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Centre for Foreign Language Study

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Professor Jan Clarke has been awarded a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship

(24 April 2012)

Professor Jan Clarke, Dept of French, has been awarded a 12-month British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship.  Professor Clarke's research will focus on a critical edition in three volumes of the machine plays and operas of Thomas Corneille.

This will be the first edition in 130 years of the machine plays and operas of the 17th-century French dramatist Thomas Corneille.  Thomas enjoyed some of the greatest theatrical successes of his time, but his works are now little studied and still more rarely performed, due to the lack of a modern critical edition.  The French 17th-century is generally known as the age of classicism, but the public was equally if not more avid for music and spectactle, which goes some way to explaining Thomas's success.  Each play will be accompanied by an introduction examining questions of production and reception, thereby situating it precisely within its theatrical context.  A critical edition of these works will, therefore, not only make them available for study, translation and performance, thereby expanding the French (and world) theatrical canon, it will also make an important contribution to the development of theatre studies in France as well as revolutionising the way in which this key period and its cultural outputs are viewed more generally.

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