“Dominion and Domain: The French Wars of Religion and the Environment” at Washington College

Washington College
CHESTERTOWN, MD—November 2, 2017

The human casualties of four decades of intermittent civil and confessional conflict in France (1562-1598) earned, at the time, an enormous amount of early modern media attention. But what awareness of the accompanying environmental degradation (if any) and human responsibility for doing something about it (again, if any) were born of these destructive wars?

“Dominion and Domain: The French Wars of Religion and the Environment” will discuss this question and the development of a history of modern eco-consciousness–the “greening” of the past. Jeff Persels, associate professor in the University of South Carolina’s Department of Language, Literatures, and Cultures, will lead this conversation of 16th-century France’s potential contributions to that history.

The talk, sponsored by the William James Forum and the Center for Environment & Society, is set for November 10, 2017 at 11:15 a.m. in Hynson Lounge and is free and open to the public.

Persels’ research interests focus on early modern French prose and verse polemic. He teaches courses in early modern French literature and culture, French theater, contemporary French culture and society and European Studies. He also stages student and amateur French-language plays, most recently an original co-authored creation at the Columbia Museum of Art, Tableaux vivants, tableaux parlants (March 2013). He and his wife Brigitte write, produce, and perform puppet shows in French based on classic childrens’ tales. His publications include FLS 39. The Environment in/and French and Francophone Literature and Film (editor and introduction, Rodopi 2012), and he is currently working on a manuscript called Man Bites God: The Ludic Quality of Early Modern French Religious Polemic, as well as an adaptation for the English-language stage of Montaigne’s Essais.

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