Université de Strasbourg

Julie Ramos

Biography - Julie Ramos

Art, Civilisation and History of Europe (ARCHE), University of Strasbourg, France

Julie Ramos, USIAS Fellow 2022Julie Ramos is a professor of contemporary art history at the University of Strasbourg and member of the ARCHE laboratory (Art, Civilisation and History of Europe). Her research and publications focus on the history and theory of art in the first half of the 19th century, on the relationship between the visual arts, music and the performing arts, and on transcultural issues in art history.

She was a tenured professor at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (2001-2020) and a visiting professor at the University of Bielefeld in Germany (2016-2017). During her time as scientific advisor at the French National Institute for Art History (INHA), Paris from 2009 to 2013, she edited collective works on the practice and theory of the tableau vivant (Le tableau vivant ou l'image performée, Paris, 2014), on how objects and decorative arts contribute to Proustian writing (with Boris Roman Gibhardt, Marcel Proust et les arts décoratifs. Poétique, matérialité, histoire, Paris, 2013) and on the idea of social art in the 19th century (with Neil McWilliam and Catherine Méneux, L'art social en France, de la Révolution à la Grande Guerre, Rennes/Paris, 2014). She has also published Nostalgie de l’unité. Paysage et musique dans la peinture de Runge et Friedrich (Rennes, 2008), co-authored with the geographer Nathalie Blanc an essay with artists' interviews on contemporary art and ecology (Ecoplasties. Art et environnement, Paris, 2010) and edited Renoncer à l’art. Figures du romantisme et des années 1970 (Paris, 2013).

Her latest book is on how the discovery of 'India' disrupted the doctrine of Western mimesis between 1800 and 1850 (L'Inde des visionnaires. Runge, Blake, Bra, Dijon, 2022). She is co-editor of the journal Regards croisés. Revue franco-allemande d'histoire de l'art, d'esthétique et de littérature comparée - Deutsch-französische Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, Literaturwissenschaft & Ästhetik.

Project - The visionary drawing and its knowledge. Based on the study and valuation of Théophile Bra’s archive collection

01/09/2022 – 31/08/2024

The archive collection of Théophile Bra (1797-1863) is located at the Marceline Desbordes-Valmore library in Douai (France); it houses some 40,000 works, including approximately 5,000 full-page drawings, and is still largely unknown. The drawings it contains have, until now, mostly been associated with mediumnistic art, or even art brut, despite Bra's academic training that differentiates him from that genre. This tendency can be explained by his autobiographical account of how it was triggered, which has fascinated researchers. Well-known during the French Restoration and the July Monarchy, the sculptor entered into a personal crisis in 1826 and began to draw figurative and abstract forms with a quill and pencil that were supposedly “dictated” to him and which were accompanied - in the margins, within the drawings or superimposed on them - by signs, words, sentences and textual paragraphs. In addition, there are numerous manuscripts and reading notes. The project aims to examine this ensemble, to study and valorise it in a historical, theoretical and interdisciplinary perspective.

One of the objectives of the project is to endeavour to enrich our knowledge of Bra's work through an extended study encompassing all the readings and personal exchanges from his archive, in order to better articulate it with the knowledge of the era, its dissemination networks, as well as the images and visual processes that they engage. The project thus intends to bring to light an exceptional artist, both in terms of his reading, his contact with scholars and his plastic inventions and multiform appropriations of the knowledge of his time. Another objective is to open up the approach to visionary drawing in order to understand its role in the epistemological and philosophical changes of the 19th century.

The project will also compare Bra's drawings with other artistic and documentary graphic productions from the 19th century to the present day that share similar characteristics, in order to question the claim that is a continued source of debate, of a sharing of truth between arts and knowledge. The term "visionary drawing" intends to preserve the double movement that characterizes Bra's approach, while putting it to the test over the long term, right up to the most current practices: that of an opposition to secularization, to the scientific reduction of Being to the visible, or to an objectification of the invisible; that of a desire to see, haunted by the search for truth, which is expressed in processes of visualization and transmission of the invisible shared with other knowledge. It thus aims to renew methods of art history by opening up to the history of science, medicine and philosophy, which will allow - beyond the definition of a visual culture - a reflection on their shared creativity in terms of images, graphic processes and thought processes.

Post-doc biography - Manuela Mohr

Art, Civilisation and History of Europe (ARCHE), University of Strasbourg, France

Manuela Mohr

Manuela Mohr has a PhD in French literature and is a specialist in literatures of the imaginary, in particular the fantastic. Her doctoral dissertation on The fantastic at the frontier of cultures: lowbrow forms and elaboration of the sciences of the psyche in the fantastic literature of the Second Empire was awarded the Mérimée Prize and the Kurt Ringger Award in 2021, and will soon be published. She began her academic career at the University of Stuttgart (Germany), from which she graduated with a joint degree in Romance and English languages and literature. She undertook a first study and research visit at the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon (France) in 2012-2013, followed by a second visit in 2014-2015 before obtaining a doctoral contract for a co-supervised thesis at the Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3 University.

In addition to her teaching and research activities, covering a period from the 19th century to the present day, Manuela Mohr is also involved in the Béziers Fantastic Festival as a member of the jury for the 'Fantastic Short Story' category. She is the author and co-editor of several books, scientific articles and reviews on different aspects of her field of interest. Currently, Manuela Mohr is working as a post-doc for this USIAS project. Her research interests include the dialogue between text and image, theories and concepts of art history, and the cultural and psychological dimensions of creation.

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