Programme B: The Relation to the Other, Memory and Identity

Research Heads: Isabelle Vagnoux (Professor) and Valérie André (Lecturer)

Members: Valérie André (Lecturer), Karine Bigand (Lecturer), Alice Byme (Lecturer), Dominique Cadinot (Lecturer), Matthew Graves (Professor), Sara Greaves (Senior Lecturer), Marie-Odile Hédon (Professor), Anne Lesme Pujade (Assistant Lecturer), Lydia Martin (Assistant Lecturer), Sylvie Mathé (Emeritus Professor), Jean-Christophe Murat (Lecturer), Linda Pillière (Professor), Fanny Roblès (Lecturer), Michael Stricof (Lecturer), Gilles Teulié (Professor), Isabelle Vagnoux (Professor), Nathalie Vanfasse (Professor)

Doctoral students: Julie Dallinges, Virgile Lorenzoni, Camille Martinerie, Aicha Rahal, Emilie Seguin

Doctors: Floriane Blanc, Jessica Stark

General presentation

This multidisciplinary programme groups together researchers in civilization, literature and linguistics specialized in the British Isles, North America and the Commonwealth. Its themes aim to explore the relations between past and present (heritages of culture, memory, colonialism, literature and language; temporal interconnections), international relations (spatial interconnections), together with the questions of construction and representations of identity (individual and/or collective, national and post-national). The programme’s outreach is both local (the city of Marseille, archives, museums), regional (southern France’s university network) and international (North American, Irish, Australian and South African partners). We place an emphasis on networking. Interaction with non-academic actors is favoured (experts, diplomats, stakeholders in the artistic, cultural or volunteer sectors).

Theme B1. Remanence in the English-Speaking World, 20th and 21st Centuries

Research Heads: Karine Bigand and Marie-Odile Hédon

Members: Valérie André (Lecturer), Karine Bigand (Lecturer), Sara Greaves (Senior Lecturer), Lydia Martin (Assistant Lecturer), Sylvie Mathé (Lecturer), Jean-Christophe Murat (Lecturer), Linda Pillière (Professor), Nathalie Vanfasse (Professor)

Doctoral students: Emilie Seguin, Julie Dallinges, Aïcha Rahal

This theme looks at the question of heritages in the English-speaking world from the 19thto the 21stcenturies: historical, literary, and cultural heritages in the broad sense of the term, and their impact and interest nowadays. This question implies reflecting upon the notions of memory, cultural heritage, and the transmission, understanding and use of the past in the present. It also brings into play the notion of representation and the imaginary (Stuart Hall, Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, 1997). This issue is therefore pertinent in the fields of human and social sciences as well as literature studies. Memory, an essential object of study in the human and social sciences since the work of Maurice Halbwachs, Jan and Aleida Assman, and Pierre Nora, is also an essential issue in contemporary anglophone societies. The notion of memory is included in history curricula, in memorial and commemorative policies, and museum practices, as it impacts collective identity in how it is promoted and perceived. Contemporary research studies on these subjects abound, but the broad chronological boundaries enable the inclusion of the major issues regarding the writing of history, the invention of traditions and the highlighting of a common past, which all rise from the emergence of western nationalisms. This periodizing is all the more pertinent in literary or visual studies, in which the 19th century witnesses the emergence of modernity, serving as a foundation for the present-day world. In literary and visual studies, remanence takes the form of transfers, adaptations and rewritings, which manifest through hybridity, revitalizations, transformations, reincarnations and metamorphoses.

Theme B2. Observatory of External Relations in the English-Speaking World (OREMA)

Research Heads: Valérie André and Isabelle Vagnoux

Members: Valérie André (Lecturer), Alice Byrne (Lecturer), Dominique Cadinot (Lecturer), Matthew Graves (Professor), Anne Lesme (Assistant Lecturer), Michael Stricof (Lecturer), Isabelle Vagnoux (Professor)

Doctoral student: Virgile Lorenzoni

Doctor collaborating with LERMA: Floriane Blanc

Doctoral student: Jessica Stark (2020)

Partnership: GIS Institut des Amériques (France).

OREMA is the only research group in France that is specifically dedicated to external relations in the anglophone world as a whole. The international relations/external relations theme has the advantage of being more open to specialities other than foreign policy emanating from the state alone. Indeed, the seminars organized until 2018 highlighted that non-state actors (such as NGOs or think tanks) play an increasingly significant role in international relations and the elaboration of foreign policy. Similarly, international relations also look at cultural exchanges, migrations, diasporas, free-trade issues, and more broadly at circulations of all kinds and ‘intermestic’ matters. Dropping a general theme in the research unit from 2018 onward has enabled OREMA to develop its role as an ‘observatory’, in direct contact with current events. Other than the scientific meetings organized (conferences, research days, seminars), a research log ( was begun in 2018 and is regularly updated, by group members as well as by external contributors, from France or elsewhere.

Theme B3. Critical Geographies

Research Heads: Matthew Graves and Gilles Teulié

Members: Matthew Graves (Professor), Fanny Roblès (Lecturer), Gilles Teulié (Professor)

Doctoral student: Camille Martinerie

This theme, which pursues the objectives and institutional partnerships of the previous seminar, Geographies of Displacement (2010-2015), is devoted to exploring the ‘spatial turning-point’ in the field of humanities and to applying the conceptual tools of critical geography to research studies in the Commonwealth and the post-colonial anglophone world, specifically in the fields of sub-state geopolitics, geohistory, and memorial geography. It aspires to play a driving, structuring role in postcolonial studies in France. The team has notably led research projects in the geography of emotions with the Digital Ethnography Research Centre (RMIT University) as part of the Fondation AMU (University of Aix-Marseille Foundation) and in commemorative politics with the Centre for Studies and Documentation on War and Contemporary Societies (archives from the state of Belgium). The team is currently collaborating with the cultural historians and geographers of TELEMME on a ‘Pépinière d’excellence’ (Incubator of Excellence) project of the A*MIDEX Foundation, on monuments in the Mediterranean. These projects involve close collaboration with the institutions of the social and economic environment of the University, such as the Archives of Marseille City and the Camp des Milles Memorial Site.  This theme is related to a transdisciplinary, multi-university and itinerant seminar, which takes place once every term in one of the six French partner universities in turn (Aix-Marseille, Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, Toulouse Jean-Jaurès, Saint-Etienne, Grenoble-Alpes and Dijon). Speakers come from partner universities worldwide (Birmingham, Cape Town, Edinburgh, Melbourne, Sydney). This seminar, Critical Geographies (2015-2020), is to end with a webinar in November 2020[CG1] , in order to give an overview of the last five years and prepare a scientific publication. A third phase of the seminar will then be launched, together with our network partners. The theme will most probably concern environmental geography and cover the 2020-2024 or 2025 period, and will continue to operate within its customary multi-university and international framework.