Keynote speakers

We are delighted to have Professor Diana Holmes (Professor of French, University of Leeds) and Professor Andrea Noble (Professor of Latin American Studies, Durham University) as keynote speakers.

Diana Holmes will speak on ‘The Way We Read Now: Popular and Middlebrow Fiction in Twenty-First Century Europe’.

Andrea Noble will speak on ‘Killing and Crying: The Work of the Emotion in Nineteenth Century Mexican Popular Culture’.


Diana Holmes is Professor of French at the University of Leeds and one of the founding Diana Holmesmembers of the Leeds-based Popular Cultures Research Network. Her work on French women’s writing from the late nineteenth century to the present (most recent monograph Romance and Readership in Twentieth-Century France: Love Stories, 2006) ranges across the hierarchy of culture from ‘high’ to ‘low’ brow, with a particular interest in what women choose to read. Her recent work has focused largely on popular fictions, with articles on bestsellers, a Special Issue of French Cultural Studies: Story-Telling in Contemporary French Fiction: le ‘prêt-à-penser’ and Reading Pleasure (with David Platten, 2010), and two co-edited books: Imagining the Popular: highbrow, lowbrow and middlebrow in contemporary French culture, with David Looseley (Manchester University Press 2013), and Finding the Plot – Storytelling in popular fictions, with David Platten, Loic Artiaga, Jacques Migozzi (Cambridge Scholars’ Press, 2013). She is one of the editors of the international on-line journal of popular cultures Belphégor, and is writing a book on the French middlebrow to be published by Liverpool University Press.

Andrea Noble is Professor of Latin American Studies at Durham University, with researchAndrea interests in visual culture studies — particularly film and photography — and Mexican cultural history. Her work on popular cultural forms includes Mexican National Cinema (Routledge, 2005); Photography and Memory in Mexico: Icons of Revolution (University of Manchester Press, 2010); and, as co-editor with Jonathan Long and Edward Welch, Photography: Theoretical Snapshots (Routledge, 2009). Her paper is derived from her current main research project, provisionally called, ‘Tears in Mexico: A Cultural History of Emotions and Motivations from 1519 to 2012’. This project explores public acts of weeping in Mexico, ranging from ‘la noche triste’, when Hernán Cortés, fleeing from the Aztecs, is supposed to have sat down under cypress tree and wept, through to the extravagant tears that Pancho Villa shed beside the tomb of Francisco Madero in December 1914. By homing in on emblematic moments of weeping, the aim is to probe the ‘feeling rules’ in operation at given historical moments, raising questions related to power, gender, class, morality, etc. Funded by a Marie Curie Outgoing Fellowship (2013-2015), Andrea is currently based at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

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