I am Professor and Tutorial Fellow in French at Trinity College, and I specialise in late sixteenth and seventeenth-century literature, culture and political thought. My first book, The Style of the State in French Theater, was on tragedy (especially Pierre Corneille) and theories of political action, and I continued this conversation between theory and theatre with a coedited volume thinking through Walter Benjamin’s concept of the Trauerspiel and its relevance to a French corpus. In my second book, Compassion’s Edge, I worked with a broader range of genres, exploring the affective undertow of religious toleration. The book takes up the language of fellow-feeling – pity, compassion, charitable care – that flourished in the century or so after the Wars of Religion. It’s a gloomy sort of account: in my telling compassion does not overcome difference, but rather reinforces divides. I’m now working on a book called Liquid Empire, on the writing of water - mostly rivers - in early modern France and its territories, from the Pléiade poets of the sixteenth century to the Mississippi settlements of the 1700s. On Twitter I’m @eparpillee.