I completed my first degree at Balliol College, Oxford University, embarked on graduate work in philosophy in France before deciding that the Comparative Literature Department of Columbia University in New York was the best place to pursue my interdisciplinary interests.
My research first focused on the work of Jean Paulhan, the milieu he established around the Nouvelle Revue Française and the connections between this review and the broader moment of cultural change in Europe. These interests brought me back to Paris. Where better to be to understand the complex ways in which the writing that interested me sprung from within its space and time of production than through the archival and experiential possibilities that Paris offers?
Since that decision the city has continued to be my primary archive and I began to look at review publishing as one facet of what makes Paris such a key crossroads in cultural encounter and experiment. After a number of years making my own way through Paulhan’s immense archives, this opening out to the broader constellation of the city led me to develop a series of collaborative projects, taking the form of conferences and edited collections on the literature of Paris and the more specific moment of May 68.
Concurrently I also started to work directly with young migrants to the city, especially in the north-eastern districts of Paris, drawing on my own experience of displacement to develop a series of translation workshops that aim to think about the role of translation as a process of decentring that is certainly creative and might also be therapeutic or helpful in buffering the hard confrontations that are so often the lot of migrant people today.
In parallel to these developments, I have continued my own more individual route, this time very directly through the archive of the city, exploring the dailyness of this extraordinary contact zone where the pressures of generalized migration are everywhere apparent. This work became my latest book, an experiment in urban poetics and history, entitled 75.
- Twentieth-century literature, theory and cultural history
- Translation studies
- Trauma and migration studies
Phd, Columbia University, New York, 2000, Jean Paulhan’s Commonplace. The Genealogy of a Critical Concept.
Professional Memberships and Activities
I edit the reviews section of the interdisciplinary journal Francospheres, and I have an active role through the organisation Quartiers solidaires in defending refugee rights and supporting displaced people.
In the past four years I have been developing the Paris Centre for Migrant Writing and Expression, a collaborative endeavor to focus attention on the way the age of migration requires us to think about how our languages(s) and expressivities shape and serve our trajectories through the world. At present we are running a workshop project on the vision migrants in France have of Great Britain as the place they aspire to reach. This will result in an exhibition in the Being Human Festival, 2016.
I programme the Politics of Translation, Translation of Culture seminar series, in partnership with the American University of Paris, University of Kent in Paris and Columbia University.
My interest in the field of translation studies has resulted in a number of published translations and articles, as well as collaborations with the Center for Writers and Translators at the American University of Paris, particularly through the delivery of the MA in Cultural Translation, and in involvement with the team of transcultural therapists and theorists working under Professor Marie Rose Moro at the Maison de Solenn (Paris Descartes).
I am also currently the recipient of a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grant for a project entitled Plural Cultures – Plural Spaces: Franco-British Comparative Perspectives on the Institute for Islamic Cultures (Paris) / Cultures plurielles – Espaces pluriels : Perspectives franco-britanniques sur l’Institut des Cultures d’Islam à Paris.
I have supervised a number of research students and would be happy to consider working with students on research projects relating to urban cultural studies and/or literary studies with relevance to the further exploration of the history and representation of the city of Paris. Read more on postgraduate research here…
For more information on my work, please see http://annalouisemilne.net
Paris is the right place for me because I can have the most unlikely conversation with someone from the other side of the world at the café on the corner and then see it all from the distance of the book I’m reading at my window on the city.
- 75, Paris: Gallimard, 2016, pp. 208
- The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of Paris, Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp.259
- France’s Last Revolution. Rethinking May 68, with Julian Jackson and James S. Williams, London: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2011, pp. 436
- The Extreme In-Between: Jean Paulhan's Place in the Twentieth Century, Oxford: Legenda, 2006, pp 164
- Correspondance Jean Paulhan–Yvon Belaval Paris: Gallimard, coll. Cahiers de la NRF, 2004, pp 309
Joint issue of The Romanic Review (99:1-2) entitled La Nouvelle Revue Française in the Age of Modernism, 2008
Recent Book Chapters
- "‘Things coming from every direction’: Leslie Kaplan’s ‘cubist’ explorations" in Exiles, Travellers and Vagabonds: Rethinking Mobility in Francophone Women’s Writing (ed. K. Averis, I. Hollis), Cardiff: Wales University Press, 2016, pp. 212-231
- "Café Kaplan. Scène de la vie quotidienne" in Leslie Kaplan, (ed. M. Hilsum), Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2016, pp. 113-127
- "De l’idée de littérature au désir de loi : Vers quoi Paulhan avance-t-il ?" in Jean Paulhan et l’idée de littérature, ed. C. Barthélemy, Paris: Garnier, 2014, pp. 267-283
- ‘Paris Whites/Logé, blanchis’ in Voices and Images from the Banlieue (ed. J. Carpenter and Ch. Horvath), April 2014, pp. 80-89
- "Le jansénisme à l'épreuve des jours: la NRF en son époque", Le Centenaire de la NRF, Paris: Editions de la BNF/Gallimard, 2013, pp. 46-57
- "Visibly Underground: When Clandestine Workers Take the Law into their Own Hands" in Paris-Amsterdam Underground: Essays on Cultural Resistance, Subversion, and Diversion, (ed. Ch. Linder and A. Hussey), Amsterdam University Press, 2012, pp. 147-157.
- “Plural Histories of contemporary Tunisia,” Francospheres, 4: 2 (2016), pp. 67-71
- “Sur les bancs de la banlieue," La Vie des Idées, December 2015 [http://www.laviedesidees.fr/Sur-les-bancs-de-la-banlieue.html].
- “Unsheltering Language”, Francospheres, 1.1 (2012), Liverpool University Press, pp. 69-96.
- “The Singular Banlieue", Esprit créateur, 50.3 (2011), Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 53-69.
- "Next to Nothing: Jean Paulhan's Gamble", Culture, Theory, Critique, 51.2 (2010), Routledge, pp. 189-203.