The French cultural center of NYU is offering an array of free events in April on a kaleidoscope of topics, from history to philosophy.

La Maison Française’s April Calendar of Events Features Discussions About Literature, Art, Politics

La Maison Française at New York University will present a distinctive array of discussions about literature, art, philosophy, contemporary politics and much more in April, 2012. Please review the following calendar of events. The events are, unless otherwise noted, free and are held at the French cultural center, located at 16 Washington Mews, at University Place, New York, N.Y. For additional information, call 212.998-8750, or send an email to:

Tuesday, April 3, 7:00 p.m.
Journalist, essayist, historian; former director, France Culture; author of Marguerite Duras; Dans les pas de Hannah Arendt; Françoise; Manifeste feminist

Françoise Giroud, une femme d'exception

FRANÇOISE GIROUD was undoubtedly one of the most fascinating, the most intelligent, and the most powerful French women of the 20th century. A prolific writer and journalist, with deep political commitments, she was close to the Radical Socialist leader Pierre Mendès-France and later supported the Socialist François Mitterrand, but she accepted to serve as Minister for “la Condition feminine” and then Minister of Culture in the centrist régime of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. As editor of the newly founded Elle in 1946, and later, especially during 20 years at L’Express as the founding co-editor with Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, she guided the weekly news magazine that became the most potent voice in French journalism. Françoise Giroud influenced her entire generation and became an icon of French feminism.


Wednesday, April 4, 7 p.m.
Institute of French Studies Colloquium

Historian, CNRS; author of Melting Shops. Une histoire des commerçants étrangers en France; co-author, Face à la persécution. 991 Juifs dans la guerre

991 Juifs face à la persécution antisémite en France (1940-1945)


Thursday, April 5, 7:00 p.m.
New French Philosophy Roundtable
The Art of Appropriation: Between Literature and Music

Peter Szendy, Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre
Eduardo Cadava, Princeton University
Laura Odello, Collège International de Philosophie
Liana Theodoratou, NYU
Emily Apter, NYU

Taking as a starting point a short excerpt from the archives of the Collège international de philosophie (an excerpt in which Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Nancy briefly discuss the notion of responsibility), this event will focus on the concept of appropriation, approaching it from a philosophical, literary, and musical point of view.

How can we be responsible for something that we cannot foresee or control? What would it mean to answer for such a thing, appropriating it while at the same time letting it expropriate us? Starting with the example of responsibility – always more than a mere example among others, the presentations will reflect, directly and indirectly, on the oscillating structure that Derrida called exappropriation.


Monday, April 9, 7:00 p.m. 


Ecrivaine : écrire en français au féminin ?

In French.

Marie Darrieussecq was born in the Basque country, in France. She graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris and wrote her Ph.D. thesis on auto-fiction. At the same time, she wrote her first novel Truismes in six weeks (1996,translated in 1997 under the title: Pig Tales) which met with immediate worldwide success. Since then, she has published 15 more books with Editions P.O.L, six of which have been translated into English.

Marie Darrieussecq is today a notable figure in the distinguished younger generation of French writers. Her latest book, Clèves, was published in August 2011 by P.O.L.


Wednesday, April 11, 7:00 p.m.
Institute of French Studies Colloquium 

Documentary Film Screening: Indochina, Traces of a Mother (2011)

with discussion with the director Idrissou Mora Kpaï


Thursday, April 12, 7:00 p.m.

Professor of Literature and Francophone Cinema, Director of Research, NYU Paris; co-editor, Quand les écrivains font du cinéma. Instantanés critiques 

Sembene Ousmane:  “Je suis un type qui raconte des histoires” 

In French.


Monday, April 16, 7:00 p.m.
Florence Gould Event

French Literature in the Making

Novelist; author of La Compagnie des spectres (Prix Décembre); La Méthode Mila; Dis pas ça; Portrait de l’écrivain en animal domestique; BW; Hymne

in conversation with

Writer, journalist, Un Livre un jour (France 3)

In French.

