Christy L Pichichero

Christy L Pichichero

Christy L Pichichero

Associate Professor

Early Modern and Revolutionary Literature, History, and Art of the French Empire; War and Culture; Critical Race and Critical Mixed Race Studies; Human Rights and Social Justice; Multiculturalism; Theater; Film Theory; Digital Humanities; Medical History; History of Emotion; Women’s Writing and History; History of News and Information Networks; Critical Pedagogy; Inclusive Pedagogy and Curricular Design; Student/Faculty Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Wellbeing; Faculty Recruitment, Retention, and Mentoring; Grad Student Recruitment and Mentoring, Academic and Community Activism, Academe and Politics.


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, the École Normale Supérieure – rue d’Ulm, and the Society of the Cincinnati. While holding a postdoctoral fellowship in Stanford’s Introduction to the Humanities Program, Dr. Pichichero was a faculty member and then Director of the Middlebury French School (Mills College campus).

Dr. Pichichero is the President of the Western Society for French History and serves on the Executive Committee of the Society for French Historical Studies and the Board of Directors of the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era. She is also an international delegate of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. She is the founding coordinator of GMU's CHR Critical Race Theory Group at the Center for Humanities Research and is co-chair of the University Policies and Practices Committee of the presidential Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence (ARIE) Taskforce.

Dr. Pichichero is a literary scholar and cultural historian of early modern France and the French Empire. Her research is deeply interdisciplinary and her work on neoclassical French theater, early modern theories of language, the culture of war, the history of emotions, Critical Race Theory, and multiculturalism have appeared in venues such as French Historical Studies, Modern Language Notes, Renaissance Drama, and Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture.

Her first book, The Military Enlightenment: War and Culture in the French Empire from Louis XIV to Napoleon (Cornell University Press, 2017; paperback, 2021), was a finalist for the Kenshur Book Prize for best book in eighteenth-century studies. The book 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 and effectively, yet humanely and in ways that advanced nascent visions of multiculturalism and social justice.

Dr. Pichichero’s is currently working on two book-length research projects. The first engages theories of Critical Race Studies and Critical Mixed Race Studies to investigate intersectionality and processes of racialization in eighteenth-century Europe. Her second project focuses on war and humanism. She has also begun a digital humanities project on early modern journalism.

Dr. Pichichero is a dedicated mentor to students and faculty at GMU and other institutions. She welcomes working with undergraduate researchers, graduate students, and junior faculty in History and French Studies and is especially engaged in mentoring women and individuals from Black and other historically underrepresented, minoritized communities. Dr. Pichichero's undergraduate and graduate mentees have gained admission to top doctoral and professional programs around the world. Recent graduates gone on to University of Chicago, UCLA, UVA, and Georgetown Law or are making successful careers in government, NGOs, K-12 education, higher education, and more.  Students and faculty should feel free to email her at to schedule a meeting.

Dr. Pichichero has more than twenty years of experience in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and anti-racism work. She has held multiple leadership positions at Stanford, GMU, and in the profession. At George Mason, she is currently a co-chair of the University Policies and Practices Committee of the presidential Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Taskforce. She also serves as the Director of Faculty Diversity in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and on the university's Board of Visitors as a faculty representative on the Academic Programs, Diversity, and University Community Committee. At Stanford, she worked with the Faculty Development and Diversity office to produce the video series “Student Voices: Why Faculty Diversity” that educates faculty on why diversity in the academy, and therefore in faculty hiring, matters. She also worked with the Vice Provost for Graduate Education to pioneer the DARE program, which is a preparing future faculty program for doctoral candidates whose presence would diversify their respective fields. She is an active student mentor and has worked extensively on inclusive teaching and syllabus constructions as well as issues of structural discrimination in the academy.

Dr. Pichichero is co-editor of a new H-FRANCE salon on structural racism and organized a plenary roundtable on structural racism with an accompanying pedagogical workshop at the 2017 Western Society for French History conference (video of this session can be seen on the media page of Dr. Pichichero's website, She has also spoken on structural racism in the discipline, teaching about race in the eighteenth century, and will ran two Presidential Sessions at the ASECS 50th anniversary meeting in Denver, CO (2019): a workshop on teaching race and a roundtable on the digital and global eighteenth-century. As chair of the Diversity and Inclusion committee of the Western Society for French History, Dr. Pichichero led the team that created the society's new mission statement, founded the society's mentoring program, and proposed a new mission prize honoring a scholar who has made remarkable contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the profession. Dr. Pichichero runs workshops around the country on diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism.

Dr. Pichichero was Graduate Advisor of French from 2014-2019 and served on the Ph.D. admissions committee in History and Art History in 2018-2019. She has served on the Academic Initiatives and External Academic Relations university standing committees. 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. 

Selected Publications


The Military Enlightenment: War and Culture in the French Empire from Louis XIV to Napoleon (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2017).

Finalist for the Kenshur Book Prize for best interdisciplinary book in eighteenth-century studies, 2017.



“Critical Race Studies and the Multicultural French Enlightenment,” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture – forthcoming.

“Language, Poetry, and Rhetoric: 1650-1800” in A Cultural History of Ideas in the Age of Enlightenment, eds. Sophia Rosenfeld and Peter Struck (under contract with Bloomsbury Press) – forthcoming.

“Pierre Corneille and Military Drama: Power, Potlatch, Mérite,” Modern Language Notes, Volume 132, Number 4 (September 2017), 1090-1117.

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

“Moralizing War: Military Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century France” in France and Its Spaces of War: Experience, Memory, Image, eds. Daniel Brewer and Patricia Lorcin (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 13-27 – peer-reviewed.

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


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


Co-editor (with Emily Marker), H-FRANCE SALON: Structural Racism in French and Francophone Culture and History (3-part volume, in progress, vol. 1 2019, vol. 2 2020, forthcoming).

Co-editor (with Dena Goodman, Sara Maza, Cathy McClive, Paris Spies-Gans), H-FRANCE SALON: The Tallahassee Report: Rethinking Graduate Education in Old Regime, Enlightenment, and Revolutionary French History (2018).

Grants and Fellowships

Dean's Research Award, George Mason University, Spring 2022, Fall 2019.

Dean's Inclusive Excellence Research Award, 2021-2022.

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

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.

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.

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.




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.

“Resisting Terror, Resisting Robespierre: A Literary Perspective.” Plenary comment. American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, Orlando, FL. March 2018.

“The Military Enlightenment: Mentalities and Legacies in France and Beyond.” Lecture. Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo, Japan. May 16, 2018.

“Violent/Non-violent Bodies in Enlightenment and Revolutionary France,” Miller Center for Historical Studies, University of Maryland College Park. September 20, 2018.

Plenary Lecture, Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. February 2020.


“Teaching Race in the Eighteenth Century in the Twenty-First Century Classroom,” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Boulder, CO, March 21-24, 2019.

“Power, Place, and Identity: A Workshop for Graduate Students and Early Career Scholars” (co-facilitator with Nimisha Barton), Western Society for French History, Portland, ME, November 1-3, 2018.

“Creating Inclusive Spaces for GMU Students,” Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning, GMU, Fairfax, VA, October 11, 2018.

“Confronting Structural Racism in Research and Teaching: Sources, Syllabi, Strategies in French and Francophone Historical Studies” (co-organizer with Emily Marker), Western Society for French History, Reno, NV. November 4, 2017.

In the Media