Hélène Visentin

Professor of French Studies and Chair of the French Studies Department

Helene Visentin

Contact & Office Hours

Fall 2018
Monday, 4–5 p.m.
Tuesday, 9–10 a.m.
or by appointment.

Wright Hall 117



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. At present she is working on a series of solicited articles on machine plays in the 17th century. She also has a long-term interdisciplinary project on French ceremonial entries in the 16th century.

Recently, she has developed a keen interest in the field of digital humanities and created a GIS mapping project on the city of Paris to explore its multilayered urban space. 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. She is currently co-leading a project on a 17th-century seminal novel tentatively entitled “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 (summer 2016) and has directed Smith Programs Abroad in Paris (2006–07 and spring 2012) and Geneva (2007–08). Since 2016, she has been serving on the advisory board of the Institut d’Avignon.

Selected Publications

“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. (In press)

“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.