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Catherine E. Clark is a cultural historian who specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century France and visual culture.

Catherine E. Clark is a cultural historian who specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century France and visual culture.

Her current book project, Paris and the Cliché of History, explores the intersection of the history of Paris and the history of photography. It tells the story of the various uses of photos as documents of the capital’s past from the establishment of Paris’s municipal historical institutions (the Musée Carnavalet and the Bibliothèque historique de la Ville de Paris) to the amateur photo contest “C’était Paris en 1970,” which created an archive of 100,000 pictures of the city. The project combines the history of collecting photographs with a consideration of the theoretical assumptions that underpinned their use, alongside prints and paintings, in illustrated books, historical exhibitions, and commemorations.

Clark is also writing about films shot in and around Parisian construction sites during the 1970s. 

She co-organizes the MIT Global France Seminar with Bruno Perreau and Jeff Ravel.

At MIT, Clark teaches classes about contemporary French culture and media and their global scope, including: Global Paris, French Photography, Contemporary French Film & Social Issues, Introduction to French Culture, and French Film Classics.