Program in Comparative Literature

Marc Bizer

ProfessorPhD, Princeton University

Professor of French Literature
Marc Bizer


  • Phone: 512-471-7780
  • Office: HRH 3.112B
  • Office Hours: Tu Th 11-12 and by appt.
  • Campus Mail Code: B7600


Nascent French identities: national, social, religious, authorial, gendered; tragedy and the tragic


Marc Bizer, originally from Amherst, Massachusetts, has taught at UT since 1992. He holds an A.B. in Comparative Literature from Brown University, a Maîtrise ès lettres modernes from the Université de Paris-Sorbonne, and a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Princeton University. He is the author of three books, as well as of numerous articles: the just-published Homer and the Politics of Authority in Renaissance France (Oxford University Press, 2011), Les Lettres Romaines de Du Bellay: Les Regrets et la Tradition Epistolaire (University of Montreal Press, 2001), and La Poésie au Miroir: Imitation et Conscience de soi dans la Poésie Latine de la Pléiade (Champion, 1995). He is the recipient of sabbatical fellowships from the Fulbright Scholar Program, the American Philosophical Society, and the Loeb Classical Library Foundation. He won a silver award for innovative instructional technology for his Reading Between the Lines web site (2008).



C L 382 • Medieval/Early Mod Tragedy

32943 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm HRH 2.106C
(also listed as FR 391K)

FR 391K / CL 382 : Medieval and Early Modern Tragedy


In this seminar we will attempt to grasp key features of “tragedy” in the West by investigating the rich and varied relationship between tragedy as a theatrical genre and tragedy (and the tragic) as pervasive categories of thought, cutting across Greek, Latin, Italian, French, and English literature. We will study a wide range of examples of tragedy — chosen not only from theatrical tragedy, but also from epic, romance, the novella, and the histoire tragique. The goal will be first and foremost to analyze the evolving perspective of tragedy on free will, an individual’s relationship to various forms of authority, and gender— yet ultimately to gauge the effect of the rediscovery of Aristotle’s Poetics on the vernacular tradition of tragedy and the tragic.


Readings (subject to change):


Sophocles, Antigone

Euripides, Iphigenia, Orestes

Aristotle, Poetics

Virgil, Aeneid (Book 4)

Seneca, Troades

Boccaccio, Decameron (selections from Day 4)

La Châtelaine de Vergi

Jean de Coras, Arrest Memorable & Natalie Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre

Théodore de Bèze, Abraham Sacrifiant

Robert Garnier, La Troade

Corneille, Le Cid, Cinna

Racine, Britannicus, Phèdre

Shakespeare, Hamlet




Participation:                                        20%

Presentation and short paper               30%

Final Paper                                          50%

External Grants



  • 2007-8  Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellowship (year); Renaissance Society of America Senior Scholar Research Grant for research in Paris (one month).
  • 2002-3  Sabbatical Fellowship, American Philosophical Society.
  • 2001 Marandon Fellowship, Society of American Professors of French, 6 mos.
  • 1996-97 Fulbright-Hays senior research fellowship (Paris, France), 6 mos.



Bizer, M. (2011)Homer and the Politics of Authority in Renaissance France. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 272pp. Oxford Scholarship Online. Oxford University Press. January 2012.

Bizer, M. (2010). "From Lyric to Epic and Back: Joachim Du Bellay's Epic Regrets." Modern Language Quarterly 71.2. 107-127.

Bizer, M. (2008). “Homer, La Boétie, Montaigne, and the Question of Sovereignty.” In Zahi Zalloua and Reinier Leushuis (Eds.), “Esprit généreux, esprit pantagruélicque”: Essays by His Students In Honor of François Rigolot. Geneva: Droz, 259-277.

Bizer, M. (2006). “Men are from Mars: Jean de Sponde’s Homeric Heroes and Vision of Just French Leaders.” In Philip Ford and Paul White (Eds.), Masculinities in Sixteenth-Century France. Cambridge: Cambridge French Colloquia, 167-179.

Bizer, M. (2006). “Garnier’s La Troade between Homeric Fiction and French History: the Question of Moral Authority.” Romance Notes 46.3 (2006). 331-39.

Bizer, M. (2004, September). What’s in a Name? Biography vs. Wordplay in Du Bellay’s Regrets. Early Modern France, 9, 99-109.

Bizer, M. (2002). ‘Qui a païs n'a que faire de patrie’: Joachim Du Bellay’s Resistance to a French Identity. Romanic Review 91.4, 375-395.

Bizer, M. (2002). A Source of Du Bellay’s Most Famous Sonnet: ‘Heureux qui comme Ulysse’. Romance Notes, 42.3, 371-375.

Bizer, M. (2001). Les Lettres Romaines de Du Bellay: Les Regrets et la Tradition Epistolaire. Montreal: University of Montreal Press. 302pp.

Bizer, M. (1999). “Letters from Home: The Epistolary Aspects of Joachim Du Bellay’s Regrets.” Renaissance Quarterly 52.1, 140-79.

Bizer, M. (1996). “The Reflection of the Other in One’s Own Mirror: The Idea of the Portrait in Renaissance imitatio.”Romance Notes 36.2, 191-9.

Bizer, M. (1995). “Ronsard the poet, Belleau the Translator: The Difficulties of Writing in the Laureate’s Shadow”. In K. Lloyd-Jones & J. Beer (Eds.), Humanist Translators and their Craft. Kalamazoo: Western Michigan University, 175-226.

Bizer, M. (1995). La Poésie au Miroir: Imitation et Conscience de Soi dans la Poésie Latine de la Pléiade. Paris: Honoré Champion. 227pp.

Bizer, M. (1995). “Salammbô, Polybe et la rhétorique de la violence.” Revue d’Histoire Littéraire de la France 6, 974-88.

Bizer, M. (1994). “The Genealogy of Poetry According to Ronsard and Julius Cesar Scaliger.” Humanistica Lovaniensia 43, 304-318.

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