Adriana Bontea

Romance Studies, Sussex
Fellowship: 01.10.2011–30.09.2012


Fellow of the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, Institute of Advanced Studies, London. Senior Lecturer in French and Comparative Literature, University of Sussex. Assistant Dean, School of European Studies, University of Sussex. Assistant Professor of French and Comparative Literature, SUNY Buffalo.

She has published on French and European early modern comedy and comic forms, on the history of aesthetic categorisations (Classicism, Baroque, and Modernity), on stage performance and on the role of art forms in reshaping modern philosophy, mainly Walter Benjamin’s theory of criticism, Merleau-Ponty’s indirect languages and Claude Imbert’s exploration of qualia. She is currently working on a study entitled Faces and Masks aimed at examining the expressive possibilities of masks within the wider anthropological context of the perception and codification of human faces from the commedia dell’arte up to modern painting (Ensor, Picasso, Klee).


Fields of Research

  • History and anthropology of literary genres
  • Scepticism and the history of science in the early modern period
  • Invention of pre-modern and modern rationalities
  • History of perception.


Publications (Selection)

  • Les Origines de la comédie française classique, Medieval and Early Modern French Studies, Volume 4, Oxford and Bern: Peter Lang Verlag der Wissenschaften, 2007.
  • Claude Imbert in Perspective: Creation, Cognition and Modern Experience, special issue of the journal Paragraph (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press), July 2011, No 34, vol. 2, co-editor (with Dr Boris Wiseman, University of Copenhagen).
  • »Conceptual Invention,« Paragraph, No 34, vol. 2, Edinburgh University Press, July 2011, pp. 217-232.
  • »Femmes par l’esprit,« in: Cherchez la femme: Women and Values in the Francophone World, edited by Erika Fülöp, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011, pp. 128-140.  
  • »Ecritures du geste et cartographie du sensible,« in: Concordia Discors, edited by Henriette Goldwyn and Benoît Bolduc, Biblio 17, No 194, 2011, Tübingen: Günter Narr Verlag, pp. 221-230.
  • »Regarder et lire: la théorie de l’expression selon Charles Le Brun,« Modern Language Notes, (French Issue), Baltimore: John Hopkins UP, Volume 123, No 4, September 2008, pp. 855-873.
  • »Montaigne’s On Physiognomy,« Renaissance Studies, Vol. 22, No 1, February 2008, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 41-62.
  • »George Dandin ou les plaisirs du désenchantement,« Cahiers du XVIIe, vol. XV, Spring 2007, pp. 1-24.
  • »Walter Benjamin on Comedy: A Project in its Context,« Modern Language Notes, (Comparative Literature Issue), Baltimore: John Hopkins UP, Volume 121, No 5, December 2006, pp. 1041-1071.
  • »Tragédie et histoire universelle,« Seventeenth-Century French Studies, vol. 20, 1998, pp. 57–70.