Meet Our PSAC Open Days Team

We are looking forward to welcoming potential applicants to our Paris School of Arts and Culture during our upcoming Postgraduate Open Days 2021. The event will be held virtually on Wednesday 24 February, 16:00-19:00 (GMT).  It’s an excellent opportunity to converse with members of our faculty, staff and current students. Meet those who will be in attendance below. They will be happy to answer questions regarding our Paris Master’s programmes in Film, Creative Writing and the History and Philosophy of Art as well as queries on student life and living in Paris.

Dr Frances Guerin

Dr Frances Guerin is a Senior Lecturer and the School Deputy Director of Graduate Studies for our Paris School. She teaches modules in our Film and History and Philosophy of Art programmes. She completed her PhD in Cinema Studies at NYU in 2000, following an MA in Art History at University of Melbourne, and a BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature at University of Adelaide, Australia. Her articles on art and film are published widely in academic and art journals. She is also the author of three published monographs and has two forthcoming publications. Read Dr Guerin’s full bio here.

Yelena Moskovich

Yelena Moskovich

Yelena Moskovich is a Lecturer in our Creative Writing MA Programme. She studied theater at Emerson College, at the Lecoq School of Physical Theatre and Université Paris 8. She is the author of two novels: Virtuoso (Two Dollar Radio, 2020) and The Natashas (Serpent’s Tail, 2016). Her plays and performances have been produced in the US, Canada, France and Sweden. Read her full bio at this link.

Frank – PSAC Admissions & Recruitment Officer

Neda – MA Creative Writing (Paris)

 

Callum – MA Film Studies (Canterbury-Paris)

 

Esme – MA History & Philosophy of Art (Paris)

Have you signed up for our event yet? Register here.

Alumni Spotlight: Arts & Culture Writer Rawaa Talass

A wide array of students from the four corners of the globe choose to pursue the MA Programmes offered at the Paris School of Arts and Culture (PSAC). In our Alumni Spotlight series we touch base with some of our graduates to see what they are doing today and how their studies at PSAC has influenced their career path. In this edition, we connected with a graduate of our History and Philosophy of Art Master’s, arts and culture writer Rawaa Talass. She is also the founder and editor aRTproject, a daily online platform dedicated to the history of art with a focus on women in the arts from all ages. Read on to learn more about Rawaa’s background, studies and current activities.

Where are you from and what originally brought you to Paris?

I’m originally from Syria and was raised in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where I still live. What brought me to Paris was a need to feel inspired again and to start a new experience. At that point in my life, in 2015, I had developed an interest in artists and their works and decided to study art history. I was really excited when I got into the Kent programme in Paris, which was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

 What attracted you most about studying at PSAC? 

I think location was key. For a long time, France had been renowned for promoting its rich cultural heritage through public institutions. Growing up in Dubai, we didn’t have art museums to explore. I wanted to train my eye by observing art as much as I could. One of the nice things about the MA programme was the several field trips my classmates and I were treated to. For instance, if we did a reading on Cézanne, we would go to the Musée d’Orsay to see his paintings and so on. I think to appreciate art, you need to experience it in the flesh..

 What were some of the highlights of your experience?

I have many fond memories – from the places I saw to the people I met. Strangely enough, I felt a stronger connection to my Middle Eastern roots when I was in Paris, as there are regional elements in the city’s cultural and architectural landscape — something I wrote about here.  So I would say that the highlight of my studies in Paris was meeting Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran for an interview for my MA dissertation. It focused on her patronage of the arts in her country during the 1960s and 1970s. Due to the Islamic Revolution of 1979, her activities were brought to a halt and she is currently exiled in Paris. Looking back, my dissertation was the most extensive piece of writing I ever undertook and it taught me how to be a better researcher.

 What are you currently doing and how did that opportunity come about? 

I’m a freelance journalist, writing articles on art, culture and society of the Middle East and its diaspora communities, mostly for regional media outlets. In 2017, I was a trainee at the Art Dubai fair, where I assisted in the communications department. Through my work there, I kept coming across the name of a publication called ‘Arab News’, and when I finished my traineeship I sent the editorial team an email pitch. I wasn’t even sure I was going to get a response. To my surprise, I did. In 2018, my first article for Arab News (a Saudi-based English daily newspaper founded in 1975) was published as a front-page story, which was surreal, on the opening of a new arts centre in Dubai. I’ve been regularly and predominantly contributing articles for them ever since.

