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Antonia Szabari

Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-4940
Office: UUC 217

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D. , Johns Hopkins University, 2005

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Associate Professor, University of Southern California, 05/13/2010-  
Assistant Professor of French and Comparative Literature, University of Southern California, 08/15/2004-05/13/2010  

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

My research focuses on early modern French literature and, in a broader fashion, on the culture of early modern Europe. I believe that the study of the early modern period is akin to anthropological research in which one interprets signs of another culture while relying on and reshaping one's own conceptual tools. My study of French religious and political satire entitled "Less Rightly Said: Readers and Scandals in Sixteenth-Century France" was published by Stanford University Press in 2009. "Less Rightly Said" shows that pamphlets helped to transform the theological and dogmatic function of religion in the sixteenth century into a way of constructing, seeing, and inhabiting a world of differences. I am currently at work (together with Natania Meeker) on book tentatively entitled "The Animated Plant: Vegetal Imaginaries from Early to Late Modernity," which examines the plant as the object of early modern speculations about the nature of matter and the material basis of life, the "animation" of plants in early modern science fiction and modern time lapse photography, and asks why the plant has become the favorite trope of ecological thought in art and philosophy today. When I am not thinking about plants, I am at work on a book on French ambassadors in the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century entitled "Performing Friendship."

Research Keywords

Early modern French Literature, injurious speech and publicness, religion as discourse, early modern diplomacy, theater and performance in sixteenth-century France, and the plant / human boundary in early modern materialist philosophy & fiction and contemporary ecological thought.

Conferences and Other Presentations

Conference Presentations

"Being Vegetal in the French Renaissance. ", Round table discussion of the Society for Sixteenth-Century French Studies MLA, Roundtable/Panel, Spring 2015   
"Plant. Science. Fiction", The Secret Life of Plants. With Natania Meeker, Talk/Oral Presentation, IHUM, Princeton University, Princeton University, Invited, Spring 2013   
"Disposable Subjects: Huguenots and Turks in Sixteenth-Century France", Renaissance Society of America, Talk/Oral Presentation, Montreal, Canada, Spring 2011   
"La virilité à l’épreuve du voyage: les voyageurs français dans l’empire ottoman au XVIe siècle", Invited lecture at the Institut français, Universität Basel, Talk/Oral Presentation, Basel, Switzerland, Invited, Spring 2011   
"Tragic Orient", Sixteenth Century Society, Talk/Oral Presentation, Montreal, Canada, Fall 2010   



Szabari, A. (2010). Less Rightly Said: Scandals and Readers in Sixteenth-Century France. Stanford University Press.

Book Chapter

Szabari, A., Meeker, N. (2015). "Gender and Sexuality in Botanical Contexts.". Volume on Matter. Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Gender. Ed. Renée C. Hoogland..
Szabari, A., Meeker, N. (2015). "Une artiste en résidence dans le monde des fleurs: L’art botanique de Madeleine Françoise Basseporte.". Savoirs, identités et représentations des femmes à l’époque moderne: Autoportrait, autofictions XVIe-XVIIIe siècles.
Szabari, A. (2015). Our Future Barbarism: Sacrifice, The Body, and Performance in Robert Garnier's Greek Tragedies. Forthcoming in French Renaissance and Baroque Drama: Text, Performance, Theory. Ed. Michael Merre. University of Deleware Press.
Szabari, A. (2014). "Malaise in Music: French Hip Hop on Trial" in "Paul and the Philosophers". Fordham University Press.
Szabari, A. (2009). "‘La Plume de fer’: vers une esthétique de l'impact chez Ronsard" in Ronsard poète militant: Les Discours des Misères de ce temps. pp. 92-108. Paris.
Szabari, A. (2006). The Scandal of Religion: Luther and Public Speech. pp. 122-136. New York: Political Theologies/Fordham University Press.
Szabari, A. (2002). Le faisible qui ne se fait pas: la fantaisie évangélique de l'écriture chez Honorat Rambaud. pp. p. 183-207. Lyon: Lyon et L'illustration de la langue française à la Renaissance/Presses de L'ENS.

