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, 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.