CatherineE.ClarkAssociate Professor of French StudiesHistoryclarkce@mit.edu14N-426617-324-2428Office hours Thursday, 2:00-3:00pmProfile BottomBio 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. Research Areas / Expertise: Modern French History; Urban History; Visual Culture; History of Photography Education: 2012 Ph.D. USC 2009 M.A. USC 2005 M.A. Columbia 2004 B.A. Swarthmore Research How the French See China This project considers the role of visual materials in the history of French interest in China. While Clark has traced this question in eighteenth-century discussions and representations of Chinese religious practices, its current iteration looks at this question since the 1949 founding of the People’s Republic of China. Picturing Paris’s Past: Objects and Methodologies This project began when Clark stumbled upon 100,000 amateur photos of Paris taken in 1970 at the Bibliothèque historique de la Ville de Paris. They were the submissions to a photo contest – “C’était Paris en 1970” – organized by the French multimedia megastore the FNAC. Commercial Street Photography and the Politics of the Street What is street photography? One answer is that it is an aesthetic category, a way of delineating the photographic work of artists such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Germaine Krull, or William Klein. This project reclaims the history of the largely anonymous photographers that answer writes out of the history of photography: the anonymous street vendors who take your picture on the street and then sell you the photo. Publications Chapters in Books 2018 “The Vanishing of Les Halles” in Paris: Beyond the Flaneuredited by Alastair Phillips and Ginette Vincendeau (London: British Film Institute/Palgrave): p76-86. 2015 “A Decisive Moment” in Getting the Picture: The History and Visual Culture of the News, edited by Jason E. Hill and Vanessa R. Schwartz (London: Bloomsbury): 55-58. 2010 “Chinese Idols and Religious Art: Questioning Difference in Cérémonies et Coutumes,” in The First Global Vision of Religion: Bernard Picart’s Religious Ceremonies and Customs of All the Peoples of the World, edited by Lynn Hunt, Margaret Jacob and Wijnand Mijnhardt, (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute) Peer-reviewed Articles 2017 “The Commercial Street Photographer: The Right to the Street and the Droit à l’Image in Postwar France” Journal of Visual Culture 16.2 (August 2017): p225-252. 2016 “Capturing the Moment, Picturing History: The Liberation of Paris and Photographs,” American Historical Review 121.3: 824-860. 2015 "La Vidéothèque de Paris, memory for the future," Contemporary French Civilization, 40.1: 1-23. Paris and the Cliché of History 2018 Catherine Clark Paris and the Cliché of History recounts the history of photographic history in Paris, how photographs came to represent the past in archives, exhibitions, illustrated books, and amateur photo contests.