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Published onOct 07, 2020


Christian Biet (1952-2020) was Professor of Seventeenth-Century French Literature and the History and Aesthetics of the Theater at the University of Paris Nanterre. He was the author of many notable works on the history of French theater, including Théâtre de la cruauté et récits sanglants en France (XVIe-XVIIe siècle) (Laffont, 2006); and with Christophe Triau Qu’est-ce que le théâtre? (Gallimard, 2006; trans. Routledge, 2019). He was a founder and co-director of the Comédie-Française Registers Project.

Juliette Cherbuliez is Professor of French at the University of Minnesota and Director of its Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World. She is the author of two books: The Place of Exile: Leisure Literature and the Limits of Absolutism (2005) and In the Wake of Medea: Neoclassical Theater and the Arts of Destruction (2020); as well as articles on women’s writing, libertinism, material culture, and tragedy.

Lauren R. Clay is Associate Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of Stagestruck: The Business of Theater in Eighteenth-Century France and Its Colonies (2013).

Logan J. Connors is Associate Professor of Modern Languages & Literatures at the University of Miami. He is the author of Dramatic battles in eighteenth-century France. Philosophes, anti-philosophes and polemical theater (2012), a critical edition of Pierre-Laurent De Belloy’s Le Siège de Calais (2014), and The Emergence of a theatrical science of man in France, 1660-1740 (2020). His new book project focuses on the diverse relationships between theater and the military in France and its colonial empire from 1750 to 1815.

Dan Edelstein is the William H. Bonsall Professor of French and (by courtesy) Professor of History at Stanford University. He is the author of The Terror of Natural Right: Republicanism, the Cult of Nature, and the French Revolution (2009), The Enlightenment: A Genealogy (2010), and On the Spirit of Rights (2018), all published by the University of Chicago Press.

Pierre Frantz is Professor Emeritus at the Sorbonne University. His scholarship analyses the eighteenth-century French theater in all its aspects, including practice, theory, aesthetics, architecture, and social dimensions. He has published many articles and books (Beaumarchais, L’Esthétique du tableau dans le théâtre du XVIIIe siècle), either by himself or with collaborators (Le Siècle des théâtres avec Michèle Sajous d’Oria, Le Théâtre du XVIIIe siècle avec Sophie Marchand). He is the editor for the complete theatrical works of Voltaire with Éditions Garnier.

Sylvaine Guyot is Professor of Romance Languages & Literatures, and of Theater, Dance & Media at Harvard University. She is the author of Racine et le corps tragique (2014), and Racine ou l’alchimie du tragique (2010), as well as the coeditor of a critical edition of Racine’s Théâtre complet (2014), a special issue of Littératures classiques on “l’œil classique” (2013), and Littéraire. Pour Alain Viala (2018). She is currently at work on her new book project, Les Scénographies de l’éblouissement. She is a principal researcher of the Comédie-Française Registers Project and a theater director.
A part of her co-editor’s work for this volume was made during a EURIAS fellowship at the Paris Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in 2018-19, co-funded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions under the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme for Research & Development, and supported by the programme “Investissements d’avenir” managed by the French Agence nationale de la recherche.

Sara Harvey is Assistant Professor of French at the University of Victoria, British Columbia (Canada). Her research focuses on two main areas. First, she studies the discursive, aesthetic, and socio-political factors that contributed to the emergence of mediated or performative cultural practices in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France. These include fashionable literary genres such as portraits, “enigmas,” and poems for various occasions, as well as cultural criticism in the periodical press and in dramatic literature. This work is inscribed within an archaeology of mediated cultural phenomena leading up to the present day. Her second area of emphasis is linked to her participation in the Comédie-Française Registers Project; it interrogates the methodological and critical potential of the digital humanities for writing a broadly-conceived history of the theatrical past. She is particularly interested in the tensions between data visualization on the one hand, and qualitative research on the other, as experienced by online researchers. She also studies the expansion and preservation of technological environments dedicated to research in cultural history.

Thomas M. Luckett is Associate Professor of History and former Chair of the Department of History at Portland State University. He is the author of several articles and book chapters on the commercial history of eighteenth-century France. With Chia Yin Hsu and Erika Vause he has co-edited The Cultural History of Money and Credit: A Global Perspective (Lexington Books, 2016), and The Cultural Life of Risk and Innovation: Imagining New Markets from the Seventeenth Century to the Present (Routledge, 2021). He is currently preparing a study of the letters and accounts of a Parisian artisan in the 1750s and 1760s.

