Fall 2014 - Spring 2015

French Language Table: Join us every Thursday, 12:30-1:30pm, for weekly language practice in the President's Room in Kline

For information, contact Odile Chilton

Current and Upcoming Events

French Table

Thursdays, February 1 – May 17, 2018

Please join us weekly. Stay for as long as you would like.

Time: 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Location: Kline, President's Room

The Seventh Wonder of the ZAD

Monday, March 5, 2018

Kristin Ross
Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature,
New York University
The longest-lasting ongoing struggle in France today is the occupational attempt to block the construction of an international airport in farmland in western France, the ZAD, or “zone à defendre,” outside of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. In this talk I will consider a number of innovative practices reworked and lived by the inhabitants of the ZAD, in relation to historic examples such as the Commune de Paris of 1871. At the center of my presentation will be the notion of the territory and the logics of difference, possibility and autonomy it implies—the local, often rural construction of an autonomous zone, in secession from the state, which does not result in a closing in upon itself. What is a territory worth defending? What does it mean to defend a zone, or to work at creating—over time, and perhaps over a lifetime—a territory worthy of defense? How can a struggle whose particularity lies in being anchored in one place be extended to other territories?

Kristin Ross is professor emerita of comparative literature at New York University. The recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, she is the author of a number of books about modern and contemporary French political culture, all of which have appeared in French translation, including The Emergence of Social Space: Rimbaud and the Paris Commune (1988); Fast Cars, Clean Bodies: Decolonization and the Reordering of French Culture (1995); and May ’68 and Its Afterlives (2002). Her most recent book, Communal Luxury (2015), was published first in France by La Fabrique.

Time: 4:45 pm
Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
Contact: Kevin Duong
Phone: 845-752-4612

Disalienation: Politics, Philosophy, and Radical Psychiatry in France

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Camille Robcis
Associate Professor of History, Cornell University

This talk explores the intersections of politics, philosophy, and radical psychiatry in 20th-century France. It focuses on a psychiatric reform movement called “institutional psychotherapy” that had an important influence on many intellectuals and activists, including François Tosquelles, Jean Oury, Felix Guattari, Frantz Fanon, Georges Canguilhem, and Michel Foucault. Anchored in Marxism and in Lacanian psychoanalysis, institutional psychotherapy advocated a fundamental restructuring of the asylum in order to transform the theory and practice of psychiatric care. More broadly, for many of these thinkers, the psychiatric offered a lens to rethink the political in the particular context of postwar France.

Camille Robcis is associate professor of history at Cornell University. Her teaching and research interests have focused on three broad issues: the historical construction of norms, the intellectual production of knowledge, and the articulation of universalism and difference in modern French history. Her first book, The Law of Kinship: Anthropology, Psychoanalysis, and the Family in France (2013), examines how French policy makers called upon structuralist anthropology and psychoanalysis to reassert the centrality of sexual difference as the foundation for all social and psychic organization. She is currently working on a history of institutional psychotherapy, a movement born after World War II that advocated a radical restructuring of the asylum in an attempt to rethink and reform psychiatric care.

Presented by the Political Studies Program and Big Ideas 215: Of Utopias, Experimental Humanities, and the French Studies Program.

Time: 5:00 pm
Location: Olin, Room 102
Contact: Kevin Duong
Phone: 845-752-4612

Translation Symposium

Friday, April 27, 2018

A conference on the theory and practice of translation, organised by Bard's Center for Translation and Translatability

Time: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
Location: Bard College Campus
Contact: Olga Voronina
Phone: 845-758-7472

Conservatory Degree Recital: Claire Worsey, horn

Sunday, April 29, 2018

With Samuel Oram, collaborative piano fellow
Program of works by Bernhard Krol, W. A. Mozart, R. Strauss, Henri Kling, and J. F. Gallay.

Free admission.
Time: 3:00 pm
Location: László Z. Bitó '60 Conservatory Building
Contact: Ann Gabler
Phone: 845-758-7196
Website: Event Website

Past Events

Le Cafe Gourmet (27 April 2015)

Deconstructing "Bon App_tit"
Sponsored by French Studies Program

Join us for a wonderful art exhibition by French students, who willdeconstruct gastronomy through the lense of French Culture.  French amouse-bouche will be served.

French Studies Student Project Exhibit (8 December 2014)

U.S.A. _ la Fran_aise: "Je t'aime, moi non plus"

Sponsored by French Studies Program

Please join us for an exhibition of student works and celebrate a cultural love-affair that is more requited than meets the eye. Amuse-bouches will be served.Image © Vahram Muratyan

When Naturalness Was Affected (29 October 2014)

Nerval and the Romantic Legacy
Sponsored by Career Development Office; French Studies Program

Presented by Bard Alumna, Cate TalleyThe cult of sincerity and naturalness associated with Rousseau and early Romanticism had radical implications in helping to imagine a democratic, post-Revolutionary French society. But by the 1850s, these values were squarely within the mainstream, both aesthetically and politically. This talk will consider the writer Gérard de Nerval as a critic of this cooptation of Romantic values by a conservative, bourgeois culture, reinterpreting Romanticism's fundamental terms to restore its radical, creative potential.