If you would like to read about a more hopeful and creative side of the Arab world, please visit www.rawaatalass.com.

Merci beaucoup Rawaa!

Connect with Rawaa on her social media platforms:

Twitter: artprojectdxb
Fondation Louis Vuitton Paris

The Evolving City: The Best Contemporary Architecture in Paris

Parisians have not always been welcoming to modern architecture. The city itself underwent massive urban restructuring in the mid-19th century during the rule of Napoléon III and overseen by Prefect Baron Haussmann (covered in our Architecture and Urban Design Master’s Degree Programme). It wasn’t until a century later that the city experienced another wave of ‘modernism’, mostly relegated outside the city centre in the La Défense business district, although a few modern buildings popped up intramuros, such as the eclectic Centre Pompidou and the predominantly unpopular Tour Montparnasse. The 1980s and 90s saw the arrival of Les Grands Projets, a series of large scale building works instigated by President Mitterrand, including the Bibliothèque Nationale, the Opera Bastille, the Pyramid of the Louvre and the Grand Arche de la Défense. But how has the cityscape changed since then? From designs by Jean Nouvel to the return of Renzo Piano, here are the most notable examples of contemporary architecture in Paris built since the start of the 21st century.

Photo Credit: Fondation Louis Vuitton

Fondation Louis Vuitton – Frank Gehry (2014)

The recent building that has received the most unanimous praise from critics and citizens alike is this gleaming art centre nestled within the Bois de Boulogne woods at the western edge of Paris. In true Gehry form, mammoth curvaceous glass panels on wooden frames, nicknamed the “sails”, are at the forefront; these sit atop white blocks, or “icebergs”, which seem to float in pools of water. The sleek building hosts temporary exhibits revolving around the works of the Louis Vuitton fashion house collection, however, the building itself is well-worth visiting in its own right.

Photo Credit: Philharmonie de Paris

Philharmonie de Paris –  Jean Nouvel (2015)

No other architect has left their mark on modern Paris than Jean Nouvel. His latest Parisian building, la Philharmonie de Paris, located within the Parc de la Villette in northeastern Paris, certainly does not leave one indifferent. Created for the Symphony Orchestra of Paris, Nouvel paid particular attention to its 2,400 seat-auditorium, which has a central stage encircled by undulating tiers of seating to bring the audience as close to the musicians as possible. The eye-catching metallic exterior is enveloped in 265,000 aluminium birds which appear to swirl up around the building, perhaps dancing to the music performed within?

Photo Credit: Tribunal de Paris

Tribunal de Paris – Renzo Piano (2018)

Forty years after designing the Centre Pompidou in tandem with Richard Rogers, Italian architect Renzo Piano’s return to the Parisian architecture scene was not met with as much enthusiasm as the iconic modern art museum. The tallest building constructed in Paris since the 56-story Tour Montparnasse was completed in 1973, the new 38-floor Paris court house shimmers on the northwest fringes of the city, so much so, that the building almost goes unnoticed. The glass tower makes up for its lacklustre looks courtesy of its sustainability facilities including solar panels, enhanced thermal insulation, rainwater collection and other cutting edge eco-friendly technology.

la Seine Musicale

Photo Credit: la Seine Musicale

La Seine Musicale – Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines (2017)

Located in a crook of the Seine off of the southwestern suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt, the former industrial island of Île Seguin, was given new life thanks to this dazzling concert hall. A play on words blending its location and its purpose, La Seine Musicale was a collaboration between French architect Jean de Gastines and Japanese Shigeru Ban, winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize. The oval-shaped structure is encased in glass sexagons and is hugged by a curved grouping of solar panels which creates a dramatic effect akin to a musical crescendo. The auditorium is equally impressive, with a ceiling of wooden honey-combs mirroring the exterior panels. Even if you don’t get to see the interior during one of its concerts or dance performances, a tour of the exterior still impresses.

