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Symposium in Homage to Michel Jeanneret (1940-2019)

Friday, Apr 30, 2021 @ 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Zoom Meeting, Online + Google Map

Organized by Jean-Claude Carron (Research Professor, UCLA).

This symposium convened to honor Michel Jeanneret (1940-March 2019) will memorialize the critical and creative achievements of one of the pillars of early modern studies today. We will bear witness to his pioneering contributions to the current critical discourse on French and European studies, covering both the ancient and nouveau régimes, from the Sixteenth century, with, among others, Vinci, Erasmus, Rabelais, Ronsard, Montaigne, to Versailles, Nerval, and contemporary French cultural politics (« Cinquante-huit réponses à Nicolas Sarkozy », Critique 2009). Participants will attest to how, as a  literary scholar focusing on hermeneutic and textual interpretation, the Genevan critic was also interested in culture, philosophy, visual arts, architecture, food, society, and, recently, digital humanities (Bodmer Foundation). Everything being said, together we will assess how Michel Jeanneret, the scholar, the teacher, and the humanist, bears witness to what being human means.

Professor of French Literature at the University of Geneva, Michel Jeanneret was one of the pillars of Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Centuries French literature, as well as humanist and Renaissance cultures of our generation. Well known in the US, where he gave numerous lectures, he served as Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University and has held posts as Visiting Professor in Harvard, Princeton, Seattle, Irvine, as well as the College de France, the Sorbonne, and the Universities of Lausanne, Nothingham, Bristol, Beijing and Kyoto. Frequent visitor to California, Los Angeles, and UCLA, he was a guest lecturer at the CMRS and a visiting scholar in the French and Francophone Department. Among his works translated into English: A Feast of Words: Banquets and Table Talk in the Renaissance (Chicago, 1991) and Perpetual Motion: Transforming Shapes in the Renaissance from da Vinci to Montaigne (Johns Hopkins, 2001). Colleagues and friends from the US and Europe will participate in this international homage.

Welcome: Marian Hobson Jeanneret and Jean-Claude Carron

Session I – Papers: ‘L’élégance d’un style’
Moderator: Walter Stephens (Johns Hopkins University)

Max Engammare (Librairie Droz, University of Geneva), Les premiers pas d’un grand critique

Frédéric Tinguely (University of Geneva), L’écriture comme présence

Florian Preisig (Eastern Washington University), La générosité dans l’œuvre critique de Michel Jeanneret


Moderator: Cynthia Skenazi (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Mary McKinley (University of Virginia)
Michel Jeanneret / Michel de Montaigne: Joy, Movement, Liberty

Frank Lestringant (Paris 4 Sorbonne)
Un XVIIe siècle décapé. À propos de ‘J’aime ta joie parce qu’elle est folle’. Écrivains en fête (Genève, Droz, 2018)

Yves Citton (Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint Denis)
Les grâces drôlatiques d’un professeur de littérature



Round Table: ‘L’Élan créateur’
Moderator: Jean-Claude Carron
Discussants: Cécile Alduy (Stanford University), Dominique Brancher (Universität Basel), Terence Cave (Oxford University), Tom Conley (Harvard University), Jérôme David (University of Geneva), Ullrich Langer (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Mary McKinley (University of Virginia), Jan Miernowski (University of Wisconsin – Madison), Frédéric Tinguely (University of Geneva)

Register for the symposium on Zoom.


    The organizer wishes to thank the following institutions for their help:

  • Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Johns Hopkins University, Wilda Wilson, Interim Chair
  • Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, University of Toronto, Matt Kavaler, Director
  • Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Arizona State University, Ayanna Thompson, Director
  • Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies, UCLA, Dominic Thomas, Chair
  • UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and its Director, Zrinka Stahuljak, for their generous sponsorship


Friday, Apr 30, 2021
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM


Zoom Meeting


View Organizer Website