Staff in the Department of French
Dr Marie-Claire Barnet, PhD University of California, Davis
After studying in France (Université de Bourgogne, Dijon) and the U.S. (Penn University, Philadelphia, and University of California, Davis), I went on working in the U.K.(Edinburgh, St Andrews, Southampton Institute) and joined Durham University in 1999.
My research background is broadly in 20th-21st c. French studies, critical theory, psychoanalysis, surrealism, gender and visual culture.
I have worked extensively in two fields: 'l'extrême contemporain' in literature and the visual arts, and Jacques Derrida and the archives. I am keenly interested in 'récits de vie', autobiography/fiction, linked to photography, and art in general.
The conferences and events I organised on space reconceptualised by contemporary women writers and artists in France (London 2006 and Durham 2011) have resulted in a co-edited volume and a co-edited special issue, with special interviews with Agnès Varda, Valérie Mréjen and Marie Darrieussecq. For another interview with Mréjen see the following link: http://modernlanguages.sas.ac.uk/sites/default/files/files/Research%20Centres/CCWW/Mrejen_interview.pdf.
Following the film festival and international conference I held at the Tyneside Cinema (Newcastle) in the autumn of 2012, I have worked extensively on Varda’s art installations in France and abroad and I am editing a forthcoming volume on Agnès Varda’s career in film and visual art over the last 5 decades (MHRA/Legenda, Moving Image series).
My second long-standing research interest is Derrida’s autobiography and (self)portraits via different media (film, radio, art installations). I have engaged closely with the ongoing opening of Derrida’s vast archives at IMEC (Institut Mémoires de l’édition contemporaine, Normandy).
I will be happy to supervise a wide range of research projects on 20th-21st c. French studies, literature, visual culture and critical theory.
My current research in visual arts looks closely at the innovative ways artists use to represent changing communities and the self, in an increasingly 'endangered' global environment (Demain, the film, the future, the recreation of the garden of Eden, or the utopia of local economy?). My work on media, archives and Jacques Derrida will focus on the textual/visual interface to offer renewed perspectives on the 'portrayal' of such a legendary thinker, who kept reassessing frames, boundaries, definitions, among other concepts. In my latest volume, my key aim is to reconsider the artist's status and role on the challenging, and highly contested, 'international' art/political scene: Agnès Varda Unlimited: Moving Image, Music, Media. MHRA/Legenda in ‘Moving Image’ series, Cambridge. (out in 2017)
My volume offers a timely re-assessment of legendary Varda as a New Wave film maker and a visual artist of the extreme contemporary, committed to social activism and experimental creativity. In her ever-evolving career, the legendary filmmaker Agnès Varda has gone from being a photographer at the Avignon festival in the late 1940s, through being a director celebrated at the Cannes festival (Cléo de 5 à 7, 1962), to her more ironic self-proclaimed status as a jeune artiste plasticienne. She has recently staged mixed-media projects and exhibitions all over the world from Paris (2006) to Los Angeles (2013-14), and New York (2017). Agnès Varda Unlimited: Image, Music, Media reconsiders the legacy and potential of Vardas radical tour de force cinématique, as seen in the 22-DVD definitive Tout(e) Varda, and her enduring artistic presence. These 12 essays discuss not just when, but also how and why, Varda's renewed artistic forms have ignited with such creative force, and have been so inspiring an influence. The volume concludes with two remarkable interviews: one with Varda herself, and another a rare contribution from the leading actress of Cléo de 5 à 7, Corinne Marchand.
- 20th-21st Century French Literature, Visual Art, L'Extrême contemporain, Récits de vie. Autobiography and (Self) Portraits
- Critical Theory, Derrida.
- Gender Studies & Psychoanalysis
- Word and Image: Contemporary Collaborations between Writers and Artists, Mixed Media
Chapter in book
- 2018 'Du vide ou de l’enfance ‘extensible’ Le Pays d’Amélie Not Home', in Lee, Mark & de Medeiros, Ana (eds.), Identité, mémoire, lieux Le passé, le présent et l’avenir d’Amélie Nothomb, Classiques Garnier, pp. 79-95
- 2013 'Off Limits: Trans-Border Land and Language in Marie Darrieussecq', in Rye, Gill & Damlé, Amaleena (eds.), Experiment and Experience: Women’s Writing in France 2000-2010, Peter Lang, pp. 191-209
- 2009 ''Déroute d’un Autoportrait en vert (mère): vers l’errance de Marie NDiaye'', in Asibong, Andrew & Jordan, Shirley (eds.), Marie NDiaye: l’étrangeté à l’œuvre, Revue des Sciences Humaines, Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, pp. 153-170
- 2009 '‘‘Espèce de vilaine fée’ ou comment les esprits revinrent à Eve Brulard la sorcière dans l’œuvre de Marie NDiaye’', in Hutton, Margaret-Anne (ed.), Redefining the Real The Fantastic in Contemporary French and Francophone Women’s Writing, Peter Lang, pp. 225-244
- 2006 'L'Amour flou: Mansour and (Fe)male Desires', in Adamowicz, Elza (ed.), Crossings/Frontiers of Surrealism, Peter Lang.