Anne E.C. McCants is Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Director of the Concourse First Year Learning Community there. She serves as the President of the International Economic History Association and as editor of Social Science History and the Journal of Interdisciplinary History. Her scholarly work is focused on welfare in the Dutch Republic, European historical demography, and material culture and global consumption. 

Derek Miller is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University, where he teaches courses in theater history and dramatic literature. He is currently writing a quantitative history of Broadway in the twentieth century. More information at

Jeffrey N. Peters is Professor of French & Francophone Studies at the University of Kentucky. He is the author of The Written World: Space, Literature, and the Chorological Imagination in Early Modern France (2018) and Mapping Discord: Allegorical Cartography in Early Modern French Writing (2004).

Jeffrey S. Ravel is Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of The Contested Parterre: Public Theater and French Political Culture, 1680-1791 (Cornell University Press, 1999), and the co-founder of two digital humanities projects related to French theater, CESAR and the Comédie-Française Registers Project.

Agathe Sanjuan has been the Director of the Library-Museum of the Comédie-Française since 2008. An archivist and a paleographer, she previously worked in the Department of the Performing Arts at the National Library of France. Her research focuses on the theatrical and costume history of the Comédie-Française. With Martial Poirson she co-authored Comédie-Française, une histoire du théâtre (Seuil, 2018).

François Velde is a senior economist and research advisor in the Economic Research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Velde’s primary research on monetary history and monetary theory has been published in numerous journals. 

William Weber was trained in history as an undergraduate at Harvard College and as graduate student at the University of Chicago, and has taught at California State University, Long Beach. His books include Music and the Middle Class: The Social Structure of Concert life in London, Paris and Vienna between 1830 & 1840 (1974); Rise of Musical Classics in 18th-Century England (1992); and The Great Transformation of Musical Taste: Concert Programming from Haydn to Brahms (2008). In 2002 he served as Leverhulme Trust Lecturer at the Royal College of Music.


Aurélien Bellucci is a PhD candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. Before moving to Boston, he graduated from the Sorbonne and Sciences Po in Paris. His dissertation focuses on popular theater in China, France, and India today.

Josh Gray Cohen is a PhD candidate in the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University; his work traces the emergence of race as a theological concept in Inquisitorial Spain, in particular, as a kind of disposition, mood, or passion absorbed through milk and other feminizing juices. In addition to his academic research, Cohen is an essayist, translator, and sometimes actor.

Émile Lévesque-Jalbert is a PhD student in the French section of the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures at Harvard. His research investigates the notion of the possible in 20th- and 21st-century French literature and philosophy.

Grégoire Menu completed his PhD at Harvard University. His research focuses on the mechanisms of exemplarity in 17th-century court culture, including tragedies, epic poetry, and political and devotional treatises. He currently teaches at a high school near Paris.

Nikhita Obeegadoo is a computer scientist, fiction writer and literary scholar. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures at Harvard University. Her dissertation explores contemporary narratives of traumatic oceanic crossings in the Indian Ocean and Caribbean. Her research languages include English, French, Spanish, Hindi and Mauritian Creole. 


Catherine Ahearn is the Head of Content at the Knowledge Futures Group. Her background ranges from experience working as part of the creative team at HB Agency to time spent conducting archival work for the TS Eliot Research Project to helping launch and edit the journal Studies in Arts and Humanities. Ahearn earned her PhD in Editorial Studies from Boston University.

Justin Kehoe is Associate Acquisitions Editor for Culture and Technology at The MIT Press. His acquisitions include books on the history and sociology of science, digital culture, communications, and media studies. He also acquires titles for several MIT Press series including Infrastructures, The Information Society, metaLABprojects, and the recently launched Distribution Matters series.

Allison Vanouse is an Editorial Fellow with PubPub for Knowledge Futures Group. She has worked as a copyeditor for AATA Online, the Getty Conservation Institute's free database of technical abstracts; The Poems of T.S. Eliot (Faber and Faber/Johns Hopkins, 2015); Studies in Arts and HumanitiesspoKe poetry annual; and The Battersea Review. Vanouse teaches freshman writing at Boston University. 

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