Prof. M.J.O. Pratt has been appointed professor of Contemporary Cultural and Literary Studies at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Humanities. Pratt will combine this part-time chair with his position as dean of Amsterdam University College (AUC).
In his research Murray Pratt explores, through a range of cultural objects, intersectional questions arising at the edges of the human singularity, i.e. the unique point when understandings of (the) human become redundant. This line of research is intrinsically linked to his current position as dean of the AUC and aligned to debates and considerations of contemporary humanities education.
As part of his new chair, Pratt will continue to focus on tracing – through literature, film and other cultural representations – irregularities within the morphologies of some of the key tropes of human thinking. Working within the context of the UvA’s Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), and with links to other research institutes, his research will furthermore centre on innovation in humanities education. Pratt’s current research interests include considerations of how modifications in our cultural references influence approaches to humanities pedagogy, including the objects of study, but also the locus, style and objectives of learning and teaching.
Pratt obtained his doctorate from the University of Oxford for his thesis Autobiography, Fiction and Identity in Alain Robbe-Grillet, Hervé Guibert and Roland Barthes. From 2007 to 2016 he was professor of French and International Studies at Nottingham Trent University, where he was also dean of its School of Arts and Humanities. Prior to this, he was associate professor of French Studies and head of European Studies at University of Technology Sydney’s (UTS) Institute for International Studies.
Pratt has published extensively on literature, cinema and graphic novels, and has edited volumes and special issues of journals in the fields of French and European Studies, Gender Studies and Cultural Studies. Previous research projects include ‘Autobiography and AIDS in France’, ‘Representing the Self in Graphic Novels’ and ‘Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Film and Literature’. Key editions include Hexagonal Variations: Diversity, Plurality and Reinvention in Contemporary France (Rodopi, 2011; with Jo McCormack and Alistair Rolls) and In a Queer Place: Sexuality and Belonging in British and European Contexts (Ashgate, 2002; with Kate Chedgzoy and Emma Francis) and co- editorship of special issues of journals including editions of Contemporary French Civilization, French Cultural Studies, Portal - Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies and Culture, Theory and Critique. Professor Pratt’s record of doctoral supervision includes fields such as community identities in Europe, and sexual politics, violence and identity in France and Australia.