Paris and the built environment 1850-1900: an interdisciplinary project (start date 2020-2021)

About the project or challenge area

How can the built environment in nineteenth-century literature and visual culture in France help us understand today's environmental pressures and possibilities? Exploring Impressionist art, novels by Emile Zola, and a range of critical thought on cultural and material modernisation, this project will ask how textual and visual culture of the past can help us understand more deeply our present and, perhaps, our future.

Why choose this opportunity?

You will get the opportunity to develop a keener sense of how the past shapes our values, consciousness, and behaviours today. You will acquire fluency in the exploration of text and image. You will have the opportunity to work across the boundaries between text, image, and 'real world' instances.

About you

You will have a desire to engage with pictures and narrative texts and have an enthusiasm for exploring urban contexts and cultures.

How to apply

Please note that this project will begin in the next academic year, from September 2020-21. 

All students can apply using the button below, following the Master's by Research Admissions Statement. Please note that this is an advertised project, which means you only have to complete Section A of the Masters by Research Statement Template (Office document, 68kB).

Before applying, we recommend getting in touch with the project's supervisors. If you are interested in this project and would like to learn more about the research you will be undertaking, please use the contact details on this page.


Your supervisor for this project will be Professor Susan Harrow, Ashley Watkins Chair in French Language and Literature in the School of Modern Languages. You can contact her at +44 (0) 117 331 8337 or email .

Find out more about your prospective research community

The Environmental Change theme is a vibrant community of researchers who integrate expertise across multiple disciplines to provide the evidence base and solutions to tackle the world's most pressing environmental challenges. Find out more about the Environmental Change research theme.

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