Cynthia Nazarian Assistant Professor of French; Affiliated Faculty of the Program in Comparative Literary Studies

Cynthia Nazarian is Assistant Professor of French and Affiliated Faculty of the Program in Comparative Literary Studies. She received her B.A. in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing from Columbia University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton. Her research explores figurations of violence in sixteenth-century French, English and Italian literature, analyzing the rhetoric of suffering and brutality that shape sovereignties of the early modern Self and State.

Her first book, Love’s Wounds: Violence, Counter-sovereignty and the Politics of Poetry in Early Modern Europe is forthcoming from Cornell University Press. It investigates widespread metaphors of dismemberment, constraint, cannibalism, wounding, and tyranny in early modern French, English, and Italian literature. Through its comparative, inter-genre studies of Petrarch and five major Petrarchan poets of the sixteenth century, Love's Wounds shows how love poetry was actively transformed into a powerful tool for defining the nation and for reflecting on and shaping state authority. Her second book project, Violent Sympathies: Literature, Sovereignty and the Hazards of Fellow-feeling brings together early modern literature, contemporary popular genres, and political theory to examine the challenges posed by sympathy for state authority and legitimacy. Violent Sympathies shows not only how often literature is political, but additionally how often politics is literary.

Nazarian’s articles and book reviews have been published or are forthcoming in Modern Philology, Modern Language Quarterly, Renaissance and Reformation, Renaissance Quarterly, Metamorphosis: The Changing Face of Ovid in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Alison Keith and Stephen Rupp, eds.) and the Folger Shakespeare Library website.

Nazarian was a Barbara Thom Postdoctoral Fellow at the Huntington Library in 2012-2013. She was awarded Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award for 2011-2012.