Reading and/or Rereading Proust (6 November 2013)

A lecture by Antoine Compagnon
Sponsored by French Studies Program

Antoine Compagnon is the Blanche W. Knopf Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. In 2006, he was elected professor at the prestigious Collège de France (Chair of French Modern & Contemporary Literature: History, Criticism and History). He studies literary representations in three main areas: Renaissance, late 19th and early 20th centuries, theory of literature and history of criticism. Among his many very influential books: Les Antimodernes (2005), Le démon de la théorie (2008), Les cinq paradoxes de la modernité (1990), Proust entre deux siècles (1989), La seconde main ou le travail de la citation (1979)

His latest books, a novel and an essay respectively entitled La classe de rhéto and Un été avec Montaigne, were published in 2012 and 2013.

Massacre, Mardi Gras, and Torture in Early New Orleans (7 March 2013)

Sophie White, University of Notre Dame
Sponsored by Africana Studies Program; Art History Program; Division of Social Studies; French Studies Program; Historical Studies Program; LAIS Program

The earliest known eye-witness account of Mardi Gras in New Orleans depicted a masquerade that took place in 1730. But this description of hedonism and cross-gender disguises was an unexpected twist in a larger narrative. For this episode was immediately preceded by the 1729 uprising in which the Natchez Indians attacked French settlers, stripping, killing, and torturing survivors. And it was followed by the ritual torture and killing in New Orleans of a stripped Natchez woman captive. Most galling for the author of the account was the fact that French survivors had imitated, and even outdone, Indians’ torture methods. This transgression magnified anxieties about the potential for colonists to become indianized as a result of their presence in America. But in interweaving misrule descriptions of stripped, dressed, and disguised bodies, the author signaled that dress could channel Frenchmen’s metamorphosis into Indians, but also reverse such transformations. The key to this conceit lies in interpreting the placement of a topsy-turvy Mardi Gras masquerade in the very middle of massacre, torture and cannibalism.

Sophie White is assistant professor of American Studies and concurrent assistant professor of Africana Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her book, Wild Frenchmen & Frenchified Indians: Race and Material Culture in Colonial Louisiana, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2012. Her articles have appeared in journals such as The William and Mary Quarterly, the Journal of Early American HistoryWinterthur Portfolio, and Gender and History. She was a fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2010–11.

Special 35mm French Film Screening (30 October 2012)

Sponsored by French Studies Program, Film and Electronic Arts Program, Art History Program

Please join us for 35mm screenings of these key works of French Poetic Realism.  The rare, imported prints are being shown being shown as part of the course Film Among the Arts (ARTH/FILM 230) and the seriesReinventing Realism:  The Films of Jean Grémillon.

Pierre Alferi (13 September 2010)

Noted French Poet Comes to Bard
Sponsored by Ashbery Poetry Series; French Studies Program; Human Rights Project

ConversationPierre Alferi and Eric Trudel, Associate Professor of FrenchOlin 102 Tuesday, September 145:00 p.m.ReadingAlferi reads his work in French, with Bard poets reading translatios in EnglishWeis Cinema, Bertelsmann Campus CenterWednesday, September 156:00 p.m.Films Parlants and CinepoemesAlferi's cinematic work is screened continuouusly.  Additional information is provided at the entrance of the exhibition.Center for Curatorial StudiesMonday, September 13-Thursday, September 1610:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.Pierre Alferi, born in France in 1963, is one of the most innovative French poets alive today.  He earned a degree in philosophy at the University of Paris with a thesis on William of Ockham, published in 1989.  He is the author of several books of poetry, including Les allures natureless (1991), Le chemin familier du poisson combatif (1992), Kub Or (1994), Sentimentale journee (1997), and La voie des airs (2004).  His volumes of essays and novels include Chercher une phrase (1991), Fmn (1994), Le cinema des familles (1999), Les Jumelles (2009), and Apres vous (2010).  Alferi nurtures collaboration with other artists and often performs with musicians, painters, and othe rpoets.  In 2003, Films parlants et cinepoemes, a DVD collecting his cinematic works, was released.  Alferi is well known for his translations of works by Giorgio Agamben, John Donne, and Meyer Schapiro.  His work available in English includes Natural Gaits (sun & Moon Press, 1995) and OXO (Burning Deck, 2004), both translated from the French by Cole Swensen.  A special issue of the journal SubStance devoted to Alferi's work is set to appear in November.