Modern and Classical Languages
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Christy Pichichero

Christy Pichichero

Christy Pichichero

Graduate Academic Advisor

Assistant Professor

French: War and Culture; Early Modern French History, Art, and Literature; Digital Humanities; History of Newspapers and Information Networks; Theater; Human Rights and Social Justice; Medical History; History of Emotion; Women’s Writing and History; Multiculturalism in France.

Dr. Christy Pichichero (\pi-‘ki-kə-rō\) received her B.A. from Princeton University (Comparative Literature), a B.M. from the Eastman School of Music (Voice and Opera), and her Ph.D. from Stanford University (French Studies).  She has held fellowships at the Stanford Humanities Center, King’s College at the University of Cambridge, and the École Normale Supérieure – rue d’Ulm. While holding a postdoctoral fellowship in Stanford’s Introduction to the Humanities Program, Dr. Pichichero was a faculty member and Director of the Middlebury French School (Mills College campus).  She currently serves on the Governing Council of the Western Society for French History and on the Board of Directors of the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era.

Dr. Pichichero is a literary scholar and cultural historian of early modern France (Renaissance through Napoleonic era).  Her first book, The Military Enlightenment: War and Culture in the French Empire from Louis XIV to Napoleon (Cornell University Press, 2017), argues that "military enlightenment" is not a paradoxical expression, but rather one of the most important synergies and legacies of the Enlightenment. Combining the study of literary works, art, treatises of moral philosophy, and martial writings dating to the period of the first global wars, the book traces an evolving public discourse on how to wage war efficiently, effectively, and yet humanely. Dr. Pichichero’s current research projects focus on early modern journalism and on theorizing war, violence, and representation in early modern literature, visual and performing arts. 

Dr. Pichichero is the Graduate Advisor for French and in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at GMU. She currently serves on the university's Academic Initiatives and External Academic Relations committees and is one of the two delegates to the Faculty Senate of Virginia. She previously served on the Diversity Committee of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, the Pride Week Planning Committee, and the Faculty Senate Technology Policy Committee. She is an active student mentor and has worked extensively for the past 15 years on inclusive teaching and syllabus constructions as well as issues of structural discrimination in the academy. 

Selected Publications

“Pierre Corneille and Military Drama: Power, Potlatch, Mérite,” Modern Language Notes (forthcoming 2017).

“Thinking about Caring: Culture, Methods, History,” The Bloomington Workshop Proceedings, Number 4 (2016), 108-112.

Review of David Bien, Interpreting the Old Regime (Oxford: Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2014), French Studies, Volume 70, Issue 1 (2016), 104-105. 

“Words of the ‘Wise Captain’:
Corneille, Le Cid, and Fidelity,” Renaissance Drama, Volume 43, Number 1 (Spring 2015), 27-52.

Review of Stéphane Genêt, Les espions des lumières: Actions secrètes et espionage militaire sous Louis XV. Paris: Nouveau Monde éditions et Ministère de la Défense, 2013. H-FRANCE Review Vol. 14 (January 2014), No. 7.

“Moralizing War: Military Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century France.” France and Its Spaces of War: Experience, Memory, Image, ed. by Daniel Brewer, Patricia Lorcin. Palgrave Macmillan (September 2009).

“Le Soldat Sensible: Military Psychology and Social Egalitarianism in the Enlightenment French Army,” French Historical Studies, Volume 31, Number 4 (Fall 2008), 553-580.

Grants and Fellowships


Tyree-Lamb Fellowship, The Society of the Cincinnati, Washington, DC, 2015.

West Point Military Academy, West Point, New York. Summer Seminar Fellowship in Military History, 2007.

Cambridge University, King’s College, Cambridge, England. Visiting junior fellow, 2005-2006.

L’École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France. Exchange award, 2005-2006.

The Georges Lurcy Fellowship for Research in France, 2005-2006.


Mathy Junior Faculty Award, George Mason University, 2015-2016.

Departmental Research Grant, George Mason University, 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014.

G.J. Lieberman Fellowship for Excellence in Scholarship, Teaching, and Service, Stanford University, 2007-2008.

Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University, 2006-2007.

Graduate Research Opportunity Fund, Stanford University, Summer 2007.

Department Fellowship, Stanford University, 2002-2005.


Stanford University, Stanford, California

Ph.D. in French Studies, 2008

Dissertation: "Battles of the Self: War and Subjectivity in Early-Modern France"

Committee: Keith Baker, Dan Edelstein, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

L’École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France

Visiting student researcher, Spring 2006

King’s College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England

King’s College visiting junior fellow, Fall 2005

Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York

B.M. Magna Cum Laude in Applied Music (Voice - mezzosoprano), 2000

Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

A.B. in Comparative Literature; Certificate in Italian, 1998

Thesis: “Artistic Convergence: the Fêtes galantes of Antoine Watteau, Paul Verlaine, and Claude Debussy”

Committee: Sandra Bermann, Robert Hollander

Recent Presentations


"Watteau's Soldiers: Bodies, War, and Enlightenment" at the Frick Collection, September 21, 2016.


“Beyond Liberalism: Real Pathways to Inclusiveness in the Professoriate,” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Minneapolis, MN, March 30-April 2, 2017.

“Military Capital 
Punishment, Human Rights, and Sentimental Literature in Enlightenment France,” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Pittsburgh, PA, March 30-April 2, 2016.

“Patriotic Mythmaking and the ‘Enlightened’ Military Hero,” Western Society for French History, Chicago, IL, November 5-7, 2015.

“Humanity in War:
Sensibility, Care, and Human Rights in the Enlightenment French Military,” Bloomington Eighteenth-Century Studies Workshop, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, May 2015.

“Medical Military Enlightenment: Humanity, War, Medicine, and the Eighteenth-Century Origins of the Red Cross and Geneva Convention,” American Association for the History of Medicine, New Haven, CT, April 30-May 3, 2015.

“Humanity, Enlightenment, and the Armed Forces of Eighteenth-Century France,” Old Regime Group, Baltimore, MD, March 28, 2015.

“‘Ludunt in Armis’: Laughter and Theatres of War in the French Enlightenment, “Society for French Studies, Aberdeen, Scotland, June 20-July 2, 2014.

“‘Militat omnis amans’:
 Theatres of Sex, Identity, and Emotional Community in the War of Austrian Succession,” Society for French Historical Studies, Montréal, Canada. April 24-26, 2014.

“‘Il faut armer vos compagnes chéries’: Imagining French National Heroines during the Enlightenment.” Panel: The Nature of Beauty and Influence: Women as Power-Brokers and Heroes in Early Modern France, Society for French Historical Studies, Cambridge, MA. April 4-6, 2013.

“Le “coeur des humains” à la guerre: Emotion in Military Thought of the French Enlightenment.” Panel: Emotion, Family, and War in Enlightenment and Revolutionary France, Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, Fort Worth, TX. February 21-23, 2013.

“Inventing Heroes of the ‘Fatherland’: Representations of Noble Military Service in La Gazette during the Thirty Years’ War, 1635-1648.” Panel: Warriors for King and Christ: Noble Violence in Early Modern France, Western Society for French History, Banff, Canada. October 11-13, 2012.