- 2005 'Exquises esquisses by Gisèle and Mario Prassinos: The craftswoman, the writer and her brother', in Heusser, Martin, Hoek, Leo, Schoell-Glass, Charlotte & Scott, David (eds.), On Verbal/Visual Cultures: Word & Image Interactions IV, Rodopi, pp. 193-205
- 2005 'The Undutiful Daughter on Fire: Régine Detambel's La Verrière', in Rye, Gill (ed.), L'Esprit créateur, University of Minnesota, pp. 16-27
- 2004 'Louise la Momotte: jeux et enjeux autobiographiques dans les écrits de Louise Bourgeois', in (ed.), Gravida, pp. 17-30
- 2003 'Neither an Odyssey nor a Testament: Drifting with Jacques Derrida and Catherine Malabou', in Hughes, Alex & Noble, Andrea (eds.), Phototextualities: Intersections of Photography and Narrative, University of New Mexico Press, pp. 201-217
- 2002 'Anatomical Writing: Blasons d'un corps masculin, L'Ecrivaillon and La Ligne âpre by Régine Detambel', in Rye, Gill. & Worton, Michael. (eds.), Women's Writing in Contemporary France: New Writers, New Literatures in the 1990s, Manchester University Press, pp. 93-105
- 2002 'La Mort de la mère de l'auteur droit de réponses de Jean Rouaud', in Hutton, Margaret-Anne (ed.), French fiction in the 1990s, Nottingham French Studies, pp. 49-59
- 2000 'L'Art radiophonique: Deharme et Desnos', in Dumas, Marie-Claire & Conley, Kate (eds.), Robert Desnos pour l'an 2000, Gallimard, pp. 25-36
- 2017 Agnès Varda Unlimited: Image, Music, Media, Legenda, 224 pp.
- 2011 (co-edited with Jordan, Shirley) L'Esprit Créateur (Special issue; 51(1). Watch This Space: Women's Conceptualisations of Space in Contemporary French Film and Visual Art, John Hopkins University Press, 200 pp.
- 2010 (co-edited with Jordan, Shirley) Dalhousie French Studies (93): Women and Space, Dalhousie University.
- 2007 (co-edited with Welch, Edward.) Affaires de famille: The Family in Contemporary French Culture and Theory, Rodopi, 347 pp.
- 2006 (co-edited with Robertson, Eric & Saint, Nigel) Robert Desnos: Surrealism in the Twenty-First Century, Peter Lang, 390 pp.
- 2019 'Revoir rouge et (dé)faire les tapisseries avec Annette Messager: du genre au musée', French Studies
- 2011 ''Elles-Ils Islands': Cartography of Lives and Deaths by Agnès Varda', L'Esprit Créateur 51, pp. 97-111
- 2010 'Etat des lieux et de la banlieue: de Batz à Bobigny par Marie Desplechin', Dalhousie French Studies 93, pp. 109-121
- 2005 'Sibylle Lacan ou la traversée des miroirs: (auto)portraits de famille', Gradiva VII, pp. 105-138
- 2003 'To Lise Deharme's lighthouse le phare de Neuilly, a forgotten surrealist review', French studies 57, pp. 323-334
- 2000 'Les Albums de famille d'Hélène Cixous', Interfaces 17, pp. 119-134
- 1999 'Ecrire, disent-elles: la vocation littéraire dans L'Amant de Duras et Enfance de Sarraute', Dalhousie French Studies 48, pp. 85-98
- 1998 La Femme cent sexes ou les genres communicants: Deharme, Mansour, Prassinos, Peter Lang, 323 pp.
Available for media contact about:
- Language, Literature & the Arts: Available for media contact about: -20th-21st c French literature, critical theory -Visual culture: contemporary French artists
- 2007: British Academy Small Research Grant
- 2006: British Academy Overseas Conference Award
- 2004: British Academy Conference Award
- 2004: British Academy Small Research Grant
- 2002: AHRC Research Leave Award