Tom Conley

Tom Conley

Abbott Lawrence Lowell Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Visual and Environmental Studies
Tom Conley
  • Region(s): France; Europe
  • Time Period(s): 16th century; 17th century; 18th century
  • Theme(s): French Literature; Media Studies; Literature and Graphic Imagination

Tom Conley, Abbot Lawrence Lowell Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies and of Romance Languages and Literatures. Conley studies relations of space and writing in literature, cartography, and cinema. His work moves to and from early modern France and issues in theory and interpretation in visual media.  Books include Film Hieroglyphs (1991, new edition 2006), The Graphic Unconscious in Early Modern Writing (1992), The Self-Made Map: Cartographic Writing in Early Modern France (1996, new edition 2010), L’Inconscient graphique: Essai sur la lettre à la Renaissance (2000), Cartographic Cinema (2007);  An Errant Eye: Topography and Poetry in Early Modern France (2011) and À fleur de page: Voir et lire le texte de la Renaissance (2014).  He has published Su realismo (Valencia, 1988), a critical study of Las Hurdas (Luis Buñuel, 1932).  With T. Jefferson Kline he co-edited the Wylie-Blackwell Companion to Jean-Luc Godard (2014).  His translations include Michel de Certeau, The Writing of History (1988 and 1992), and the same author’s Capture of Speech (1997) and Culture in the Plural (1997); Marc Augé, In the Metro (2003) and Casablanca: Movies and Memory (2009); Gilles Deleuze, The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque (1993); Christian Jacob, The Sovereign Map (2006); and other authors.  Among his 250 articles and book-chapters are contributions to The History of Cartography 3: The European RenaissanceCinema and Modernity, Michael Haneke, The Epic Film, Film Analysis, Opening André Bazin, Burning Darkness:  A Half-Century of Spanish Cinema, Film, Theory and PhilosophyEuropean Film Theory, etc. He has held visiting appointments at the University of California-Berkeley, UCLA, the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, L’Ecole de Chartes, L’Ecole en Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, and other institutions. In 2003 he was a seminar leader at the School for Critical Theory (Cornell). Awards include fellowships from the American Council for Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is a member of the Modern Language Association, The International Association for the History of Cartography, the Society of Cinema and Media Studies, and the United States Handball Association. Since 2000 he and his spouse, Verena Conley, have been co-masters of Kirkland House.  In 2011-12 he was the Walter Jackson Bate Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute at work on a project titled "Engineering, Poetry, Mapping:  Baroque Literature and Cartography in Early Modern France."  In December of 2011 the Université Blaise-Pascal (Clermont-Ferrand, France) awarded him an honorary doctorate.  In 2014 former students Bernd Renner and Phillip Usher co-edited and published a book of 30 essays, Illustrations conscientes: Mélanges en honneur de Tom Conley (Paris: Éditions Classiques Garnier).   

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