cosmopolitanisms, a lecture series hosted by Barbara Fuchs (University of California, Los Angeles) and Andrew Devereux (University of California, San Diego) and sponsored by the UCLA Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies.


Dec 2, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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UCLA Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies
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