Professor Charles Forsdick, Modern Languages & Culture’s James Barrow Professor of French, has recently spent a week in the United States taking part in two meetings linked to his current research. As AHRC theme leadership fellow for Translating Cultures, he has academic oversight of around 100 projects linked to that programme. One of the large theme grants, Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language: the body, law and the state, organised a workshop with project partners at the University of Arizona for which Charles was pleased to travel to Tucson to participate. He took part in a PhD workshop involving UK and US students on the theme of vulnerability in the research process, met local project partners (such as Owl and Panther, an expressive arts project designed to help refugee families relocated toTucson), and found out more about the work of Arizona colleagues in the area of critical multilingualism.
Charles also attended the Contemporary French & Francophone Studies conference in St Louis, which this year was devoted to the theme of ‘passages, seuils, portes’. He presented a paper linked to his work on ‘vertical travel’ and the exploration of the everyday in the writings of authors such as Georges Perec. While in St Louis, Professor Forsdick was also able to visit the Missouri History Museum and explore their collections associated with the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904. In 2008, he co-edited for Liverpool University Press a volume on ‘human zoos‘, and was therefore interested to visit one of the key historical sites at which peoples from around the world (including Native Americans) were put on display as part of this large international exhibition. Professor Forsdick continues to work in this field, and is currently exploring the possibility of bringing an exhibition on the subject to Liverpool in the autumn.