Most read LUP article on Kudos

Alison Levine comments on her paper published in Contemporary French Civilization and how she used Kudos to promote her paper, which is now the most viewed Liverpool University Press article on Kudos…

I’ve just discovered that my article published in Contemporary French Civilization (CFC) in 2015, ‘Film, propaganda, and politics: La France est un empire, 1939–1943’, is the most viewed Liverpool University Press article on the Kudos platform.

Sometimes you come across something in an archive that doesn’t fit into your project, but that comes together almost by itself. That was the case for this article. While I was working on my book on French interwar documentary, I kept stumbling across interesting documents relating to one of the films that I’d seen in the film archives. The documents were not immediately relevant to the story I was trying to tell then, but I wanted to come back to them and weave them together as the story of one film. I was grateful to CFC for providing the space for the article, and I was pleased to see that it gained a wide readership via the journal and via Kudos.

This article tells the story of a colonial documentary film that spanned the years of the late Third Republic and Vichy. The film is La France est un empire, written and directed by the adventure novelist Jean d’Agraives. The information I pieced together from both film and manuscript archives allows us to trace the life of the film from the initial idea to the production and ultimate reception of the film. The story contains apparent paradoxes: it involves a filmmaker who engaged both in Collaboration and Resistance, and a colonial film that found favour with both republican and authoritarian governments. The article seeks to uncover the values that would explain a story that does not map neatly onto traditional conceptions of Right and Left, or of Collaboration and Resistance.

I already had these archives when Les documents cinématographiques decided to distribute the film on DVD, with an excellent commentary by Sandrine Lemaire; this doubtless helped fuel the interest in my article. I also decided to write up a short summary on Kudos, which helped readers find and access it. I do this for all my articles and find the tool very easy to use. I like the fact that Kudos invites us to blurb our own work in less formal terms than we do when writing abstracts, and I’m very pleased that this connects back to more readers for CFC and for Liverpool University Press, organisations that contribute significantly to the field of French studies.

Read Alison’s article here.

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