Andrea Marie Frisch

Andrea Frisch received her PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures from UC Berkeley.  Her research on literary and historiographical works in the social, cultural, and political context of the Protestant Reformation has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Humanities Center, as well as by numerous research libraries and centers of advanced study in the US and Europe. 

        The Invention of the Eyewitness: Witnessing and Testimony in Early Modern France (University of North Carolina Press, 2004) is an examination of the links between the witness of the French law courts, the figure of the witness in theological writings, the eyewitness narrator of Francophone travel literature, and the witness-as-narrator in French literary and philosophical texts in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.  The book’s analyses highlight the tense coexistence between traditional ethical models of witnessing inherited from medieval precedents, on the one hand, and an epistemic conception of witnessing, according to which eyewitnessing gained special prestige as a depersonalized, quasi-objective form of testimony, on the other.

        Forgetting Differences: Tragedy, Historiography and the French Wars of Religion (Edinburgh University Press, 2015) is a study of the rhetoric of reconciliation in the wake of France’s civil wars (1562-1598).  Taking contemporaneous juridical and theological conceptions of pardon, amnesty, and reconciliation as a point of departure, the book identifies parallels between historiographical method and tragic aesthetics in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century France.  The tandem evolution of these discourses was centrally conditioned by the challenge of representing civil war in a way that would be perceived simultaneously as truthful and as non-polemical. 

       Current projects include Dispassionate Truths:  The Rise of Unmemorable History, which tracks the relationship between the “memorable” and the “true” in the larger body of early modern European historiography, and The Library of the Enlightened Ethnographer, which examines the reception of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century European travel literature in eighteenth-century anthropology and ethnography.

Upcoming talks:

“The Histoire mémorable between News and History: Framing Accounts of Current Events in the French Wars of Religion,” Annual Jay Caplan Lecture, French Department, Amherst College, March 5, 2020

Co-organizer and Speaker, Roundtable session on “Memory and the Memorable: Early Modern France,” Renaissance Society of America Conference, Philadelphia, USA, 2-4 April, 2020

“Unfree Historiography: Recounting the French Wars of Religion from the Protestant   Perspective,” on panel 'Voicing History in Early Modern France: The Works of Théodore Agrippa d’Aubigné,' Renaissance Society of America Conference, Philadelphia, USA, 2-4 April, 2020

 “Hidden Histories of the French Wars of Religion: French Accounts of the New World as a Vector of Religious Polemic,” Early Modern Cosmopolitanisms lecture series, UCLA, May 19, 2020

“Aubigné’s Addressees,” Conference in honor of Valerie Worth’s forthcoming English translation of Agrippa d’Aubigné’s Tragiques, Oxford University, June 12, 2020

“The Massacre at Paris,” Conference on ‘Paris, a New Rome: Fatal Return in European Imperialism’s Primal Scene,’ University of Chicago Center in Paris, June 22-24, 2020

Recent and forthcoming publications:

“ ‘Choses plus memorables’: The Table de matières of Simon Goulart's 1595 edition of the Essais,” Global Montaigne (eds. Amy C. Graves and Jean Balsamo). Paris: Garnier,  forthcoming 2020.

“Jean de la Taille: tragédie et remontrance sous Charles IX,” Les remontrances d’Ancien régime :  art de gouverner et contestation légitime (eds. Paul-Alexis Mellet et Ullrich Langer). Paris: Garnier, forthcoming 2019.

“The Shifting Grounds of Comparison in the French Renaissance: The Case of Louis Le Roy,” Practicing Comparison (eds. Angelika Epple, Walter Erhart, Johannes Grave), Bielefeld UP, forthcoming 2019.

“Forgotten Memories. Why Should We Remember How Early Modern Europeans Remembered?”  Sixteenth Century Journal 50:1 (50th Anniversary Issue, “Taking the Temperature of Early Modern Studies”), Spring 2019, 183-188.

 “Rompre avec la discontinuité,” Transitions #14, “La charnière entre le XVIe et XVIIe siècle,”  February 2019.

“Heresy and Sedition in Pierre de Ronsard’s Discours des misères de ce temps (1562) and Pierre Boton’s La France divisée (1595),” Sedition: Subversive and Controversial Literature in Europe, 1500-1700 (eds. John O’Brien and Marc Schachter), Brepols, forthcoming 2019.

“Humanist Uncertainty vs. Neoclassical Inevitability: Tragic Aesthetics from the Sixteenth to the Seventeenth Century,” MLA Approaches to Teaching French Classicism (eds. Hélène Bilis and Ellen McClure), forthcoming 2019.

“Decorum and the Dignity of Memory,” Memory and Forgetting in the Early Modern Period (ed. William Engel). South Atlantic Review 83.4 (Winter 2018) 119-138.

“Emotional Justice in Agrippa d’Aubigné’s Tragiques,” Forum for Modern Language Studies 54:1 (2018) 73-84.

“Contingent Compassion. Montaigne as Spectator to the Wars of Religion,” Montaigne Studies 30 (2018) 139-152.

More information available at
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