Katharina Natalia Piechocki
Office HoursTuesdays 3:00-5:00 PM
Ph.D., New York University, 2013
Dr.phil., University of Vienna (Austria), 2009
M.A., New York University, 2007
I joined the faculty at UBC, where I specialize in seventeenth-century French literature, in July 2021, after teaching in the Department of Comparative Literature at Harvard University for eight years. My research focuses on early modern French and Romance literature, in particular theatre, opera, cartography, gender, affect, and translation studies. I am particularly interested in how new, predominantly performative, art forms (opera, ballet, revival of ancient theatre) and disciplines (cartography, philology, translation) emerge and are transformed as they travel across regions, nations, and continents. Interdisciplinary in nature, my research and teaching encompass canonical texts alongside untranslated and/or less-studied authors. Having studied French, Italian, and Portuguese as well as Theater, Film, and Media Studies at the University of Vienna and Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle, I completed two doctorates, in Romance Studies (University of Vienna) and in Comparative Literature (NYU).
I am the author of Cartographic Humanism: The Making of Early Modern Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2019), which was shortlisted for the European Studies Book Award in 2022, awarded for a 2-year period (Columbia University, Council for European Studies). Cartographic Humanism reexamines the idea of “Europe”–from France to Portugal, and from Italy to Germany to Poland–through the lens of a new humanistic discipline: cartography. Together with Jeffrey N. Peters, I am the co-editor of a special double issue of Romance Quarterly on the interdisciplinary topic of “Clouds” (68: 2 and 68: 3, 2021). I am currently completing my next book titled “Procreative Poetics: Hercules and the Origins of the Opera Libretto.” Here, I investigate seventeenth-century Hercules-themed opera librettos in France and Italy to explore the manifold ties that bring together questions of poetic creation, gender, politics, affect, procreation, and dynastic continuity into a meaningful signification.
My research has been supported by numerous international and national fellowships and grants. I was the Jean-François Malle Fellow at the Villa I Tatti, The Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, in Florence, Italy (2021-22); the inaugural fellow at the newly founded Europe-Center at the University of Konstanz, Germany (Summer 2019); a Distinguished Junior External Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center (2015-16), and a fellow at the IFK (Internationales Forschungszentrum für Kulturwissenschaften) in Vienna (2017). I was awarded, among others, the John F. Cogan Junior Faculty Leave fellowship from Harvard’s Davis Center, the Harvard Radcliffe Institute Academic Ventures grant, the William F. Milton Endowment Research Grant, the Andrew Mellon Foundation Summer Grant, and a Global Fellowship for NYU-in-Florence. I am the founder of and continue to co-chair, with Tom Conley, the Cartography Seminar at Harvard’s Mahindra Humanities Center. In July/August 2022, I was invited to teach an NEH seminar on “Mapping the Early Modern World,” co-organized by the Newberry Library’s Smith Center for the History of Cartography (James Akerman) and its Center for Renaissance Studies (Lia Markey) in Chicago.
- origin of seventeenth-century poetics in France and Italy, in particular opera and theatre
- gender studies
- Renaissance and early modern cartography, space, geography
- translation studies
- affect studies
- ecocriticism (intersection of meteorology and poetics, in particular)
- “Procreative Poetics: Hercules and the Origins of the Opera Libretto,” monograph, supported by the Jean-François Malle fellowship, Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (2021-22)
- Early modern clouds, co-written book project
- “Rhetoric and Travel,” invited chapter for five-volume Cambridge History of Rhetoric, eds. Rita Copeland and Peter Mack (2023)
- “Cartographic Thinking,” in Logomotives: Words that Change the Premodern World, eds. Marjorie Rubright and Stephen Spiess (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, Spring 2023).
- “Aeolian Poetics and Wind-Driven Imagery in Europe and the Early Modern Transatlantic,” CompLit. Journal of European Literature, Arts and Society, eds. Brigitte Le Juez, Olga Springer, and Marina Grišakova (forthcoming, Spring 2023).
Cartographic Humanism: The Making of Early Modern Europe (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019). Paperback edition 2021.