Cité de la Mode et Design Paris

Photo Credit: Cité de la Mode et Design

La Cité de la Mode et du Design / Les Docks de Paris –  Jakob + MacFarlane (2010)

The arrival of the new Bibliothèque Nationale in 1990s, ushered in a new urban era for the northeast section of the 13th arrondissement which, especially over the last 10 years, has developed into the most exciting hub of Parisian contemporary architecture. The best known, and most recognisable example is this daring building. The French architectural firm of Dominique Jakob and Brendan MacFarlane deftly succeeded in converting an early 20th century concrete shipping depot into a hip centre for fashion and design. One can’t miss it thanks to the swooshing wave of green passageways dissecting the river-facing façade. The building houses the French Institute of Fashion, contemporary art exhibition spaces, shops and several bars on its sprawling rooftop.

Musée du Quai Branly

Photo Credit: Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac

Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac – Jean Nouvel (2006)

In the shadow of the Eiffel Tower is former President Jacques Chirac’s legacy to Paris, also designed by Jean Nouvel. According to the architect, the museum was built around the collection it was due to host; the French state’s 300,000 works from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. Perched on stilts and hidden within trees, the building consists of large suspended, multi-colored boxes juxtaposed by a vast vertical garden, one of the city’s first, covering one entire wall. Rising in a spiral, the interiors guide visitors on an organic flow throughout the displays. It also has a rooftop restaurant with stunning views of the Tour Eiffel.

Tour_Triangle_Paris

Photo Credit: la Tour Triangle

This wave of contemporary architecture is far from over. Keep your eyes on the city’s horizon in the coming years for the arrival of Herzog & de Meuron’s Tour Triangle and a number of new soaring towers at la Défense, which will come dangerously close to the Eiffel Tower’s height of 324 metres.

Immerse yourself in the city’s architectural evolution by pursuing our Architecture and Urban Design Master’s Programme. Discover more about our other MA Programmes in Paris here.

Annual Paris Lecture to Feature Professor Ben Hutchinson – Virtual Event 3 March 2021

We are pleased to announce that our annual Paris Lecture, in conjunction with our Paris Master’s Programmes, will be taking place virtually on Wednesday 3 March at 18.30 (GMT). Our annual Paris event not only celebrates Kent’s Paris School of Arts and Culture, but also showcases strong and exciting research undertaken by our academics and students at the University of Kent.

Ben Hutchinson, Professor of European Literature at the University of Kent, will present his new book The Midlife Mind: Literature and the Art of Ageing (Reaktion Books, 2020), followed by a panel discussion chaired by Professor Jeremy Carrette (Dean for Europe), with three leading specialists in the field of literary studies: Lucie Campos, Director of the Villa Gillet, Claire Davison, Professor of Modernist Studies at Paris III, and Daniel Medin, Professor of Comparative Literature at the American University of Paris.

The talk and panel discussion will explore the meaning of midlife and ageing through the history of literature. What does it mean, in the famous formulation of Dante, to be in the middle of life’s way? From the ancients to the moderns, from poets to playwrights, writers have long meditated on how we can remain creative as we move through our middle years. There are no better guides, then, to how we have regarded middle age in the past, how we understand it in the present, and how we might make it as rewarding as possible in the future. The talk and discussion will explore these issues alongside questions of the midlife crisis, the menopause, the acceptance of mortality, and the creative potential of ageing. Read more on Professor Hutchison’s book here.

The lecture will begin at 18.30 virtually via Zoom. Please ensure you register so you can receive your link to access the event.

Register now

There will be an opportunity to ask questions after the panel discussion, so please send any questions in advance to events@kent.ac.uk.

We look forward to seeing you on March 3rd.

Exploring LGBTQ History in Paris

February is LGBTQ History Month in the UK. Here at the Paris School of Arts and Culture, we are commemorating this by putting spotlight on a selection of queer writers, artists, performers, filmmakers and innovators, both French and foreign, who left an important mark on Paris, a city which has long been a more liberating and welcoming place for non-conforming creatives. Some are also featured in our MA Programmes in Film, Creative Writing and the Philosophy of Art History.

