Kenneth Loiselle

Kenneth Loiselle

Visiting Associate Professor of French

Contact Information

Research Interests: Freemasonry, secret societies and political revolutions; La Nouvelle France; male homosociality; 18th- and 19th-century egodocuments; interspecies relations

Education: PhD, Yale University

Ken Loiselle is a Visiting Associate Professor in Modern Languages and Literatures at Johns Hopkins, and is also an Associate Professor of History at Trinity University in San Antonio. His research has been funded by numerous organizations, including the Fulbright foundation, the NEH, and the Humanities Research Center at Rice University. He is also a longstanding affiliated member of the Centre de la Méditerranée Moderne et Contemporaine (CMMC) at the Université Côte d’Azur. Professor Loiselle received his BA in French and history from Middlebury College, and his MA in French literature and PhD in French history from Yale.

An interdisciplinary scholar of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Ken Loiselle’s research focuses on masculinity, sociability and the complex relationship between non-human and human animals from the Old Regime to the modern era. His first book, Brotherly Love (2014), examines the ideals and practices of male friendship in French Freemasonry. He is currently completing a second monograph with Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire, The Masonic Experience in Enlightenment France, which investigates the ways in which men and women from various social and regional backgrounds integrated their masonic engagement into their daily lives from 1750 to the nineteenth century. He has also co-edited the volume, Diffusions et circulations des pratiques maçonniques XVIIIe–XXe siècle (Classiques Garnier, 2013), which examines the political implications of Freemasonry in the Atlantic and Mediterranean worlds from the French Revolution to the Great War.


  • Brotherly Love: Freemasonry and Male Friendship in Enlightenment France (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2014).
  • Edited Volumes:
  • Diffusions et circulations des pratiques maçonniques, XVIIIe–XIXe siècle, eds. Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire, Kenneth Loiselle, Jean-Marie Mercier & Thierry Zarcone (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2013).

Refereed Articles

  • “Freemasonry and the Catholic Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century France,” in The Journal of Modern History (September 2022). Accessible online at:
  • “Living the Enlightenment in an Age of Revolution: Freemasonry in Bordeaux, 1788-1794,” in French History (March 2010). Accessible online at:
  • “‘Nouveaux mais vrais amis:’ la Franc-maçonnerie et les rites de l’amitié au dix-huitième siècle,” in Dix-huitième Siècle 39 (2007): 303-318. Accessible online at:

Refereed Chapters in Edited Volumes (Selected)

  • “Masonic Drinking and Toasts in Old Regime and Revolutionary France,” in Political Drinking and the Politics of Drinking in Eighteenth-Century Europe, eds. Rémy Duthille and Martyn Powell (New York: Palgrave, 2024).
  • “Friendship in the Age of Enlightenment,” in A Cultural History of Love, eds. Katie Barclay and Sally Holloway (London: Bloomsbury, 2023).
  • “Franc-maçonnerie et culte de l’amitié en Angleterre et en France,” in La fabrication de la franc-maçonnerie française: Histoire, sociabilité et rituels, 1725-1745, ed. Thierry Zarcone (Paris: Dervy Livres, 2017).
  • “De l’honnête homme à l’homme sensible: l’évolution de l’amitié maçonnique au siècle des Lumières,” in L’Amitié dans les écrits du for privé et les correspondances, du Moyen Age à 1914, ed. Maurice Daumas (Pau: Presses Universitaires de Pau, 2014).
  • With Gilles Montègre and Charlotta Wolff, “Autoreprésentation et partage affectif dans les correspondances européennes de l’âge classique aux Lumières,” in Circulations, territoires et réseaux en Europe de l’âge classique aux Lumières, ed. Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire (Paris: Belin, 2014).
  • “‘Un nœud d’amitié’ entre un curé et un médecin botanistes. Amitié et circulation du savoir en Dauphiné prérévolutionnaire,” in Circulations, territoires et réseaux en Europe de l’âge classique aux Lumières, ed. Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire (Paris: Belin, 2014).
  • “To Enter into Communication is to Uphold a Friendship: Affectivity and the Communication of Knowledge between Dominique Chaix and Dominique Villars, 1772-1799,” in Entrer en communication de l’âge classique aux Lumières, eds. Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire and Héloïse Hermant (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2013).
  • “La correspondance entre francs-maçons au siècle des Lumières: témoignage sur l’histoire de l’amitié, ” in Colloque: Archive épistolaire et Histoire, eds. Mireille Bossis and Lucia Bergamasco (Paris: Editions Connaissances et Savoirs, 2007), 189-202.