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Institute of Advanced Study

Professor Arnaud Rykner

COFUND Senior Research Fellow at Ustinov College, Durham University (June – July 2014)

Prof Arnaud Rykner is from Paris - Sorbonne University / Visiting Professor, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA. His host is Dr Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze, Head of French, School of Modern Languages & Cultures. 

Research activities

Professor Rykner is both a renowned academic (19th and 20th-century literature; theatre studies;medical humanities) and a successful French novelist. His project is twofold:

1) He proposes to work on his new novel devoted to Swiss writer Robert Walser - Kafka’s favourite writer who died in 1956 in a psychiatric institution (as Walser wrote in German, Prof. Rykner's topic can be of interest to both French and German depts). The Fellowship will bring benefits to the IAS/MLAC/Durham University from exploring the potential overlap between scholarship and creative writing in order to provide new avenues for the Humanities (Prof. Rykner will also be looking to liaise with the English Dept / the director of the newly-established MA in Creative Writing).

2) Prof. Rykner is interested in the relationship between art and therapy and his research in the field of medical humanities led him to set up a series of workshops connecting researchers, medical doctors and artists. He proposes to set up a workshop on the topic in Durham. Again, staff in the IAS/MLAC/Institute for Medical Humanities would greatly benefit from his experience as the leader of successful impact cases. 


“I had a wonderfully productive time at Durham. I am very grateful to the IAS and Durham University for this unique opportunity - I can truthfully say that the IAS has provided me with one of the best experiences in my professional life.”

Professor Arnaud Rykner, Paris Sorbonne University