An array of intellectually charged cultural events fill the October calendar at NYU’s La Maison Française.
Curators and scholars come together to discuss the “invisible web of exchanges” surrounding Parisian fashion (October 4), scholars gather to discuss the recently rediscovered text Geschlecht III from Derrida’s archives (October 7), and a political sociologist from Université de Lille and Institut Universitaire de France leads a roundtable about the post-colonial trajectories (October 30).
All events are held at La Maison Française, 16 Washington Mews (between University Place and Fifth Avenue), and are free, open to the public and in English, unless otherwise noted. Seating for free events is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call 212.998.8750 or visit La Maison’s website. [Subways: R, W (8th Street); 6 (Astor Place); A, B, C, D, E, F, M (West 4th Street).]
Thursday, October 3, 5:30 p.m.
Two Flags—Film Screening and Discussion with Director
The 2019 film Two Flags chronicles the life and politics of Pondicherry, a former French colony in South India where 6,000 Tamils, who identify as French, gear up for the French Presidential elections of 2017. The film explores the idea of state, citizenship, and home in the post-colonial era, and is presented in English with French subtitles.
Director Pankaj Rishi Kumar will be joined by Sonia Das (Anthropology, NYU) for a discussion following the screening. Tejaswini Ganti (Anthropology, NYU) will moderate.
Location: Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, Avery Fisher Center for Music & Media, 70 Washington Square South, 7th Floor. Co-sponsored by the Center for Media, Culture, and History, La Maison Française, and South Asia at NYU.
Friday, October 4, 2:00 p.m.
Parisian Fashion and its Global Influences: Appropriations, Circulations, and Transfers
The Parisian fashion industry has always been the visible tip of an invisible web of exchanges. What we call French couture, far from being only French and influenced by French creativity and know-how, has always been a microcosm of globalization.
This roundtable features Rhonda Garelick, Dean of School of Art and Design History and Theory, Parsons School of Design; Sophie Kurkdjian, historian and visiting professor, NYU; Victoria L. Rovine, professor of art history, UNC Chapel Hill; Valerie Steele, director and chief curator, The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and curator of the FIT exhibit Paris, Capital of Fashion (on view September 6—January 4).
Co-sponsored by the Institute of French Studies and La Maison Française.
Monday, October 7, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
On Sex, Race, Nation, Humanity: Reading Derrida’s Geschlecht III
The text Geschlecht III—rediscovered in the Derrida archive and newly published in French (forthcoming in English)—is the “missing” installment in Derrida’s four-part series on Martin Heidegger and the German word Geschlecht (meaning, among other things, “sex,” “race,” and “species”).
This discussion features Princeton University’s Katie Chenoweth, one of the co-editors of Geschlect III in French and co-translator of the English edition; University of Freiburg’s Rodrigo Therezo, author of the preface to Geschlect III; Brown University’s David Wills, one of the foremost translators of Derrida’s work in English; and will be moderated by Emily Apter, Chair of NYU's Department of Comparative Literature.
Sponsored by the Department of French Literature, Thought, and Culture and the Department of Comparative Literature
Tuesday, October 22, 6:30 p.m.
Hate: The Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism in France
What is the connection between a rise in the number of random attacks against Jews on the streets of France and strategically planned terrorist acts targeting the French population at large? Journalist Marc Weitzmann’s new book Hate: The Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism in France (and What it Means for Us) proposes that both the small-scale and large-scale acts of violence have their roots in not one, but two very specific forms of populism: an extreme and violent ethos of hate spread among the Muslim post-colonial suburban developments on the one hand, and the deeply-rooted French ultra-conservatism of the far right.
An Institute of French Studies Book Event. Comments by NYU professor Edward Berenson, author of the 2019 book The Accusation: Blood Libel in an American Town.
Tuesday, October 29, 7:00 p.m.
The Price of Love for Old Men
University of Oxford professor Andrew Counter’s new project considers the nineteenth-century French genealogies of two related concepts in sexual ethics: “sexual poverty,” a phrase that names an unavoidable reality in any sexuality competitive society; and “sexual entitlement,” a putative “right” to sexual intimacy, which was occasionally imagined in utopian terms in the nineteenth century, but whose near-inevitable slide into misogyny is evident in its contemporary iterations among online “incel” communities.
Andrew Counter is an associate professor of French at the University of Oxford; fellow of New College; and author of The Amorous Restoration: Love, Sex, and Politics in Early 19th-Century France.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature and the Department of French Literature, Thought, and Culture.
Wednesday, October 30, 6:30 p.m.
Guadeloupe, Martinique and Puerto Rico. Comparing Post-Colonial, Non-Sovereign Trajectories in the Caribbean
A roundtable sponsored by the Institute of French Studies, and featuring NYU visiting professor Audrey Célestine, who is a political sociologist from Université de Lille and Institut Universitaire de France. Célestine is the author of Une Famille Française. Des Antilles à Dunkerque en passant par l’Algérie, and La fabrique politique des identités. Her research explores political mobilizations by Antilleans in France and Puerto Ricans in the U.S.
Additional participants to be announced.
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.