Novelist and Playwright Rachilde

Rachilde 

symbolist novelist and playwright, gender-bender Rachilde became one of the most important writers of the late 19th century. Born in the French countryside in 1860, at the age of 18 Marguerite Vallette-Eymery moved to Paris, adopting a masculine haircut, started wearing men’s clothing and took up the pen name and gender ambiguous identity of Rachilde. Introduced via a cousin to the world-renowned actress Sarah Benhardt, Rachilde quickly integrated into the Parisian cultural world. Rachilde began hosting a weekly literary salon which was popular with other non-conformist writers and intellectuals. Rachilde is best known for the controversial erotic novel, Monsieur Venus, published in 1884 and which led being tried for pornography and convicted in absentia in Belgium. 

Rachilde, along with Jane Dieulafoy and Marc de Montifaudtwo other late 19th century writers who also did not conform to the era’s notions of femininity, are examined by Dr Rachel Mesch in her recent book Before TransDr Rachel Mesch was a recent guest of  the American Library in Paris’ Evenings with AAuthor series. You can view the recording of this discussion at this link. 

Writer Oscar Wilde and lover Alfred Douglas

Oscar Wilde 

Over the last 150 years, Paris became a haven for various foreign queer creativesone of the earliest being Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde. In 1895, at the height of his success, Wilde was convicted of gross indecency with men and sentenced to two years of hard labour. Immediately upon his release, he exiled himself in France, first living in the northern seaside town of Berneval-le-Grand with his lover Robert Ross. This is where he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), a long poem describing the harsh realities of prison life. Wilde eventually moved to Paris, renting a room at l’Hôtel d’Alsace, a dingy hotel in the Saint-Germain neighhourhood which has since been transformed into the chic L’Hôtel. Impoverished, this is wherWilde tragically died of meningitis on 30 November 1900. His tomb in Pere Lachaise cemetery has become a pilgrimage site for fans the world over. In addition to Wilde’s own writings, the writer was the topic of the 2018 film The Happy Prince written and directed by, and starring Rupert Everett. 

Colette in the “Dream of Egypt” show at the Moulin-Rouge in 1907, photo: Léopold-Émile Reutlinger / CC

Colette 

Often considered as France’s greatest femme de lettres, Colette was open about her lesbian relationships (first encouraged by her first husband) and challenged gender norms throughout her career. In addition to writing, she was also a theatre performer and mime. During one such performance at the Moulin Rouge in 1907, entitled “La Reve d’Egypte (“The Dream of Egypt”), she caused an immense scandal by passionately kissing her lover, Mathilde de Morny, on stage. Colette wrote over 30 works, her most famous being the novella Gigi. Published in 1944, the book recounts the story of a young courtesan who defies tradition by marrying her wealthy lover. It was later adapted to film, first in 1949 by French director Jacqueline Audry and then in 1957 as a Hollywood musical film which went on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. She too was the subject of a biopic in 2018; simply entitled Colette, it was directed by Wash Westmoreland and starred Keira Knightley.

Gertrude Stein, Basket and Alice B. Toklas in LIFE Magazine, Photography by Carl Mydans

Gertrude Stein & Alice B. Toklas  

Influential figures in early 20th century literary and artistic circles, the American couple first met in Paris in 1906 and remained together until Stein’s death in 1946. In addition to collecting artthey hosted weekly salons in their apartment on rue Fleurus, which attracted to top artist and writers of the era. Stein wrote several books, including one on the great Spanish painter, Picasso(studied in our Modernism and Paris module of our Paris MA Programmes) and The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, a quasi-memoir of their Paris years written in the voice of Alice B. Toklas. Tolkas also published a few works: two cookbooks and an autobiography entitled What Is Remembered.  

Coccinelle in Europa di Notte, directed by Alessandro Blasetti

Coccinelle 

A transgender French actress, entertainer and singer, Jacqueline Charlotte Dufresnoy, who went by the stage name Coccinelle (French for ladybug/ladybird), was the first widely publicised post-war gender reassignment case in Europe. She made her debut as a transgender performer in 1953 at Madame Arthur, Paris’s first drag cabaret (which is still open and puts on an excellent show)In 1958 she underwent a vaginoplasty in Casablanca and became a media sensation upon returning to France. Her career continued to flourish, both on stage and on screen. I1960 she married journalist Francis Bonne, which was the first transgender union to be legally recognised in FranceThroughout her life, she was also an important advocate for transgender rights. 

