Expertise: French and Italian

Research areas

  • 17th-century literature and culture, emphasis on the relationship between literature, politics, and philosophy

As a scholar of French seventeenth-century literature and culture, I explore the meaning of the syntagm “early modern”: a presumed conceptual and experiential proximity, which can only be constructively explored by acknowledging a simultaneous remoteness and otherness. I am particularly drawn toward material where the threshold character of the early modern is legible in the unresolved tensions between tradition and innovation, hierarchy and autonomy, authority and experience, feeling and reason, sacred and profane.

I am currently pursuing two main projects. First, as an extension of my work on Blaise Pascal (cf. my monograph, Créature sans créateur: Pour une anthropologie baroque dans les “Pensées” de Pascal, PU Laval, 2010; reissued Éditions Hermann, 2013), I continue to explore questions of originality, failure, agency, mastery and materiality in the Pascalian œuvre.

The focus of my second project shifts from anthropology to the politico-theological underpinnings of absolutism.

Area of expertise:

  • French

My present book project proposes a new approach to absolutism, through a study of the royal exemplarity of Louis XIV. I turn to the eighteenth-century for its reinterpretation of the past, and to the interdisciplinary meetings of the Center for animated discussions of the cultural and philosophical roots of enlightenments and revolutions.

Research Interests

  • 17th-century literature and culture, with emphasis on the relationship between literature, politics and philosophy


  • 17th Century
  • Culture
  • Literature
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
Italian, French
PhD, University of Oslo, French literature, 2006
MA, University of Oslo, French Literature and Linguistics, 1998
BA, University of Oslo, French, 1994