PSAC director to present at annual Wimbledon BookFest

The academic director of the Paris School of Arts and Culture Professor Ben Hutchinson will present his new publication, Comparative Literature: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press) at the annual Wimebledon BookFest on Saturday, 5 October 2019. Professor Hutchinson will take part in the Intellectual Speed Dating event, and present with three other authors who have also published in Oxford University Press’ Very Short Introduction series.

High-level but digestible overviews written by experts in their field, the Very Short Introduction series is a wonderful way to discover a new subject.

Conceived as a form of “intellectual speed dating”, at the BookFest the audience will be split into small groups and will move around the event space, enjoying ten minutes with each of four authors for a pithy introduction to the topics covered.

Further information including ticketing can be found by visiting the Wimbledon BookFest website.

Film Studies alumna documentary screened on the BBC

Alumna Ece Ger, who graduated with an MA in Film – including a term at Kent’s at the Paris School of Arts and Culture – in 2015, saw her documentary film Meet Jim, Citizen of the World screened on BBC Scotland last Saturday 17 August 2019.

He dined with The Beatles and shacked up with the Rolling Stones. He rubbed shoulders with soul diva Mama Cass, folk troubadour Leonard Cohen and a fledgling Pink Floyd. He was a figurehead for a new generation of playwrights. After he was stopped at Munich airport with a bag full of blank ‘world passports’, he lectured bewildered German border police about the virtues of ‘world Government’.

Today, at 83, Jim Haynes just won’t slow down: this ‘godfather of social networking’ organises open dinners every Sunday night in the Parisian artist studio that’s been his home for the past 50 years. Total strangers, unknown both to him and to each other, meet in his living room and Jim’s friends show up to cook cheerfully for crowds of 60 or more. It’s simple: you sign up, you come over, you meet Jim. As he once said: ‘My home is a World Government Embassy that never closes.’

The documentary composes an impressionistic portrait of Jim Haynes the man and the cultural phenomenon, as seen by the many and diverse people whose lives have been touched by his. The film is a hymn to the lasting spirit of the 60s, an inspirational living proof of how we can all chose to live on the bright side: to Jim, the choice is ready-made: ‘Life is short: we have a duty to enjoy ourselves.’

The documentary first premiered as Meeting Jim at the Edinburgh International Film Festival last year. It was supported by a crowdfunding campaign that ran in early 2016. For more details on its background, please see the page here.

If you’re in the UK, to view the documentary, please see the page on BBC iPlayer here:

Kent-Paris Research Institute hosts first International Research Symposium

The event, titled ‘From London 2012 to Paris 2024: Lessons learned from research into the social legacies of the Olympic and Paralympic games’, took place on Wednesday 12 June in the newly created Kent-Paris Research Institute (KPRI) at Reid Hall, the University’s postgraduate centre in Montparnasse.

Delegates from 10 different countries took part.

The Symposium brought together academics, sports policy makers and sport national governing bodies with the aim of inspiring new research projects and collaborations.  Participants were able to exchange knowledge on the social legacies of the games and discuss the lessons Paris 2024 could learn from London 2012.

The event was co-hosted by Dr Sakis Pappous, from Kent’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, in collaboration with the French Olympic Academy, the French Centre for Olympic Studies and the University of Montpellier. Attendees were welcomed by Professor Peter Brown, Academic Director of KPRI, as well as the Presidents of the French Olympic Academy and the French Centre for Olympic Studies.

Following its success this year, the symposium will become an annual event at Reid Hall.

Text by Angie Valinoti

Lucy O’Meara wins Society for French Studies Research Fellowship

Dr Lucy O’Meara, Senior Lecturer in French in the Department of Modern Languages and Acting Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Humanities, has won the Society for French Studies 2019 Prize Research Fellowship.

The Fellowship is open to early and mid-career academics in all areas of French Studies, and provides funding for a period of research leave in the 2019-20 academic year.

Lucy’s project is entitled: ‘Interrogating the Encyclopaedia in European Fiction and Autobiography 1870-2020’. She describes it as “a comparative literary project examining the attitudes of French, German and British authors towards the encyclopaedic organisation of knowledge in European novels and autobiography from the 1870s to the present. I’ll be analysing mainstream and experimental fiction and a range of types of memoir. The prize entitles me to research leave from January to June 2020 and I’m really looking forward to taking up the fellowship.”

At the Paris School of Arts and Culture, Lucy teaches on our FR820: Paris: Reality and Representation module.

Paris students celebrate the end of term

University of Kent Paris students celebrate the end of the Spring term together over dinner at Pink Mamma. This event was organised by The Paris Society, the student union in Paris.

Find out more about studying and living in Paris:

Dangerous Ideas Festival and conference: call for papers

The University of Kent Paris School of Arts and Culture‘s annual Paris MA Festival and Conference will take place from 3-7 June 2019 at our centre in Montparnasse and across the city of Paris.

