Déborah Blocker (Ph.D. University of Paris III, 2001) is associate professor of French and affiliated faculty in Italian Studies. She specializes in the social and political history of literary practices in early modern France and Italy, with a particular interest in theater, learned societies (academies) and the development of aesthetics. Her current research relies heavily on the history of the book, as well as on manuscript studies. Her first full-length study (Instituer un ‘art’: politiques du théâtre dans la France du premier XVIIe siècle, Paris, Champion, 2009) examines the social and political processes through which early modern French theater was instituted into an art (1630-1660). This project led her to develop a larger curiosity for the social and political constitution and circulation of discourses on poetry and the arts in early modern Europe (1500-1800). Since 2008, Déborah Blocker has been researching the social and political circumstances in which new conceptions of art emerged in Renaissance Florence, through an archival study of the Accademia degli Alterati (circa 1570-1620). In 2010-2011, her work was generously supported by a Florence J. Gould Fellowship at the Villa I Tatti, Harvard University’s Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, located in Florence. She is currently bringing this second project to completion as a book-length manuscript.