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Doctor Vivienne Orchard

Dr Vivienne Orchard

Lecturer

Research interests

  • Francophone film, literature and cultural theory 20th and 21st century
  • Disability Studies and Cultural Representation
  • Film and literature of migration and displacement

More research

Accepting applications from PhD students.

Connect with Vivienne

Research

Research groups

Research interests

  • Francophone film, literature and cultural theory 20th and 21st century
  • Disability Studies and Cultural Representation
  • Film and literature of migration and displacement
  • Knowledge production and critical theory of disciplines

Current research

I began my career working on the French philosopher, Jacques Derrida.  My PhD and first book explored Derrida’s work on institutional questions in relation to philosophy in the French education system at school level, and within the university.  My interest in institutionalisations of knowledge is a common thread to all of my areas of interest and specialisation, in terms of the formations of disciplines, interdisciplinarity, and political, cross-cultural, and genealogical questions around these.

I have worked on the area of national identity in terms of its emergence as a social science and cultural studies term, again examining disciplinary locations and how intellectual borrowings and influences construct concepts at particular points.  I developed this further with my interest in literary texts and cinema of migration and forced displacement across securitised national borders, and theoretical work in this area from both cultural and social sciences. I have had papers accepted by, and presented work at, international conferences in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, and Finland, supported by research grants from the British Academy and the University of Southampton.

I have worked for some time in the area of disability studies, firstly looking at autism, its clinical and cultural contexts of emergence as a category, and its place in France, clinically, politically, and culturally, from the 1980s onwards.  Once again, questions of knowledge production, genealogy, and institutionalisation are to the fore, in addition to looking at cultural and textual production in forms such as life-writing, documentary, and fictional representation.

I have continued with this area of research, examining similar questions in the UK context, in particular, looking at the university as a supposedly ‘exceptional’ space politically and as a workplace, in relation to disability and ‘well-being’; and looking at the emergence of the term ‘neurodiversity’.  With my colleague, Dr Eleanor Jones, I am currently developing a wide-ranging project which examines the role of UK institutions — particularly universities — in creating and upholding the structural marginalisation of disabled people from the early twentieth century to the present.  We are especially interested in eugenics and the genealogies of mental disability, and the role of British universities in forming these.