Clark's award-winning essay is about the history
of the city of Paris—during a period when developers
destroyed large swathes of historic neighborhoods—
and about the history of an attempt to create
an exhaustive visual catalogue of a past time.
Catherine Clark, who recently joined the MIT faculty as Assistant Professor of French Studies in the Foreign Languages and Literatures Section, has received the Contemporary French Civilization’s (CFC) 2nd Annual Lawrence R. Schehr Memorial Award.
The CFC confers the award to a junior colleague for best conference paper in the field of contemporary French civilization and cultural studies. An expanded version of Clark’s essay, “The Vidéothèque de Paris, Archive of the Future," will be published in the summer 2014 issue of the Contemporary French Civilization.
“I'm thrilled and honored to have received this award,” said Clark.
Clark’s essay is about the formation of the Vidéothèque de Paris (now the Forum des Images), a video archive of the city of Paris that opened in 1988. Her essay argues that during its inaugural years, the Vidéothèque epitomized the play with historical time that defined Paris of the 1970s and 1980s: a simultaneous investment in the past as the bedrock of the capital’s identity and a self-conscious futurism.
“It's a piece both about the history of the city of Paris—during a period when developers and planners destroyed large swathes of historic neighborhoods to put up skyscrapers and expressways—and about the history of yet another attempt to create an exhaustive visual catalogue of the past time,” said Clark.
MIT SHASS Communications
Photocredit: Jon Sachs, MIT SHASS Communications