Senate House

Malet Street
United Kingdom

ULIP’s Director of Research, Dr Anna-Louise Milne, will be helping to bring the spirit of Paris in the Belle Époque to the University of London’s Senate House next month as part of the latest Living Literature Event.

Joining with colleagues Prof Sarah Churchwell (School of Advanced Study), and Dr Erika Fulop (Lancaster University), Dr Milne will be guiding guests through an immersive evening exploring Marcel Proust’s classic novel ‘In Search of Lost Time’ (À la recherche du temps perdu). The event promises to evoke the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Paris at the turn of the century in a multisensory recreation of the world in which Proust was writing.

Living Literature is an exciting new series of events from the School of Advanced Study, University of London, which aims to bring iconic literary works to life by using research expertise to create an immersive and theatrical world for audiences to explore. Drawing on expertise from different academic disciplines, these experiential educational experiences will immerse audiences in the world and ideas of the chosen author. A rather revolutionary take on the classic university lecture, these evenings break down the barriers between audience and lecturer, and between audience and novel, offering a range of different activities for audiences to try to help them to discover the ideas, themes, and histories, of these literary works afresh.

Next Month’s event will explore the world and ideas of Marcel Proust in an evening which will offer audiences the chance to learn about how taste, smell and memory are linked through sensory experiments with the Centre for the Study of the Senses – losing themselves in a labyrinthine universe where erotic desire and scientific method combine. Surrounded by the scents, fashions and music of the belle époque, audiences can feast on food inspired by ‘In Search of Lost Time’ and sip linden tea cocktails while learning about Paris at the turn of the century. Listening to readings and pop-up talks, learning about love, jealousy, queer identity, art, society and politics during the French fin de siècle, viewing our literary exhibition and enjoying a magic lantern show.

The event promises to be a truly illuminative evening – animating Proust’s master work anew and entertaining audiences with an innovative vision of this classic text.

Audiences are also invited to attend an inaugural lecture preceding the event, Rereading Proust in 2017, by Antoine Compagnon, Professor of the Collège de France and Columbia University.

Prof Compagnon’s lecture will take place on Tuesday 9 May, 6pm, in the University of London’s Senate House. 

It is co-organized by the British Comparative Literature Association as the Malcolm Bowie Memorial Lecture 2017. Reserve your place.


An immersive evening with Marcel Proust and the Belle Époque

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.”

Marcel Proust, ‘In Search of Lost Time


For more information and to book tickets, please see:

School of Advanced Studies, University of London