The Centre for the Study of Visual and Literary Cultures in France is an Arts Faculty Research Centre established jointly by the Departments of French and of History of Art.
The aim of the Centre is to promote contacts and exchanges between researchers locally, nationally, and internationally that focus on word and image studies and other interactions of the textual and the visual in modern France and the French-speaking world. The objectives of the Centre are to organise conferences, colloquia and guest lectures, to attract PhD postgraduates and MPhil students, and to create and encourage publication projects.
The Centre arose from long-standing research interests and strategies shared by members of the two Departments and was formally constituted during the academic year 1999-2000. Although its early activities have reflected the interdisciplinary research of present members of Faculty, its remit is flexible and will develop in relation to input from new members of Faculty and from visiting scholars. Initiatives are welcomed and encouraged relating to various manifestations of visual and verbal cultures in France, including a range of media, and involving theoretical and critical debate within and between disciplines.
The Centre held its first international conference in 1999: ‘France 1900 - Visual, Literary and Political Cultures’, bringing strong representation from the USA as well as delegates from universities in the UK and Australia. The Centre's first visiting scholar was Professor Richard Shiff of the University of Texas at Austin.
The founders of the Centre were Richard Hobbs (Department of French) and Paul Smith (formerly Department of History of Art). Members of Faculty most active in the Centre and their research interests are listed under People.