Programme A: Decentred Disciplines: Rethinking Approaches and Questioning Knowledge

Research log:

Research Head: Cécile Cottenet (Professor)

Members: Aurélie Ceccaldi (Lecturer), Frank Conesa (PhD), Cécile Cottenet (Professor), Bernard de Giorgi (Lecturer), Sara Greaves (Senior Lecturer), Monique de Mattia-Viviès (Professor), Sylvie Mathé (Emeritus Professor), Anna Reynes-Delobel (Senior Lecturer), Fanny Robles (Lecturer), Michel Van der Yeught (Professor), Sophie Vallas (Professor), Nathalie Vanfasse (Professor)

Doctoral students: Kevin Cristin, Florent da Sylva, Julien Guazzini, Mercedes Gilliom, Emily Holt, Evgueniya Lyu, Anaïs Martin, Mohamed Lamine Mariko, Emilie Seguin, Mounir Tairi

General presentation

Even though English Studies is, per se, an interdisciplinary field, this programme’s researchers propose to approach this domain (language, speech, creative writing, literature, texts and their circulation) through the lens of the interaction of fields and disciplines which are seldom considered together. The interdisciplinary dimension of this programme aims to examine the conditions of inter/multi/transdisciplinarity, and to explore emerging research fields in depth: the crossroads between literature and economics, the sociology of literature and the history of books in a transnational approach, and lastly, the exchange between practices and disciplines (psychology, medicine, linguistics, translation science, poiesis and poetics). Our objective is to attempt to decentre these disciplines – which implies considering their definition and their perimeter beforehand– and renew the ways in which knowledge is disseminated and transmitted, notably by considering opening up to outside the university, through writing workshops and exchanges with practitioners from other sectors. This programme is open to cooperation within the University of Aix-Marseille, specifically within the framework of the CRISIS Federation. We are eager to consider collaborating with the psychologists in the Maison de la Recherche, but also with French publishing specialists, translation sociologists, and researchers in economics.

Theme A1. Language and Speech: from Disorder to Therapy

Research Head: Sara Greaves

Members: Bernard de Giorgi (Lecturer), Aurélie Ceccaldi (Lecturer), Sara Greaves (Senior Lecturer), Monique de Mattia-Viviès (Professor)

Doctoral students: Emilie Seguin, Florent da Sylva, Mercedes Gilliom

In this programme, the researchers tackle languages and speech through a diversity of approaches (psychiatry, linguistics, literature, didactics, creative writing, bilingualism, multilingualism, translation science, and so on), while seeking to discover stimulating or healing mechanisms within people with communication or learning difficulties. A cross-sectoral action-research project has been conducted in a CAMSP (Centre for Early Medical and Social Action) where multilingual writing workshops were offered to the parents of children accompanied by the centre, and medical consultations with children and their parents were observed. These workshops enable the study of speech via work on languages and creativity, with one of the objectives being to renew contact with the native language, and another dimension being the initial learning of the native language and its role in learning a foreign language. We also examine the tools to be implemented in order to facilitate this learning process, notably in the field of assessment and by developing bilingual teaching methods.

Theme A2. The Literary Expression of Economic and Financial Turmoil in Great Britain and the United States From the 18th Century to the Present Day

Research Heads: Michel Van der Yeught and Nathalie Vanfasse

Members: Fanny Robles (Lecturer), Michael Stricof (Lecturer), Michel Van der Yeught (Professor), Nathalie Vanfasse (Professor)

Doctoral students: Evgueniya Lyu, Anaïs Martin, Kevin Cristin

This theme explores the intersection between literary expression and the English-study specialism of finance and economics in Great Britain and the United States from the 18th century to the present day. It is based on the hypothesis that the narrative, fictional, theatrical and poetic dimensions of literary works have been marked by the financial and economic conditions of the context of their creation, and that the role as cradles of modern economic development played by both countries has been particularly significant in fostering this intersection. The research work proposes to study the various discourses, texts and genres in which it is to be found, but also examines the theoretical stakes resulting from connecting two branches of English Studies which until now have had almost no interaction with each other. Since 2017, the team has broadened their reflexion to studying the relations between literature and science, notably through a project led in collaboration with the University of Berkeley regarding questions of form in Victorian literature and sciences.

Theme A3. Mediating Literature: Transnational Transfers Between the United States and France, 19th-21st Century

Research Head: Cécile Cottenet

Members: Frank Conesa (PhD), Cécile Cottenet (Professor), Sylvie Mathé (Emeritus Professor), Anne Reynes-Delobel (Senior Lecturer), Sophie Vallas (Professor)

Doctoral students: Julien Guazzini, Emily Holt, Mohamed Lamine Mariko, Mounir Tairi

This project is in line with the fields of transnational studies and cultural history, at the crossroads of literature and its history, and the history of books. We intend to analyze the modalities of construction of a France-United States transnational space of literature, focusing more specifically on examining the modalities of transfer and circulation of the literature of the United States in France. Whilst studying relationship dynamics and their variations over time, our main aim is to identify the intermediaries and question their role and their agency in forming this field (editors, publishers, printers, agents, translators, critics, journalists, librarians, teachers and academics). The team’s reflections tie in with the ‘Major Interviews’ section of E-rea, which highlights academic careers in the field of English Studies, and includes a number of contemporary mediators of United States literature.