Living In Arcadia André Baudry  

Living In Arcadia by Julian Jackson and André Baudry

André Baudry  

A former seminarian and philosophy professorAndré Baudry founded Arcadie in 1954, France’s first organisation for “homophiles, a term Baudry preferred to “homosexuals”. A magazine and clubhouse followed soon afterwards. At the time, it was the only public voice for French gays and, over the course of its 30-year history, it became the largest group of its kind in France. The organisation garnered the support of a range of personalities from Jean Cocteau to Michel Foucault, however, that isn’t to say things were always smooth sailing. After its launch, the magazine was censured and forbidden for sale to minors. In 1955, Baudry himself was prosecuted for “outrage aux bonnes mœurs” (outrage against good morals), convicted, and fined 400,000 francs. The history of the organisation, and this time period in France, are explored in Historian Julian Jackson’s book Living in Arcadia (University of Chicago Press, 2009).  

Writer James Balwin, Giovanni’s Room (1956)

James Baldwin 

American writer and activist James Baldwin first came to Paris at the age of 24, attracted to the greater freedom France offered him as both a person of colour and a homosexual. Shortly after his arrival, Baldwin got involved in the cultural radicalism movement that was brewing in the Rive GaucheHe was also working on his second novel, Giovanni’s Roomwhich was published in 1956. Set in Paris, the story revolves around a tormented love affair between the American narrator, David, and Giovanni, an Italian bartender. The book caused considerable controversy at the time of its publication due to its homoerotic content, but went on to become a seminal work in queer literatureYou can delve further into Giovanni’s Room in this powerpoint by Kent staff member Dr Declan Kavanagh or this article in the Guardian. Baldwin spent much of the rest of his life living in France, namely in the southern French village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, where he settled in 1970. The writer’s contributions to the Paris’s cultural heritage will be honoured with a new media library dedicated to him, scheduled to open in 2023.  

Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, 1983. Foundation Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent.

Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé 

Partners in life and business, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé’s impact on Paris’s creative world went far beyond fashion. Working as a designer for Dior, Yves Saint Laurent met businessman Pierre Bergé in 1958. They went on to launch Yves Saint Laurent’s own fashion house together in 1961. Although the couple’s relationship ended in 1976, they remained lifelong friends and business partners. In 2002 they created the Fondation Pierre-Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent in the designer’s former studio and offices, housed in a historic mansion in the 16th district of Paris. It hosts temporary exhibits on Saint Laurent’s work and provides support to cultural institutions and projects. You can view their collection online here or you may like to watch one of the two French films on the designer released in 2014; Jalil Lespert’s Yves Saint Laurent and Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent, which was an official selection at that year’s Cannes Film Festival. You’ll have to watch both to decide which one you think is best! 

 

Further Resources  

120 bpm – This is another recent film we can highly recommendThe movie chronicles how ACT UP Paris fought to increase awareness of queer rights and information on the AIDS crisiin the early 1990s in France. Directed by Robin Campillo, it won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2017 and six César Awards (the French Oscars) including Best Film. 

Les Mots à la Bouche – You can find an extensive collection of books and DVDs at this LGBTQ bookshop located in the 11th arrondissement. 

LGBTQ Centre Paris – This popular community centre in the Marais organises workshops, talkshas lending library and is a great resource on LGBTQ events, culture, wellbeing and activism in Paris.
 

Spring Term Teaching Update

February 2021 update 

These continue to be difficult and challenging times. France officially came out of lockdown (confinement) in early December 2020. Since that time, a 6 p.m. curfew has been in place across the country. Shops, parks and outdoor spaces and public services are open, but bars, restaurants, cinemas, and museums remain closed until further notice.

In accordance with French government regulations, as of 5 February 2021, the University of Kent Paris School is now able to return to face-to-face teaching in small groups.

Students who wish to take advantage of this opportunity must read our Code of Conduct carefully and adhere to all polices outlined within it. All classes will take place in a socially distanced format at our study centre at Reid Hall.  Please remember in particular:

  • Masks must be worn at all times on the premises
  • Follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Wash your hands regularly.

Those students who do not wish to attend class in-person or are unable to do so, can continue to join their classes remotely.

The University would like to remind all students and staff to look after themselves, keep safe, adhere to the Code of Conduct and support each other.

Please address any questions to paris@kent.ac.uk.