- Short-listed, European Studies Book Award 2022 (for a 2-year period), Council for European Studies, Columbia University: https://www.europenowjournal.org/2022/03/01/2022-european-studies-book-award-shortlist/
Reviewed, among others, in:
Renaissance Quarterly 75:3 (2022), 1019 – 1020 (by Oumelbanine Zhiri)
American Historical Review 127:2 (2022), 1047-48 (Margaret Small)
Isis: A Journal of the History of Science Society 112:2 (2021), 399-400 (by Karl Galle)
European History Quarterly (2020), 737-9 (by Michael Wintle)
Journal of Historical Geography 70 (2020), 95-96 (by Andrew Herod)
Imago Mundi 72:2 (2020), 203-4 (by Martin Lewis)
Times Higher Education, January 23, 2020 (by Joad Raymond)
Between 9:18 (2019), 1-8 (by Corrado Confalonieri)
Humanisme cartographique: La fabrique de l’Europe moderne (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2023). French translation of Cartographic Humanism.
II. Edited Volumes
Romance Quarterly, special double-issue on “Early Modern Clouds,” 68:2 and 68:3 (2021), co-edited with Jeffrey N. Peters
III. a) Recent Articles
“Clouds, Nuptials, Nubifications: At the Origins of Operatic Poetics,” Romance Quarterly, Special Issue: Early Modern Clouds II, 68:3 (2021), 160-176.
“Early Modern Clouds and the Poetics of Meteorology: An Introduction” (with Jeffrey N. Peters), Romance Quarterly, Special Issue: Early Modern Clouds I, 68:2 (2021), 65-78.
“Compulsive Masculinity: Hercules and Early Italian-Style Opera in Paris,” The Italianist, Special Issue: Genre Bending in Italian Performative Culture, eds. Jessica Goethals and Eugenio Refini, 40:3 (2020), 400-418.
“Cartographic Translation: Reframing Leonardo Bruni’s De interpretatione recta (1424),” I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance 20:1 (2017), 1-25.
“Syphilologies: Fracastoro’s Cure and the Creation of Immunopoetics,” Comparative Literature 68:1 (2016), 1-17.
III. b) Recent Book Chapters
“Surface Matters: Female Allegories and the Gendering of Continents from Waldseemüller to Ortelius” in Feminism as World Literature, ed. Robin Truth Goodman (New York et al.: Bloomsbury, 2022), 83-98.
“Cartographic Manipulations. Framing the Centre of Europe in ca. 1500,” in Contesting Europe: Comparative Perspectives on Early Modern Discourses of Europe (15th–18th Century), eds. Nicolas Detering, Clementina Marsico, and Isabella Walser-Bürgler (Leiden: Brill Publisher, 2019), 149-173.
“Sincerity, Sterility, Scandal: Eroticizing Diplomacy in Early Seventeenth-Century Opera Librettos at the French Embassy in Rome,” in Practices of Diplomacy in the Early Modern World c.1410-1800, eds. Tracey Sowerby and Jan Hannings (London: Routledge, Research in Early Modern History Series), 2017, 114-129.
- Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, Exploratory Seminar Grant (with Kate van Orden and Sylvaine Guyot), “Gendering and Performing the Body in the Early Modern Mediterranean and Transatlantic World,” February 2021 & May 2023
- Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Jean-François Malle Fellow, Florence, Italy, AY 2021-22
- Council For European Studies (CES), Columbia University, Small event grant, “Critical Cartographies: An Inquiry into the Making of Europe,” Nov. 2020 (Zoom)
- Villa I Tatti, Jean-François Malle Fellow, Florence, Italy, AY 2020-21 (declined)
- Universität Konstanz, Germany, Visiting Professor/Inaugural Fellow, Europa-Forschungszentrum, June-July 2019
- Provostial Fund for the Arts and Humanities, Harvard University, April 2019
- Schofield Publication Fund, Harvard Studies in Comp. Lit., February 2019
- Davis Center, Harvard University, Research Grant, January 2019
- Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (WCFIA), Harvard, Medium Faculty Conference Grant, with Tom Conley, “The Future of Geography,” November 2018
- Anne and Jim Rothenberg Humanities Research Grant, Harvard, March 2018
- Clark Research Award, Harvard University, June 2017
- IFK (Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften, Vienna, Austria), Research Fellow, Spring Semester 2017
- Stanford Humanities Center, Distinguished Junior External Fellow, AY 2015-16
- Huntington Library, Long-term fellowship, AY 2015-16 (declined)
- Anne and Jim Rothenberg Fund for Humanities Research, Harvard, Sept. 2016
- Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, Exploratory Workshop Grant (with Tom Conley), “Cartography and Spatial Thinking from Humanism to the Humanities,” March 2016
- Junior Faculty Research Assistance Grant, GSAS, Harvard University, AY 2015-16
- John F. Cogan Junior Faculty Leave Fellowship, Davis Center, Harvard, Fall 2015
Currently accepting graduate students for supervision.