The conference’s keynote speakers are Sarah Churchwell and Lauren Elkin.

Please see the Call for Papers below for more information about how you can get involved in the conference.

Find out more about the festival: 

University’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies launches new MA programme with a term in Paris

The Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS) is delighted to announce the launch of a new split-site Paris and Canterbury MA programme in Medieval and Early Modern Studies. From September 2019, our exciting new MA programme will provide the opportunity for in-depth study across a range of disciplines and will allow students to share their year between Paris and Canterbury.

Dr Emily Guerry, convenor of the new MEMS Paris/Canterbury MA commented; “This MA provides graduate students with unparalleled opportunities to study, live, and learn in two European cities steeped in a rich cultural heritage and it is the only one of its kind in the UK. I can’t wait to start teaching more MEMS students in Paris!”

Based on our long-running and highly successful MA, the new Paris/Canterbury MA programme offers a thorough grounding in the essential skills required for advanced academic analysis of the Medieval and Early Modern periods, including Latin, palaeography (the study of old handwriting), codicology (the study of pre-modern books). In addition, there is a fascinating range of optional modules to choose from, shaped by our cutting-edge research in a range of disciplines rooted in periods from the early medieval to the seventeenth-century.

Students will spend their first term in the historic city of Canterbury – an important focus for literary, religious, archaeological and architectural, and documentary scholarship. The spring term is based at Kent’s Paris School of Art and Culture, in the heart of historic Montparnasse. There students will participate in Paris-focused modules, taught in English, taking full advantage of the City’s extraordinary medieval and early modern cultural and material legacy.

Then in the final term students will complete their MA by writing a 12-15,000-word dissertation on a research topic defined in collaboration with their academic supervisors.

We welcome applications from enthusiastic students who want to embrace an interdisciplinary and dynamic pathway towards understanding the pre-modern past. Scholarships are available on a competitive basis. To find our more about the MEMS Paris/Canterbury MA programme and apply online, please see the University of Kent’s online prospectus or email

Author Deborah Levy gives annual Paris lecture

On Tuesday 5 March, playwright, novelist, and poet Deborah Levy FRSL gave the University’s annual Paris lecture to invited guests in the British Ambassador’s Residence on rue du Faubourg St-Honoré.

Her lecture reflected on her early experiences as a yet-unpublished writer and the determination and perseverance that was born from the rejection of her first story by a literary magazine. She also spoke about the influence of Guillaume Apollinaire on her writing, particularly on the composition of her novel Swimming Home, and his importance as the precursor of surrealism.

Professor Karen Cox, the University’s Vice-Chancellor and President, gave the welcome and introductions.

Guests included: Matthew Lodge, Minister and Ambassador of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to UNESCOProfessor Jeremy Carrette, Kent’s Dean for EuropeProfessor Peter Brown, Academic Director of the Paris School of Arts and Culture; current students; alumni; and friends of the University.

This year’s annual lecture was both a celebration of the Paris School of Arts and Culture and Kent’s celebration of ‘20 Years in Europe’ .

Professor Brown said: ‘On behalf of the University I would like to thank Deborah Levy for a fascinating lecture. The evening itself was a memorable celebration of the University’s connections with France over the past ten years, bringing together current students at the Paris School of Arts and Culture, alumni, and our partners such as Columbia Global Center.’

Located in Montparnasse, the Paris School of Arts and Culture is one of Kent’s specialist European postgraduate centres (the others are in BrusselsRome and Athens). It offers advanced humanities degrees, taught in English, including taught programmes that are split between Canterbury and Paris.

Text by Gary Hughes

Paris Society takes up tango

The Paris Society, a student-led group, organise regular cultural events across the city for Paris students.

This week they held a beginners tango workshop, animated by Dr Angela Gallego-Sala (Paris Summer School lecturer) and Professor Peter Brown (Paris Academic Director).

Follow the Paris Society’s events programme here.


British Parisians and London French: Living, Loving, and Lingering in the Neighbour’s City

This week we are hosting a conference which considers who, when, why and how the British make their home in Paris and how the French become Londoners, historically and today.

This conference is open to the public and will be held in the Salle de Conférence. This space is located at the end of the second interior courtyard. Sign up here.

For centuries, and in significant numbers in contemporary Paris and London, the British and the French have crossed the Channel for short, long and indefinite stays in their neighbouring capital cities. These Parisian British and London French citizens occupy a very particular place in the wider native and migrant compositions of the Paris and London metropolises.

This afternoon seminar and early evening public event consider the diverse experiences of the British and the French who made, and continue to make, that crossing to the other’s city. It examines aspects of when, why and how they make their lives there, and what happens when they do. These British Parisian and London French lives incarnate the symbiosis between London and Paris which endures and which transcends the political weather. Speakers and participants are drawn from a range of specialists on Franco-British cultural relations, and from those currently engaged in making a life and a home in the neighbour’s city.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to get in touch at