December 2020 Update

Since the decision was made to move all PSAC teaching online, government restrictions have remained in place with regard to the delivery of face-to-face university teaching. Our priority is the safety of staff and students and our support of the government measures to overcome the pandemic. We will continue to review the situation as it evolves.

FRENCH GOVERNMENT UPDATES

On November 28, the French government announced that France would begin the process of “déconfinement”, or gradually stripping back lockdown measures. At this stage, plans are still vague, but the French government has announced that universities are likely to re-open their doors in late January 2021, with in person teaching beginning approximately two weeks after this date. Looking ahead to the Spring Term, which starts on Monday 18 January 2021, we hope to return to face-to-face teaching as soon as we are able to do so, in line with government guidance. 

If government measures allow, we hope to be able to welcome all incoming students to Reid Hall from 20 January, and return to face-to-face teaching (for applicable modules) shortly thereafter. We expect the first week or two of the Spring Term to be delivered 100% online, in accordance with French government guidelines. Some modules will be delivered 100% online over the course of the entire term, whereas others will be delivered in a face-to-face format.  

More information on restrictions currently in place in France can be found here.

WELCOME WEEK: 18-22 January 2021 

Welcome week will begin for all incoming students (students beginning their programmes in January 2021, but also students coming to Paris after spending the Autumn Term at our Canterbury campus) on Monday, 18 January. We highly recommend that all students join us in Paris by this time if possible; however, please note that it is vital to have good internet access to participate in all welcome week sessions.  The vast majority of our sessions will be held virtually, with a few in-person meetings where possible. We will be releasing the welcome week programme shortly.

SPRING TERM DATES

23 December 2020-3 January 2021 (inclusive): Christmas closure. All university offices will remain closed over this period, and re-open virtually on Monday, 4 January 2021. Please note that University staff will answer all messages received during this time after 4 January 2021.  

18 January 2021: Spring Term begins/welcome week for all incoming students. We strongly advise all students to return to Paris before 18 January if they are able. Please check any travel restrictions in place before travelling to France. 

20 January 2021: French Government announces updated Covid guidelines. 

25 January 2021: Spring Term classes begin (Week 14) for all Paris programmes/modules. All classes will begin online. 

5 February 2021: Expected return to face-to-face teaching (with social distancing measures in place) in applicable modules.  

We will continue to monitor government announcements and hope that we will be able to deliver face-to-face teaching as early as possible in line with our Covid-19 Code of Conduct. We will keep all staff and students informed of our plans as soon as the situation becomes clearer in the new year. 

Photo credit: (c) Guillaume Bontemps / Ville de Paris (December 2020)

Creative Writing Lecturer Yelena Moskovich publishes article in Aperture

In her new article for Aperture, creative writing lecturer Yelena Moskovich of the Paris School of Arts and Culture interviews Photographer Vasantha Yogananthan.

Entitled Finding Trance and Transcendence in Vasantha Yogananthan’s Photographic Epic, the interview revolves around the latest installment of multivolume series of photobooks, set in India and Sri Lanka, by the French photographer of half Sri Lankan descent. Yogananthan retraces the saga of Ramayana, exploring how the ancient Hindu epic is celebrated in contemporary Indian and Sri Lankan society.

Read the full interview at this link.

What to do in Paris right now: 5 Covid and curfew safe activities 

Although many of Paris cultural institutions, including museums, historic sites and cinemas, are temporarily closed due to Covid-19 safety protocols, there are still a number of ways in which one can experience culture. From street art tours to virtual literary events, here are five creative alternatives cultural things to do in Paris that are both safe and accessible.

Street Art murals - Paris 75013

Street Art murals, Paris 75013. Photo: Lily Heise

Get Your Art Fix

Museums may be currently closed, however, most private art galleries around the city are open. Many of the best contemporary galleries are located in the Upper Marais, on and around rue Vieille du Temple (some are listed here). Or if you’re interested in more alternative contemporary art, you can discover Parisian street art by following one of these self-guided walking tours around Belleville or the 13th, two of the city’s top street art hubs.

Ten Belles Coffee Paris

Photo Courtesy of Ten Belles Paris

Enjoy Some Café Life

Although we are not able to sit on café terraces for the time being, a number of modern coffee shops are open for takeaway. Plus, the following ones are also close to great places for strolling, coffee in hand: Ten Belles (near the Canal St-Martin), Café Kitsuné (close to the Palais-Royal Garden and the Tuileries Gardens) KBOla’s Café and Marlette (bordering Montmartre).