Book Review

Szabari, A. (2014). Review of Paul Scott, ed. Le gouvernement present, ou éloge de son Eminence, satyre ou la Miliade. MHRA Critical Texts. London: Modern Humanities Research Association, 2010. Renaissance Quarterly.
Szabari, A. (2010). Jean-Baptiste Trento and Pierre Eskrich. Mappe Monde Nouvelle Papistique: Histoire de la Mappe-Monde Papistique, en laquelle est déclaré tout ce qui est contenu et pourtraict en la grande table, ou carte de la mappe-monde (Genève, 1566). Renaissance Quarterly. pp. 1340-1342.


Szabari, A., Meeker, N. (2015). "Collective Intimacies: Feeling like a Bee," catalogue essay for Jessica Rath, A Better Nectar, University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach. January 27-April 12, 2015.
Szabari, A., Meeker, N. (2014). "Who Will Remember US: Plants and the Archive." Review of Dornith Doherty, ‘Archiving Eden: The Vaults,’ 2008-present and Jessica Rath, ‘take me to the apple breeder,’ Pasadena Museum of California Art, 2012. Oxford Literary Review.
Szabari, A. (2012). "Strawberries on Life Support." L.A. Review of Books (January, 2012). Review of Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things (Durham: Duke University Press, 2010) and Timothy Morton, The Ecological Thought (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010). Los Angeles Review of Books.

Journal Article

Szabari, A. (2016). "The Ambassador, the Spy, and the Deli: Self-Representation and Anti-Diplomacy in Nicolas de Nicolay’s Navigations". Modern Language Notes.
Szabari, A. (2015). The Crescent Moon and the Orb: Political Allegory and Cosmographic Detour in Gabriel Bounin’s La Soltane. French Forum. Vol. 40 (2-3), pp. 1-16.
Szabari, A., Meeker, N. (2012). From the Century of the Pods to the Century of the Plants: Plant Horror, Politics, and Vegetal Ontology. Discourse. Vol. 34 (1)
Szabari, A. (2008). The Way of Imperfection: Laughter and Mysticism in Marguerite de Navarre's Heptameron. French Forum. Vol. 33 (3), pp. 1-16.
Szabari, A. (2005). Rabelais Parrhesiastes: The Rhetoric of Insult and Rabelais's Cynical Mask. Modern Langauge Notes/Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. p. S84-123.
Szabari, A. (2001). parler seulement de moi: The Disposition of the Subject in Montaigne's Essay 'De l'art de conferer'. Modern Langauge Notes/Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. p. 1001-1024.

Honors and Awards

Provost's Fellowship for Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences, USC, 2010-2011   
Huntington Library Research Fellowship Recipient, USC-Huntington, EMSI faculty fellowship, Spring 2011   
USC-Huntington EMSI Faculty Fellowship, Spring 2011   
Radcliffe Institute, Fellow, 2006-2007  
USC Innovative Teaching Award, Awarded for the development of course on secularization and secularism in France and the US , 2006-2007   
USC Zumberge Research and Innovation Fund Award, Individual Research Grant, 2005-2006   

Service to the University

Administrative Appointments

Director of Graduate Studies, French, 2009-2014  

Service to the Profession

Conferences Organized

organizer, Portraits of the Traveler, Huntington Library , Spring 2012   
organizer, Modern Language Association, Annual Conference, Philadelphia, Organizer of panel "Making Publics in Early Modern France", Fall 2009   
co-organizer, The Spiritual Life of Plants, Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, 2008-2009   
organizer, respondent, The Memory of Religious Troubles in Sixteenth-Century France, Renaissance Society of America, panel, 2007-2008   

Professional Memberships

Sixteenth-Century Studies, 2010-2011  
Renaissance Society of America, 2006-2011  
Modern Language Association, 2002-2011  

Other Service to the Profession

"Portraits of the Traveler," Exhibit, Co-curator, Huntington Art Collections, Spring 2012   
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