Institute Institute of Romance Studies, Media and Arts

Cultures, Texts, Images, Romance Studies

Stuctured around the three major strands mentioned by its name, the Institute of Romance studies, Media and Arts gathers expertise and innovative critical thinking in the areas of literary theory, visual semiotics, cultural studies and related fields.

Literary Theory, Visual Semiotics & Cultural Studies

Our Research

Research in our institute is based on three pillars – Romance studies, Media and Arts -, and is hence fostering research at the crossroads of various disciplines and interpretative communities.
The first pillar is intended to give scientific legitimacy and to address educational needs of a deeply rooted French and Romance cultures in Luxembourg.
The second pillar, which is an essential component of a Humanities department, aims at strengthening artistic studies at the university.
The third pillar, a thorough reflexion on media is indissociable of the two others, since literary or artistic contents exist only through the vehicle of a medium. It also provides critical thinking on the digital era we are immersed in.

Our research focuses on:
– Literary Theory: French and comparative literature, Italian Studies, Portuguese Studies, Stylistics and Poetics, Children’s Literature, Autobiography and Migration, Geocriticism, Women’s Literature, Didactics of language and literature
– Visual semiotics: Film studies, Word & Image Studies, Media Studies, Aesthetics, Digital humanities
– Cultural studies: Fashion and Religion, Gender Studies, Migration, Mediterranean Cultures

Some of our projects

  • Start date

    01/03/2021

  • Duration in months

    48

  • Funding

    FNR

  • Project Team

    Gian Maria Tore (PI); Andreas Fickers; Sean Takats; Lars Wieneke; Marion Colas-Blaise; Nicolás Marín Bayona; Kseniia Fedorova; Lena Vögele

  • Partners

    Université Lyon 2; Université de Liège; Université catholique de Louvain; Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art (Luxembourg); Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon (France); Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille (France)

  • Abstract

    Today, we are surrounded by images – but the school system does not teach us how to read them. Museums work on their conservation, although unhappily they do not seem very attractive to us. On the other hand, the digital is supposed to revolutionize our life, since it seems to give us all kind of power on images and texts, but how to make a groundbreaking approach to images out of it?

    “Augmented Artwork Analysis” is an innovative prototype tool, adapted to the museum sector (namely the MNHA of Luxembourg, the Fine Arts Museums of Lyon and of Lille) and allowing to interpret artistic images with the help of software. The aim is to study the different levels (the figures, the colours, the shapes…) of the work of art considered in its original place and within a vast body of images. Attention will be paid to the links between the images and to their evolution. The interpretation thus acquires a scientific dimension, as well as a pedagogical one.

    The scientific objective is to bring together the most advanced approaches in quantitative and in qualitative sciences: recent findings in Visual Studies, knowledge about “augmented reality”, i.e. the ways in which computer-generated perceptual information showcases objects of the real world, and methods based on “deep learning”, which means the use of machine learning methods. An international network of more than 20 scholars is gathered for the realization of the “Augmented Artwork Analysis”. Delivering an “augmented” work of art, this tool will be used for guided tours, educational meetings and research. The idea is to create an alternative museum to the traditional museums, and thus a new awareness of the meanings of the world of images.

    The project is a cooperation between the French CNRS, the Université Lyon 2, the Université de Liège and the University of Luxembourg funded by the ANR/FNR funding program

  • Start date

    01/09/2021

  • Duration in months

    36

  • Funding

    FNR

  • Project Team

    Hélène Barthelmebs-Raguin; Laetitia Saintes,; Marvin Andrieux

  • Partners

    Bibliothèque Nationale du Luxembourg (BNL); Centre National de Littérature (CNL); Institut français du Luxembourg (IFL)

  • Abstract

    FEATHER deals with Luxembourg’s specific social questions and research issues. The project investigates the question of the country’s literary identity, from a Francophone and a gendered perspective. This aspect is little studied by critics today and FEATHER proposes to analyze how and in what way women authors come to integrate (and thus build) the Luxembourg literary scene. Thus, the project helps to think of the literary field as a factor of sustainable social cohesion and generator of a multilingual and diverse national identity.

    The project is part of a desire to participate in developing national history, in particular by enhancing and digitally disseminating its literary heritage.

    Starting points

    Literature has always played a major role in the construction of national identity. As such, literary production in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg reflects a rich, multilingual and complex reality. Often little studied outside its borders, Luxembourgish French-language literature is nevertheless part of the “Francophonies du Nord” and places itself at the heart of literary Europe. Luxembourgish female authors have their works quantitatively hailed more often by critics than their male counterparts, even if they sometimes remain less known on the literary scene.

    Objectives

    The aim of the FEATHER research project is to establish an inventory of the presence of authors on the Luxembourgish French-language literary scene. It will be a research on the historical and literary awareness of the canonical feminine works of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. FEATHER will make it possible to account for an important heritage of literature and thus to participate in the development and enhancement of the writings of female authors from 1900 to the present day.

    Impacts of the project

    Based on Dictionnaire des auteurs luxembourgeois and work on the archival holdings of the Bibliothèque Nationale du Luxembourg and the Centre National de la Littérature, the project will identify and examine with precision the corpus of women’s works since the dawn of the 20th century. Today this corpus is made up of 180 authors, and many of whose works remain to be discovered. Based on the analysis of the literary journeys and works of the award-winning authors, the project aims to shed light on the processes of canonization and entry into the literary scene. These results will be put into perspective in a critical approach to the Luxembourg literary scene. This will lead to reconsider the dynamism and importance of the literary production of French-speaking authors of the 20th and 21st centuries in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

    At the end of the project, an online platform will disseminate the results and outcomes of FEATHER: a real tool for promoting Luxembourg’s literary female heritage, which will allow the general public and specialists to (re)discover the works of female writers, but also a research and analysis tool for academics, teachers and students, who will therefore be able to use these corpora as research and / or teaching objects.