MyFrenchFilmFestival.com

Experience French Cinema Culture

Film culture is very important in Paris and fortunately this isn’t completely paused right now. The Franco-German channel Arte is streaming some great free movies and documentaries, Lost in Frenchlation, a cool organisation which screens French cinema with subtitles in English and usually with Q&A with the director, is hosting some virtual events (the next one is Sat 23 January), or MyFrenchFilmFestival.com is currently taking place (through 15 February).

Author Rowan Hisayo Buchanan and her books Harmless Like you and Starling Days

Attend Literary Events

While in-person book readings and signings are on hold, there is a wide range of virtual events taking place. The American Library in Paris has several book groups as well as regular author talks (there are somegreat events coming up – rsvp required) or consider joining the Feminist Book Club (next online event 28 January), Paris Lit Up or one of these book clubs. These excellent English bookshops are also open right now.

Kent’s School of English also holds virtual events via its weekly Creative Writing Reading Series, held Tuesdays 6-7pm (GMT). On 26 January the guest will be Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, award-winning author of Harmless Like You and Starling Days. Join via Zoom here.

Photo courtesy of Chateau de Fontainebleau

Explore Ile-de-France

If you had been hoping to visit some of the historic sites in the Ile-de-France, the greater Parisian region, there are actually various opportunities. Although the interiors are closed for now, the gardens of many castles are still opened, like Versailles and Fontainebleau (the latter is also organizing tours of the gardens in French on weekends through the end of January). There are dozens of charming historic towns that are easy to get to from central Paris, like Provins, a well-preserved medieval town which is only an hour’s train ride away.

Immerse yourself in Paris and French culture through our MA programmes in Film Studies, the Philosophy of Art, Creative Writing and Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Learn more about our programmes here.

Kent wins Guardian University Award 2020 for Digital Innovation

We are delighted to announce that the University has won the Digital Innovation category of the Guardian University Awards 2020.

This win is for our innovative and highly acclaimed One Hour Degree.

Launched in 2019, One Hour Degree is an online simulation game designed to provide the complete university experience for those contemplating taking the three-year academic route. Created by the University’s Student Success Team, it enables prospective students to take an immersive series of “quests” designed to give authentic insight into the university experience, all within one hour. Players are able to choose to participate via either Kent’s Canterbury or Medway campuses.

The One Hour Degree was developed in collaboration with a number of specialists across the University. The game was written and developed by Alison Webb, Systems Development Manager in the Student Success Team. To date it has been played over 7,000 times by players in 124 countries.

Professor Richard Reece, Kent’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education and Student Experience said: ‘This is fantastic news and many congratulations to all those involved with this truly innovative project. The global reach of the game has been phenomenal and its impact truly beneficial to both current and prospective students at Kent.’

Alison Webb said: ‘Not only was this a fantastic collaborative effort between many colleagues and departments, but it also highlighted the importance of speaking to students and gaining their insights on specific university experiences. We also had the benefit of a work-study student to really bring this to life. The analytics prove the game has been played far and wide and student feedback has been incredibly positive.’

The Guardian described the game as one that ‘introduces key concepts, terminology, locations and processes to new students before they arrive, while images of the campus helps those who have been unable to attend an open day.

‘An easy-to-read narrative takes players through five “quests” covering welcome week, the first assignment, first-year exams, year two and year three, offering choices between hundreds of different scenarios.

‘Badges are awarded for each completed quest, while knowledge and happiness points reward choices that take full advantage of the education and networking opportunities available. Together these dictate the classification of the degree players receive at the end.’

Kent was also runner up in the Widening Access and Outreach category of the Guardian Awards. This was for the first degree-level apprenticeship in economics. This project was led by Digital and Lifelong Learning and School of Economics, alongside the Government Economic Service (GES).

View the original blog post here.

Welcome Week: Scavenger hunt winners!

During Welcome Week for new postgraduate students in Paris, we hold a scavenger hunt across the Left Bank.

Students follow the trail across the 5th and 6th arrondissements, discovering new sites, taking photos and getting to know each other along the way.

The prize this year: Cheese and Wine tasting!