La Maison Française of NYU will hold two events as part of the May 68 Week Celebration, marking the 50th anniversary of a period of civil unrest that halted French society and marked a turning point in France’s history.

La Maison Française of NYU will hold two events as part of the May 68 Week Celebration, marking the 50th anniversary of a period of civil unrest that halted French society and marked a turning point in France’s history. These events will offer reflections and explore the meaning of the events of May 1968—a passage of time that continues to resonate in France’s collective consciousness.

Both events will be held at La Maison Française, 16 Washington Mews (between University Place and Fifth Avenue), and are free and open to the public in English and French. Seating for free events is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call 212.998.8750 or visit nyu.edu/maisonfrancaise. Subways: R, W (8th Street); 6 (Astor Place); A, B, C, D, E, F, M (West 4th Street).

Tuesday, May 1, 7:00 p.m.
May 68 in Theory

A true event cannot merely be the object of already given theories: it challenges them and interrogates the very sense it makes to practice theory in general. This is eminently true of May 68 in France: it has been an event for “Theory.” However, its theoretical implications have been too often obfuscated by hasty interpretations that projected on it some vague Zeitgeist aptly coined “68 Thought.” In order to avoid such simplifications, we need to get back to the perception the actors of the time themselves identified those theoretical stakes. It so happens that they in part were conflated with the reception of “structuralism.” The paper will patiently try to understand how such abstract theoretical constructions could be deemed at stake in the social and political commotion of those two months.
PATRICE MANIGLIER
is Maître de Conférences, Philosophy Department, Université Paris-Nanterre; author of La Vie énigmatique des signes: Saussure et la naissance du structuralismeLa Perspective du Diable, Figurations de l'espace et philosophie, de la Renaissance à Rosemary's Baby; Foucault va au cinéma
In English
New French Philosophy Event
Co-sponsored by the Departments of Comparative Literature; French Literature, Thought, and Culture; Media, Culture, and Communication; the Institute of French Studies; and the Graduate School of Arts and Science

Wednesday, May 2, 6:30 p.m.
Mai 68 a-t-il préparé le triomphe du néolibéralisme? Une relecture de l’événement à partir de Foucault et de Bourdieu

Mai 68 continue d’être interprété de manières très différentes et souvent contradictoires en France. Si certains l’ont considéré comme une révolution anticapitaliste, héritage des luttes ouvrières du XIXe siècle, d’autres y ont vu l’avénement triomphal de l’individualisme contemporain. Pour ces derniers, Mai 68 aurait annoncé le néolibéralisme. Ces deux interprétations opposées ratent la singularité de l’événement de 68 et se méprennent sur la période néolibérale suivante.
CHRISTIAN LAVAL
is Professor of Sociology, Université Paris-Nanterre; author of L’Homme économique; L’Ambition sociologique
In French
Institute of French Studies Lecture

Editor’s Note
For over six decades, La Maison Française of New York University has served as a major forum for French-American cultural and intellectual exchange, offering contemporary perspectives on myriad French and Francophone issues. Its rich program of lectures, symposia, concerts, screenings, exhibitions, and special events provides an invaluable resource to the university community, as well as the general public. For more, please visit nyu.edu/maisonfrancaise.

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Sarah Binney
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(212) 998-6829