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Ricarda Vidal

Dr Ricarda Vidal

Dr Ricarda VidalTeaching Fellow

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 6413
Culture, Media & Creative Industries
King’s College London
4D Chesham Building
Strand Campus 



Ricarda holds a PhD in Cultural Studies (London Consortium/ Birkbeck). She is the author of Death and Desire in Car Crash Culture: A Century of Romantic Futurisms (Peter Lang, 2013) and co-editor of The Power of Death (Berghahn, 2014) and Alternative Worlds (Peter Lang, 2014). She has published on speed, the car and driving as cultural phenomena, Modernism (in particular Futurism), moving-image art, urban space and art in relation to gentrification (with a particular focus on contemporary London), Brutalism and cinematic architecture, as well as society’s fascination with death and murder, and most recently, alternative worlds and utopias. Currently she is pursuing a practice-based research project into the wondrous world of translation within the fine arts and literature, Translation Games. This links her academic career with her freelance activities as translator and curator. Further information is available on her website.

Research Interests and PhD supervision
  • Translation as creative practice
  • Alternative worlds and macro-engineering
  • Modernism and its legacy
  • Cars, car design and driving as cultural phenomena

Currently my research focuses on the practice-based project Translation Games, which brings literary translators, artists, designers and academics together to explore translation in a ludic programme of workshops, symposia, public exhibitions, performances and publications. I am interested in the various layers, levels and facets of communication – visual, tactile, acoustic, vocal, gestural, olfactory, and so on… Hence the project not only comprises translations from English to French, but also from film to choreography or from Spanish to silk painting. See the Translation Games website for more information on the project and the questions that drive it.

Besides Translation Games, I am also working on macro-engineering and utopian thinking in the first part of the 20th century. This latter research informs both my teaching at CMCI and my volume Alternative Worlds.

Selected publications
  • Ricarda Vidal. Death and Desire in Car Crash Culture: A Century of Romantic Futurisms. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013.
  • Ricarda Vidal & Maria-José Blanco. The Power of Death: Reflections on Death since 1900. Oxford, New York: Berghahn Press, October 2014.
  • Ricarda Vidal & Ingo Cornils. Alternative Worlds: Blue-Sky Thinking since 1900. Series: Cultural History and Literary Imagination. Oxford: Peter Lang, December 2014
  • Ricarda Vidal. “Can Developers Learn from Art? Janet Cardiff in Spitalfields” in Naomi Segal and Daniela Koleva (eds) From Literature to Cultural Literacy, Basingstoke: Palgrave, July 2014.
  • Ricarda Vidal. “Quiet Crash Sites: Antun Maračić’s Cro Car Crash Chronicle, after War/hol and Usput spomenici/ Sideroad Monuments and Aernout Mik’s Refraction.” Altre Modernità No 4, October 2010, peer-reviewed online journal, University of Milan: pp. 257-267.
Expertise and public engagement

Ricarda’s teaching is based on her research and publications in visual culture and cultural history. She teaches the optional module Cultures of Technology, which traces the impact of technological innovation on cultural production from 1900 to the present. She also contributes to the MA CCI core modules Contested Cultures, Analysing the Cultural & Creative Industries and Research Approaches.

Ricarda has organised several public workshops, commissioned artworks and curated a number of exhibitions in the course of her practice-based research project “Translation Games”. She is regularly collaborating with artists, textile designers, translators, writers and members of the public with an interest in the creative use of language and an expanded notion of what translation can mean. Recent venues for public events have included the Poetry Library (Southbank Centre), the British Library and the Guildhall.

Further, Ricarda has presented her research at public events at Tate, the ICA and artist-run galleries and spaces in the UK and abroad.

She is also always happy to talk about her research into driving, cars and car crashes as cultural phenomena.

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