Presented with the additional support of Sofitel, Open Skies, CulturesFrance, and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.



April 19 to 21

Autofiction : Literature in France Today

AUTOFICTION, combining two apparently contradictory concerns, autobiography and fiction, is the most important mode of writing in contemporary French literature. Serge Doubrovsky, who coined the term, has described autofiction as combining entirely real content and entirely fictional form. Using their real names, authors insert themselves into their own fictions in a search for self.  Following its French beginnings, Autofiction has made headway in many other countries, notably in the U.S.

Hemmerdinger Hall Ground floor, Silver Center
100 Washington Square East (enter on Waverly Place)


Thursday April 19, 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Welcome and presentation
Keynote: I, Me and You
Memoir, shmemmoir


Friday, April 20, 2:00 to 5:30 pm

The Limits of Autofiction
Autofiction and Existentialism
Autofiction Between Writer and Critic
From the Nouveau Roman to Autofiction
A simple question of method


Friday, April 20, 7:00 to 8:30 pm

Keynote: Autofiction: Story and History



Saturday, April 21, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Doubrovsky and the Genesis of Autofiction
An experiment in Autofiction
Memory and the Novel


Saturday, April 21, 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Against Genre
Annie Ernaux: Writing the Self, Writing Life
An Autofiction Bigger Than Myself
Title to be announced

Presentations in English
Brief readings by authors in French and in English

This conference is made possible by the generous major support of the Florence Gould Foundation with additional support from Open Skies, The Cultural Services of the French Embassy, and the NYU Humanities Initiative.


Sunday, April 22, 12:00 to 3 p.m.

1st round of the French Presidential Elections

Panel discussion on the electoral campaign (with Laure Bereni, Paula Cossart, Claire Zalc, and others), and screening of France 2's coverage of official results at 2:00 p.m.

In French.


Tuesday, April 24, 7:00 p.m

Poet, essayist; editor of critical editions of Lautréamont, Nerval, Nodier, and Rimbaud; author of  Stéphane Mallarmé, l’absolu au jour le jour; Arthur Rimbaud. Une question de présence

Baudelaire, question de temps


Thursday, April 26 , 7:00 p.m.

Assistant Professor of Art History, Parsons School of Design

Drawing as Process in French Art 
Offered in conjunction with "Storied Past: Four Centuries of French Drawings from the Blanton Museum of Art," exhibition on view at the Grey Art Gallery, NYU, 100 Washington Square East, April 17-July 14.
Exhibition information:



Friday, April 27

Les Jeux de Michel Beaujour

11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Location: La Maison Française 16 Washington Mews (at University Place)

Panel 1: Who is afraid of littérature?
Steven Crumb
33 Variations on a Digression by MB
Ourida Mostefai
Enjeux de l’enseignement
Michel Sitruk
Literature as a Business Model
Judith Miller, moderator

Panel 2: Who is afraid of French? 
Aline Baehler
Feu sur les idées reçues
Catherine Dop-Miller
Après la rhétorique ? Lire.
Jeffrey Kittay
Personal Recollections
Vinni Datta
Michel at the IFS
Tom Bishop, moderator


Friday, April 27, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Location: Deutsches Haus , 46 Washington Mews (at University Place)

Panel 3: Beaujour’s Renaissance

Downing Thomas
Encyclopedic Poetics
Bernard Picard
MB on Montaigne: Forty Years Later
Steven Bold
Looking for Frère Michel
Henriette Goldwyn, moderator

Panel 4: Autoportrait, Autobiography, and Autofiction

Anthony Abiragi
Company, Authentic and Less So
Eugène Nicole
Beaujour, Borel, Breton, Michon
Masano Yamashita
Being Read by MB
Nancy Regalado, moderator

Press Contact

Robert Polner
Robert Polner
(212) 998-2337