Czech-French Historical Seminar: Élisabeth Gaucher-Rémond

Where: FF UK, nám. Jana Palacha 2, room 201

Organizers: FF UK & CEFRES

Investigating legendary figures who became famous for their tribulations with the devil, these two lectures aim at reflecting upon the part played by alterity in the construction of the subject. They present an opposition between one who endeavors to tear the soul from Satan’s grip, and one who enjoys playing with one’s demon in the hope of knowing fear. Notwithstanding a few escapes in post-medieval rewritings, the various cultural heritages which such legends carry shall be reappraised so to explore the evolution of the beliefs to which they pertain: from a terroristic devil to a powerless demon.

Robert the Devil or Turning Down Diabolical Heredity

After a brief account on the historical, mythical and literary influences at the background of this 13th century narrative, the presentation will focus on the access conditions to sainthood through this story of a child born from the devil. Special emphasis will be devoted to its intertextual traces with other contemporary narratives of conversion.

Richard the Fearless or Playing with the Devil

Persecuted by a demon that drags him in its nightlife adventures, this 15th century hero and the alleged son of Robert the Devil’s main feature is a boldness akin to indifference to the metaphysical stakes of his supernatural encounter. What is the meaning of such fearlessness at the end of the Middle Ages as shown by the literary parody as well as by the moral exemplum?

A former fellow of École normale supérieure (Paris), Pr. Élisabeth Gaucher-Rémond teached French medieval language and literature at the Nantes University. After completing her PhD on knightly biographies from the 13th to the 15th century (Champion, 1994), she kept on exploring the interferences between reality and imagination in historical-legendary narratives (Robert le Diable, Richard sans Peur) and the representation of the individual (within the interdisciplinary research program MEDIEVARS). She’s currently writing an essai on Autobiographical Forms in Medieval Literature and a new edition of Richard sans Peur.

Latest Publications

  • La Biographie chevaleresque. Typologie d’un genre (XIIIe-XVe s.), Paris, Champion, 1994 (Nouvelle Bibliothèque du Moyen Âge, 29).
  • Robert le Diable. Histoire d’une légende, Paris, Champion, 2003 (Essais sur le Moyen Âge, 29).
  • Robert le Diable, édition bilingue. Publication, traduction, présentation et notes, Paris, Champion, 2006 (Champion Classiques / Moyen Âge, 17).
  • Richard sans Peur, duc de Normandie : entre histoire et légende. Actes du colloque organisé au Havre par Laurence Mathey-Maille et Élisabeth Gaucher-Rémond, 29-30 March 2012. Annales de Normandie, no. 1, Jan.-Jun. 2014.
  • « Saint Julien l’Hospitalier et Robert le Diable », Hagiographie, Imaginaire, Littérature(Mélanges offerts à Jean-Pierre Perrot),  Université de Savoie, coll. « Écriture et représentation », n°28, 2015, p.127-143.
  • « Tentation de la chair, séduction de l’esprit : Richard sans Peur et le modèle érémitique », Chaire, chair et bonne Chère (Hommage à Paul Bretel), Perpignan, Presses Universitaires de Perpignan, 2014, pp. 21-34.
  • « Robert le diable ou le ‘criminel repentant’ : la légende au miroir des récits de conversion », La légende de Robert le Diable du Moyen Âge au XXe siècle, L.Mathey-Maille and H. Legros (eds.), Orléans, Paradigme, 2010, pp. 27-41.
  • « Les semblances du diable dans Richard sans Peur », Revue des langues romanes, CXIV, no. 2 (Le déguisement dans la littérature française du Moyen Âge, textes réunis par J. Dufournet et C.Lachet), 2010, pp. 391-413.
  • « Les recettes du diable : le pouvoir et l’argent dans Richard sans Peur», Le prince, l’argent, les hommes au Moyen Âge (Mélanges offerts à Jean Kerhervé), Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2008, pp. 323-330.
  • « Tentations et mariage sataniques dans Richard sans Peur : le détournement des modèles allégoriques et féeriques », Cahiers de Recherches Médiévales, no. 15 (La Tentation du parodique dans la littérature médiévale, études réunies par E. Gaucher), 2008, pp. 73-85.

