Working as an intern in a research centre: A peek behind the curtain

Contrary to what the timetable available on the digital work environment of our university may lead us to think, teaching hours are only the tip of the iceberg where the work of a researcher is concerned. This is what I was able to witness when my dissertation director, Dr. Marc Calvini-Lefebvre and his research group “Women and the F-Word” recruited me for a two-month paid internship. The group studies the various spectres of feminism and is part of the research centre of our English Department, the LERMA (Laboratoire d’Etude et de Recherche sur le Monde Anglophone) which hosted my internship.

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Entretien avec Madame Monique De Mattia-Viviès

Madame Monique De Mattia-Viviès est professeure à l’Université d’Aix-Marseille. Elle a obtenu son doctorat en grammaire anglaise en 1997, qui a été publié en 2000 sous le titre suivant : Le discours direct en anglais contemporain : approche énonciative (Aix-en-Provence, Publication de l’Université de Provence). Madame De Mattia-Viviès est professeure des universités depuis 2007. Avant cela, elle a été Maître de Conférences à l’Université de Provence entre 1998 et 2007. Son dernier ouvrage de grammaire vient d’être publié sous le titre de Leçons de grammaire anglaise. De la recherche à l’enseignement : syntaxe (Volume 1). Il sera suivi par deux autres ouvrages à paraître en 2019. C’est à l’occasion de ces publications qu’En-Globe a souhaité aller à sa rencontre afin d’obtenir son point de vue sur le domaine de la recherche.

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What is Fantasy to the French?

One of the unsettling aspects of working between two sets of linguistic settings in literature is the discrepancies that can exist between two countries’ literary history. Most genres are developed both in French- and English-speaking countries, whether through original works or translations and have their dedicated sections in bookshops and libraries. Fantasy is a literary genre whose popularity in the last few decades has never stopped growing. Although originally English – and its parenthood is often attributed to J.R.R. Tolkien and his novels – it has exported itself all-over the world and extended its grasp over several other media (films, series, graphic arts, video games…). Visual adaptations and original creations in the genre are numerous and as diverse as the written production the word encompasses; furthermore, most of the original works of fantasy are now available not only to an English speaking public but to the greater part world.
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A Challenging Dissertation – The Archives of the Maurice Edgar Coindreau Prize: Translating American Literature in France

As students in humanities, we are used to handling a large amount of abstract knowledge in our field. So that, when the supervisor of my Master dissertation, Professor Sophie Vallas, offered me the opportunity to work on a box of archives that had never been studied before, the perspective of working on real-life documents was highly appealing. These documents concern the Maurice Edgar Coindreau Prize: a literary prize that rewarded the best translation of an American book into French from 1982 to 2016. Throughout the years, the two secretaries conserved letters, press-cuttings, administrative papers, the business cards of the publishers they worked with, bills and official communiqués – among many other documents. To plunge into this box is to go back into the past, reaching a period which is not so distant and yet very much different from today. The archives bear witness of the transition from hand-written letters to e-mails, from franc to euro, or simply of time, the 1990 folder, for instance, is full of press articles announcing the death of the one whose name was given to the prize: Maurice Edgar Coindreau, who was the first translator of many renowned American authors from the inter-war years (Faulkner, Dos Passos or Hemingway for instance).

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The representation of the Chinese immigrants in American newspapers during the 1850s

During the 1850s, the United States entered a period known as the gold rush: immigrants from all around the world came to look for gold, hoping to make a fortune. Among those peoples were the Chinese. Considering the events preceding the arrival of the first Chinese gold miners such as the First Opium war and the Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864), we could say that they didn’t come at a fortuitous time. The negative image of China had already built itself in Western culture, and the success of printed media such as newspapers, newsletters, and magazines spread out these negative stereotypes. Read more!

Mixing Asian and English studies: is that possible?

Even though it is not mandatory, the best way to achieve a satisfying piece of work is to find a subject that is both motivating for the student and relevant for a master’s thesis. However, one needs to be careful not to be carried away by their affinity with their subject, since it can also be a trap. Emotions can influence one’s work and as a result a student may end up lacking objectivity. Nonetheless, combining various hobbies or even aspects in one’s paper remains a possibility: the key is to find the proper way to link them together, although sometimes it can be difficult to achieve. Read more!

Research Blog of the Masters Students in Anglophone Studies (Aix-Marseille University)