Brenton Hobart

Associate Professor

  • Department: Comparative Literature and English
  • Complementary Department(s): French Studies and Modern Languages
  • Office: 
    G-107
  • Office Hours: 
    Mondays and Thursdays 13:30–14:10

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Professor Hobart began teaching at The American University of Paris in 2008 while working on doctoral degrees at both Harvard University and the Université de Paris-Sorbonne. At AUP, he teaches within the departments of Comparative Literature and French Studies, and in the English Writing Program. Recent courses include The Bible, Shakespeare in Context, The Fantastic Nature of Things, and The World, the Text and the Critic I. He has also taught courses on English and American literature, French and francophone language and literature, translation, cultural studies, and American history and civilization at institutions including the Université de Paris Nanterre, the Université d’Orléans, the Université de Cergy-Pontoise, the Institut d’Études Politiques (Lille), the Institut catholique de Paris and Harvard University.

His first book, La Peste à la Renaissance (Classiques Garnier, 2020), studies the literary representations of epidemics known as plague in 16th-century France, exploring how French authors perpetuate the idea of the disease through their translations of classical, biblical and medieval texts, while intertwining imitation, personal experience and invention in their own writings. His publications include studies on poetry and prose from Classical Antiquity in 15th- and 16th-century translation, the Bible, early Christian writings and the writers of the Reformation, medieval medical writings, as well as a variety of Renaissance genres in works by Boccaccio (novella), Clément Marot (poetry), François Rabelais (novel), Nostradamus (prophecy), Pierre Boaistuau (compilation), Ambroise Paré (medical treatise), Étienne de La Boétie (political discourse), Michel de Montaigne (essay and travel literature) and Agrippa d’Aubigné (epic poetry). He is currently working on a second monograph covering the works of Rabelais.



Education/Degrees

  • Doctorat (2014), Littérature et civilisation françaises, Université Paris IV-Sorbonne
  • PhD (2012), Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University
  • Ancien Pensionnaire (2008), École Normale Supérieure-Ulm
  • AM (2007), Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University
  • DEA (2004), Littérature et civilisation françaises, Université Paris IV-Sorbonne
  • Maîtrise (2003), Lettres modernes, Université Paris IV-Sorbonne
  • Licence (2002), Lettres modernes, Université Paris IV-Sorbonne
  • BA (2000), English Literature, Arizona State University
  • BA (2000), French Literature, Arizona State University

Publications

Books
  • "Y a il icy dangier de peste ?" La Peste au temps de Rabelais, Paris, Classiques Garnier, "Les Mondes de Rabelais", forthcoming.
  • La Peste à la Renaissance. L'imaginaire d'un fléau dans la littérature au XVIe siècle, Paris, Classiques Garnier, "Géographies du Monde", 2020.
Articles and Book Chapters
  • “‘Oncques n’y prindrent mal’: les semeurs de la peste de Rabelais”, in Arts et savoirs, on-line review, 2021. (forthcoming)
  • “Montaigne’s Plague: An Event or a Literary Device?” Montaigne Studies: An Interdisciplinary Forum. XXXII, no. 1-2: Montaigne, La Maladie Et La Médecine (p. 119-136), Ed. Philippe Desan, Mar. 2020. 
  • “La Peste terrestre anthropomorphe à la Renaissance. L’exemple du Pantagruel de Rabelais”, in Mélanges en l’honneur de Frank Lestringant (p. 427-436) études réunies et éditées par Véronique Ferrer, Olivier Millet et Alexandre Tarrête, Geneva, Droz, 2019.
  • “La ‘franchise’, ou le sens d’être français dans le discours De la servitude volontaire”, in Le Verger VII sur De la servitude volontaire d'Etienne de La Boétie, 2015, http://cornucopia16.com/.
  •  “Authors Plagued: The Black Death in Works of Sixteenth-Century Writers Struck First Hand, Marot, Montaigne, D'Aubigné, Paré”, in Portrayals of Medicine, Physicians, Patients, and Illnesses in French Literature from the Middle Ages to the Present (p. 107-155), Ed. Lison Baselis-Bitoun and Ji-hyun Philippa Kim, Lewiston (New York), The Edwin Mellen Press, 2011.
Book Review
  • Françoise Lavocat (ed.), Pestes, Incendies, Naufrages. Écritures du désastre au dix-septième siècle, Turnhout (Belgique), Brepols, 2011: Revue Dix-septième siècle, 2015/2 (n° 267), Presses Universitaires de France (ISBN : 978-2130628842), http://www.cairn.info/revue.php?REVUE=dix-septieme-siecle.
Thesis
  • L’Imaginaire de la peste dans la littérature française de la Renaissance, Paris-Sorbonne, 2014 (Num. national de thèse: 2014PA040022) / Harvard, 2012 (Proquest, ISBN: 978-1267714732).
Encyclopaedia Entries
  •  Pierre Boaistuau (2013) and Ambroise Paré (2014), in Literary Encyclopediawww.LitEncyc.com.
 

