Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Website URL
France, Photography, China, Cultural History, Cinema, Media Studies
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Personal Info

About Me

Catherine E. Clark is Associate Professor of French Studies at MIT. She trained as a cultural historian, specialized in nineteenth- and twentieth-century France and visual culture.

She is an expert in the history of French photography and media. Her first book, Paris and the Cliché of History (Oxford University Press, 2018), 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.

She is currently working on a project about the French interest in China after 1949. She teaches and writes about the history of French and Francophone film and the universal reach of French culture.

Recent Publications

Paris and the Cliché of History: The City and Photographs, 1860-1970. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.

“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.

“Capturing the Moment, Picturing History: Photographs of the Liberation of Paris” American Historical Review 121.3 (June 2016), p824-860.

Catalogue Essay: “C’était le Marais en 1970” in Le Marais en heritage, (Paris: Paris Musées), 2015, p126-133.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Asia, China, France, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, Modern, 20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Art & Architectural History, Museums, Urban History