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Reynolds, Dee

Reynolds, Dee

PERSONAL:

Education: Trinity College, Dublin, graduated, 1980; Ecole Normale Superieure de Jeunes Filles, attended 1980-81; Sorbonne Nouvelle, graduated Maitrise es Lettres Modernes; University of East Anglia, Ph.D., 1987.

ADDRESSES:

Office—School of Languages, Linguistics, and Cultures, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer and educator. Université de Paris IV, Sorbonne, Paris, France, lectrice, 1986-87; University of Manchester, Manchester, England, professor of French, 1998—. Taught in England at the University of Lancaster, University of Warwick, University of Keele, and the University of Bristol. Member of board of trustees, Contact Theatre, 2005—.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Leverhulme Research Fellowship; AHRB Research Leave Scheme award; British Academy travel grant.

WRITINGS:

(Editor, with Penny Florence) Feminist Subjects, Multi-Media: Cultural Methodologies, Manchester University Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Symbolist Aesthetics and Early Abstract Art: Sites of Imaginary Space, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Rhythmic Subjects: Uses of Energy in the Dances of Mary Wigman, Martha Graham, and Merce Cunningham, Dance Books (Alton, Hampshire, England), 2007.

Romance Studies, member of advisory panel, 1998—. Dance Research, member of associate board, 2006—.

SIDELIGHTS:

Writer and educator Dee Reynolds is a professor of French at the University of Manchester in England. Her academic interests extend beyond the limits of written and spoken communication and into the language of movement and dance. Among her areas of research are dance performance, uses of energy in movement, kinesthetic imagination, performer-audience relationships in dance, and kinesthesia, noted a biographer on the University of Manchester Web site. Reynolds's interest in modern dance originated in work she did for her Ph.D., in particular from the writings of Stéphane Mallarmé, she stated in an autobiography on the Web site.

Reynolds further considers the work of Mallarmé, as well as works by Rimbaud, Mondrian, and Kandinsky, in Symbolist Aesthetics and Early Abstract Art: Sites of Imaginary Space. "This absorbing book not only constructs a common discourse for handling nonmimetic poetry and painting, thereby making a significant contribution to text and image studies, it does so by recentering critical evaluation on aesthetics and the imagination," commented Andrew Rothwell in the Modern Language Review. Reynolds argues that the linkage between these poets and painters is not found within an "intrinsic conceptual unity, but the role their work assigns to the imagining activity of the receiver," observed Eric Robertson in the Journal of European Studies. Reynolds stresses that the reading of a poem or viewing of a painting requires the use of a process of "imagining." She looks at how the works of these four creators helps establish an imaginary space which reflects and complements the receiver's imagining process. The interaction of this imaginary space with the material reality of the poem or painting creates a tension that heightens the reader's or viewer's interaction with, and appreciation of, the poem or painting. This is particularly the case when encountering abstract painting or avant-garde poetry, Rothwell noted, because the receiver's desire to respond to a familiar object or concept is frustrated, and the technique heightens awareness of the role of the imagination in forming an appropriate response. "The critical method proposed by Reynolds is consistently rigorous, insightful and illuminating, and could be usefully applied to other models, or to other artistic genres," noted Robertson. Throughout the book, Reynolds's argument is "made impressively," and will have to be "taken widely into account" by other scholars and researchers, Rothwell concluded

In Rhythmic Subjects: Uses of Energy in the Dances of Mary Wigman, Martha Graham, and Merce Cunningham, Reynolds explores the interdisciplinary aspects of the use of energy in movement. Within the book, "I elaborate an original concept of kinesthetic imagination as an activity which produces changes in habitual patterns of energy usage in movement," she stated in an autobiography posted on the University of Manchester Web site.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Choice, November, 1995, S. Duhig, review of Feminist Subjects, Multi-Media: Cultural Methodologies, p. 450.

French Studies, January, 1999, Elza Adamowicz, review of Symbolist Aesthetics and Early Abstract Art: Sites of Imaginary Space, p. 85.

Journal of European Studies, September, 1996, Eric Robertson, review of Symbolist Aesthetics and Early Abstract Art, p. 341.

Journal of the History of Ideas, October, 1995, review of Symbolist Aesthetics and Early Abstract Art, p. 691.

Modern Language Review, April 1997, Andrew Rothwell, review of Symbolist Aesthetics and Early Abstract Art, p. 475.

Women's Studies International Forum, September 1, 1996, Sara Bragg, review of Feminist Subjects, Multi-Media, p. 574.

ONLINE

University of Manchester Web site,http://www.manchester.ac.uk/ (January 28, 2008), author autobiography.

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