Conferences & Lectures

  • “‘Oncques n’y prindrent mal’: les semeurs de la peste de Rabelais”, “Journée d’études – L’art de déjouer le mal: penser ‘la partie prophylactice et conservatrice de santé’”, Basel, Switzerland, October 18-19, 2019.
  • “Les traités de la peste au début de la première Renaissance en France: Le Remede tresutile contre fievre pestilencieuse de Joannes Jacobi; Le Regime contre epidimie et pestilence de Thomas Le Forestier”. Invited Lecture (Olivier Millet), Sorbonne Université, Paris, March 28 2018.
  • “To Finish with the Plague: 1,000 pages on the French Renaissance Plague in 2,700 Words”, Sixteenth Century Society Conference, Milwaukee, WI, October 26-28, 2017.
  • “Translating Paradigms, Building the Plague: From Boccaccio’s Enfiature to Boccace’s Bosses,” Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and Renaissance, Arizona Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 17th Annual Colloquium, Tempe, AZ, February 9-11, 2017.
  • “Reminiscences of Thucydides’ and Boccaccio’s Plagues in Rabelais’ Pantagruel”, Sixteenth Century Society Conference, Bruges, August 18-20, 2016.
  • “Michel de Nostredame, Nostradamus: Reader, Practitioner, Prophet and Writer of Plagues, and of Wars”, The Renaissance Society of America, Annual Conference, Boston, MA, March 31-April 2, 2016
  • “‘Une maladie monstrueuse’: Monstrous Attributes of Ambroise Paré’s Plague and Plague Victim”, The Renaissance Society of America, Annual Conference, Berlin, Mar. 26–28, 2015.
  • “The 'Malady' of Clément Marot: From the End of an Adolescence to the Start of the Renaissance”, French Autopathography, Queen's University Belfast, Nov. 21-22, 2014.
  • “Sixteenth-Century Violence in the Garden of Eden: the Discourse of Disease in Du Bartas’ Seconde semaine”, Sixteenth Century Society Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, Oct. 16-19, 2014.
  • "Montaigne’s Plague: An Event and a Literary Device", South Atlantic Modern Language Association, Conference, Durham North Carolina, November 9-11, 2012.
  • "Sir Philip Sidney: The Reflections of a Foreigner in Paris and the Influence of Paris in Arcadia", L'Étranger dans la Ville: International Colloquium organized by 'Identités et Cultures des Pays Anglophones', Université de Cergy-Pontoise, March 29-31, 2012.
  • "The Plague, the Devil and Ambroise Paré", The Renaissance Society of America, Annual Conference, Washington D.C., March 22-24, 2012.
  • "A Rotten Body: Corporal Putrefaction in Ambroise Paré’s Traicté de la Peste", Sixteenth Century Society & Conference, Fort Worth, Texas, October 27-30, 2011.
  • "The Performation of the Plague in Literature from Antiquity to the Renaissance: from Claude de Seyssel’s Thucydides to Nostradamus to Pierre Boaistuau", Performance and Theatricality in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 17th Annual Colloquium, Tempe, Arizona, February 10-12, 2011.
  • "Re-imagining the Plague in Early Modern Europe: Clément Marot and Agrippa d’Aubigné". Invited Lecture, American University of Paris, April 23, 2009.
  • "Habits et habitudes dans le théâtre du nouveau monde de la Renaissance". Invited Lecture (Frank Lestringant), Université Paris IV–Sorbonne, April 2008.
  • "La Naissance de la Violence: l’épopée biblique – Guillaume Salluste du Bartas, et John Milton". Invited Lecture (Frank Lestringant), Université Paris IV–Sorbonne, May 2007.

Affiliations

  • Renaissance Society of America
  • Sixteenth Century Society & Conference
  • Centre de Recherche sur la Littérature des Voyages
  • Association V.L. Saulnier
  • Amis du Louvre

Research Areas

  • French, Italian, Spanish and English Renaissance literature
  • Medical humanities
  • Plagues and dis-eases
  • Mythical realities: the plague victim, the witch, kings and tyrants, race, beasts of the Old and New Worlds
  • Travel literature
  • The Bible as literature
  • Shakespeare
  • The Vietnam War