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Benoît Bolduc

Professor of French ; Director, NYU Paris

Ph.D., Montréal.

Office Address: 

13 University Pl, Rm 603 New York, NY 10003




At NYU, I have the privilege of being a member of a very dynamic group of early-modern specialists, whose contribution is shaping the discipline and proving that the study of past artistic practices, including literature, is one of the most productive means of understanding the present. In the department of French, I have taught graduate and undergraduate courses and seminars on literature and theatre with an eye to visual culture and an ear to musical landscapes. Understanding the societal role and value of a work of literature, how it gives shape to a specific human experience, and how it relates to other works in time and space have been the guiding principle of my teaching philosophy.

My research and publications focus on French and Italian court spectacles, theatre, and ceremonies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. My first two books about stage adaptations of the myth of Perseus and Andromeda investigate the ways in which playwrights and librettists negotiated between poetics and the necessities of the stage, between encomium and commercial strategies. This perception of theatre as a complex cultural phenomenon continues to animate my work and raises important questions regarding the creation of festivals, theatre, and opera of the Ancien Regime. It also permits me to open up questions about the status of the documents on which theatre and festival historians base their research. This last topic was the object of a special issue of Texte, a journal of literary theory and criticism, devoted to the subject of “Texte et représentation: les arts du spectacle (XVIe-XVIIIe siècles),” which I edited. My latest book, La Fête imprimée. Cérémonies et spectacles politiques (1549-1662) (Classiques Garnier, 2016), is the first comprehensive examination of French festival books focusing on their specific charge: to give shape, order and meaning to spectacles and ceremonies. Exploring issues related to print culture and the history of reading practices, it shows how they are in fact the result of an assemblage of various textual and iconographical sources, which transform the reader into an ideal spectator.


Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques. Visiting Fellow, New College, Oxford; Visiting Scholar, Institut Nationale d’Histoire de l’Art, Research Associate, Centre Canadien d’Architecture, Montréal. Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal; Grant from the Major Collaborative Research Initiatives Program (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada).

La Fête imprimée. Cérémonies et spectacles politiques (1549-1662), Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2016, 391 p.

Reviews: P. Valade, “Politiques de la fête,” Nonfiction, 11/23/16

“Fêtes on Paper: Graphic Representations of Louis XIV’s Festivals,” The Princeton University Library Chronicle, LXXVI (1-2), 2014-15, pp. 211-241.

“La Fête de papier (1549-1679): des ateliers parisiens au Cabinet du Roi,” XVIIe Siècle, 258 (2013/1), pp. 11-21.

Concordia Discors. Choix de communications présentées lors du 41e congrès annuel de la North American Society for Seventeenth-Century French Literature, Tübingen, Günter Narr, 2011. Two volumes co-edited with H. Goldwyn.

Texte et représentation: les arts du spectacle (XVIe s.–XVIIIe s.) (Texte, 33/34, 2003).

Andromède au rocher. Fortune théâtrale d'une image en France et en Italie (1587- 1712) (Olschki, 2002).

Andromède délivrée (Biblio 17, 1992).

“Collation, manducation et destruction dans les fêtes de Versailles,” in R. Lalande (ed.), Nourritures, Paris-Seattle-Tübingen, Bilbio 17, 2010, pp. 31-42.

Mirame, fête théâtrale dans un fauteuil,” Revue d’Histoire du Théâtre, 245-246 (2010-1/2), pp. 159-172.

“Stefano della Bella, graveur des Nozze degli dei (1637) et de Mirame (1641),” in M. Bayard (ed.), Rome-Paris, 1640. Transferts culturels et renaissance d’une école artistique, Rome, Académie de France à Rome, 2010, pp. 481-507.

In fvmo dare lvcem : Les Triomphes faictz a l'entrée du Roy a Chenonceau (1560),” French Royal Entries in the Sixteenth Century: Event, Image, Text (Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2007).

From Marvel to Camp: Medusa for the Twenty-first Century,” Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music, 10, 1, April 2005.

“Une tragédie de Corneille au service de la ‘riforma melodrammatica': le Perseo de P.I. Martello,” Studi Secenteschi, 34, 1993.

Updated on 05/12/2017