English site/ Center for Comparative Research on Creative Arts, ENS Lyon

©Asja Saüler

The Comparative Studies and Research Center on Creative Arts (Centre d’Etudes et de Recherche Comparée sur la Création or CERCC) at the ENS de Lyon is an inter­de­part­men­tal and inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research center for the study of lite­ra­tu­res across natio­nal and lin­guis­tic lines, and for the inves­ti­ga­tion of the rela­tions bet­ween the arts.

Its area of study encom­pas­ses lite­ra­ture, cinema, drama and thea­ter, music, visual arts and the his­tory of the arts at large since the begin­ning of the 19th cen­tury. The objects it inves­ti­ga­tes are not limi­ted by any one natio­nal tra­di­tion or lan­guage. The aim of the CERCC is to study the evo­lu­tion of the plu­ra­lity and diver­sity of dif­fe­ring cultu­ral media and tra­di­tions, focu­sing on the encoun­ters bet­ween various tra­di­tions and crea­tive media, and on pro­ces­ses that are active in various dis­cur­sive contexts and in non-dis­cur­sive media.

The issue of trans­la­tion is at the heart of the defi­ni­tion of our objects of study and of our inves­ti­ga­tive metho­do­lo­gies. The evi­dence of lin­guis­tic diver­sity has led us to focus on the notion of « trans­la­tio­nal events » in a mul­ti­di­men­sio­nal and glo­ba­li­zed world. « Translation » is fun­da­men­tal to our research, because it is what hap­pens to lan­gua­ges in gene­ral, and makes us bear in mind that diver­sity is not simply inter-lin­guis­tic but also and pri­ma­rily intra-lin­guis­tic. No lan­guage is homo­ge­neous. No art is self-iden­ti­cal. Art does not emerge inde­pen­dently of its context. No « area » is strictly limi­ted.

Comparative stu­dies at the ENS Lyon occupy a stra­te­gic posi­tion to inte­ract with deve­lo­ping stu­dies of non-verbal media. In recent years, the CERCC has focu­sed on the inter­pre­ta­tion of signi­fying pro­ces­ses as they ope­rate dis­cur­si­vely, and sin­gu­larly in works that ques­tion new contem­po­rary defi­ni­tions of crea­tive acti­vi­ties : contem­po­rary fic­tion, poetry and visual arts, but also as these acti­vi­ties branch beyond the field of art into the huma­ni­ties (Philosophy, History, Politics) and the scien­ces. CERCC has thus laun­ched a research pro­ject on the rela­tions bet­ween the scien­ces and the huma­ni­ties (CERCC/IGFL), and has ela­bo­ra­ted various research col­la­bo­ra­tions with Art Schools and Institutions : with the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Lyon, and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles, that involve research, crea­tive expe­ri­ments and work­shops (crea­tive wri­ting, poetry wri­ting, stage and film pro­duc­tion, mixed exhi­bi­tions of pho­to­graphs and texts, as well as other types of per­for­man­ces). The CERCC firmly belie­ves in the neces­sity to engage in research and crea­tion simul­ta­neously ; it consi­ders the crea­tive arts as forms of intel­lec­tual research and aca­de­mic research at its best as a crea­tive and prac­ti­cal acti­vity.

Our research implies cons­tant reflec­tion, ree­va­lua­tion and rede­fi­ni­tion of its objects and pro­ce­du­res. For indeed, there is no poetry without poe­tics ; no poe­tics devoid of tran­la­tio­nal pro­ces­ses ; no research acti­vity devoid of crea­tive insights. If the core axis of the CERCC is cons­ti­tu­ted by the notion of « trans­la­tio­nal events », the back­bone of CERCC consists of research on theo­ries, methods and prac­tice.

The CERCC not only pro­mo­tes pro­jects that are inter­nal to the ENS Lyon, but also encou­ra­ges exchan­ges with local and inter­na­tio­nal uni­ver­si­ties or research orga­ni­za­tions, both pro­fes­sio­nal and cultu­ral. We are enga­ged in various events, natio­nal and inter­na­tio­nal lite­ra­ture and poetry series at the ENS Lyon, music and drama fes­ti­vals, exhi­bi­tions, master clas­ses, confe­ren­ces and sym­po­sia.