Hélène Visentin

Associate Dean of the Faculty; Professor of French Studies

Helene Visentin

Contact & Office Hours

No formal office hours, but students can contact Patty Tran to schedule an appointment.

College Hall 206



Doctorat, Université de Paris-Sorbonne

Diplôme d’Études Approfondies, Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle

B.A., M.A., University of Montreal


Hélène Visentin teaches courses on language and culture, Paris as a cultural capital, French intellectuals and social networking in early modern France. Her teaching approach fosters historical, critical and intercultural thinking.

Visentin’s research specializes in early modern literature and culture, with a focus on the history and the aesthetics of the performing arts, and the relationships between art and power. With a keen interest in the field of digital humanities, she is interested in how new technologies, especially mapping and data visualization techniques, pose new questions and provide cutting-edge approaches to scholarship and teaching.At the present moment, she is co-leading an editorial project on a 17th-century seminal novel tentatively titled “La Princesse de Clèves / The Princess of Cleves: A Digital Archive.”   

She has taught at the Institut d’Avignon (France) under the auspices of Bryn Mawr College (summers 2016 and 2019), and she is a member of the advisory board. She has also directed Smith Programs Abroad in Paris (2006–07 and spring 2012) and Geneva (2007–08).

Visentin is currently serving as associate dean of the faculty and dean for academic development. In that capacity, she works with the faculty to shape the undergraduate and graduate curriculum and to advance their professional development through all stages of their careers. 

Selected Publications

“Machine Plays.” The Oxford Hanbook of the Baroque. Ed. John D. Lyons. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. 386-408. Oxford Handbooks Online. Literature, literary studies. 2019. Oxford University Press. 26 p.

“Transferts culturels et innovation artistique à Rouen: le motif du char triomphal dans l’entrée de Henri II en 1550.” In La Renaissance à Rouen. L’essor artistique et culturel dans la Normandie des décennies 1480-1530. Eds X. Bonnier, G. Milhe Poutingon et S. Provini. Rouen: Presses universitaires de Rouen et du Havre, 2019. 223-239.

“La pratique des tableaux vivants dans les entrées royales à la Renaissance.” In Le Tableau vivant ou l’image performée. Ed. J. Ramos, with the collaboration of Léonard Pouy. Paris: Mare&Martin, Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, 2014. 53–68.

“‘Ce grand bastiment neuf et vieux’: The Louvre Towards Political, Social and Urban Transformations in the Grand Siècle.” L’Esprit Créateur 54, No. 2 (Summer 2014): 45–62.

“The Material Form and the Function of Printed Accounts of Henri II’s Triumphal Entries (1547-51).” In Writing Royal Entries in Early Modern Europe. Eds M.-C. Canova-Green, J. Andrews, with M.-F. Wagner. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers, 2013. 1-30.

“Au cœur d’une mutation socio-politique et esthétique de l’art dramatique en France: le théâtre à machines à la Cour et à la Ville (1630-1650).” In Rome-Paris, 1640. Transferts culturels et renaissance d’une centre artistique. Dir. Marc Bayard. Rome: Collection d’histoire de l’art de l’Académie de France à Rome, Villa Médicis, 2010. 509-520.

French Ceremonial Entries in the Sixteenth Century: Event, Image, Text. Eds. Nicolas Russell and Hélène Visentin. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2008.

L'Invraisemblance du pouvoir. Mises en scène de la souveraineté au XVIIe siècle. Eds. Jean-Vincent Blanchard and Hélène Visentin. Paris: Schena Editore/Presses de l'Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 2005.

Les Sosies, comédie (1638) de Jean Rotrou. Paris: Société des Textes Français Modernes, 2005.