Czech-French Historical Seminar: Estelle Doudet

Where: CEFRES, Na Florenci 3.

Organizers: FF UK and CEFRES.

Theatre and Political Communication in the Middle Ages

Focusing on theatre in French, this paper investigates the turn of 15th and 16th century, when theater and print developed hand in hand. Is a “political theater” being then shaped? What circumstances, which authors and actors, play genres, and audiences could such a political communication involve, and with which efficiency?

The Author and its Signature in French, from Chrétien de Troyes to the Renaissance

Signature is considered today as a key-element of the “function author” as defined by Michel Foucault. The recurrent anonymity of Medieval literature led to believe in the lack of signature, and therefore of authors. Yes, from the 12th to the 16th centuries, French-writing authors reflected on signature, on its forms and functions. Signature revealed the status of the author—whether gentle or intellectual, whether man or woman. It defined the genres in which it came up, such as the novel, poetry and autobiography. It shaped the relationship between the writer and the reader.

A former fellow of Ecole normale supérieure, Pr. Estelle Doudet teaches medieval language and literatyre at the University of Grenoble Alpes. She is a member of the Institut universitaire de France. Her works focus on the archeology of media and public communication in French, among which on eloquence and performing arts in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Within the research unit Litt&Arts, she is in charge of the research group on “comparative media studies” and heads the research area on Arts, Literatures, Languages, Human, Cognitive and Social Sciences of Grenoble University.

Among her publications:

  • Recueil général de moralités d’expression française, vol. 1, E. Doudet (ed.), Paris, Garnier, 2012.
  • Chrétien de Troyes, Paris, Tallandier, 2009.
  • Un cristal mucié en un coffre. Poétique de George Chastelain, Paris, Champion, « Bibliothèque du XVe siècle », no. 67,  2005.
  • Jean Molinet et son temps, E. Lecuppre-Desjardin, J. Devaux and E. Doudet (eds.), Turnhout, Brepols, 2013.
  • 58 published articles publiés – check her profile on

Franco-Czech Seminars in History

Henri LAURENS (Collège de France) will give two lectures:

9:10 – Orientalists and the First World War: Adverturers, Experts, and Diplomats

10:50 – T. E. Lawrence

Place: Faculty of Arts (náměstí Jana Palacha 2, Prague 1).

Organizers: The Franco-Czech seminar in history is organized by the Faculty of Arts of Charles University, in collaboration with CEFRES.

Franco-Czech Seminar in History

Serge LUSIGNAN (Université de Montréal) will hold two lectures (in French):

9 h 10 – French, Latin and English: Oral and Written Communication in England During the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries

10 h 50 – On Paris University’s Treshold: French Language in the University Milieu

Franco-Czech Seminars in History are co-organized by the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague in collaboration with CEFRES. Continue reading Franco-Czech Seminar in History


Cécile Guillaume-Pey

Cécile GUILLAUME-PEY (CEFRES fellow, Center of Social Anthropology in Toulouse (CAS-LISST)) will hold a lecture (in French):

From Spirit to Letter. Modes of Appropriating Script among Tribal Groups in India

Venue: Faculty of Arts – room 201 (náměstí Jana Palacha 2, Prague 1) at 10:50 AM.

Franco-Czech Seminars in history are co-organized by the Philosophy Faculty of Charles University in Prague in collaboration with CEFRES. Continue reading FRANCO-CZECH SEMINAR IN HISTORY

Is Animal Violence characteristic in the Middle Ages? On the Adulterous Stork.

Thursday, May 14th starting at 9:10 at the CEFRES

Jacques Berlioz (CNRS / EHESS, Paris)

Will hold two conferences:

Is Animal Violence characteristic in the Middle Ages? On the Adulterous Stork.


Forces of Nature and Human Reactions: how to deal with the consequences of Natural Catastrophes in the Middle Ages?

As part of the French-Czech workshop for historical sciences that CEFRES organized in collaboration with Charles University’s Faculty of Arts in Prague.