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Program Events

Events


Tuesday, September 30, 2014: "The Impact of Foods and Cuisine on Culture in France and the Francophone World," an online forum by the Henri Peyre Institute. To participate, click here to register for the Institute's online forum. Additional information on this and other Henri Peyre Institute activities is available on their website.

Monday, October 6, 2014: "Désidentification-Réembrayage-Bricolage, ou d’une poétique contemporaine," a lecture by Jérôme Game, Poet and Professor of Philosophy and Film Studies at the American University of Paris. 6pm. Room 4116 (Comparative Literature/Spanish Lounge).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014: "La Beauté de la haine, des guerres de religion à Céline," a lecture by Jan Miernowski, Professor of French at University of Wisconsin at Madison. 6:30pm. Room 4202.

Monday, October 20, 2014: "The Travesty of Justice," a talk by Michèle D. Pierre-Louis (President of Fondation Connaissance et Liberté-FOKAL), sponsored by The Henri Peyre French Institute, the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, and the Ph.D./ M.A. Program in Political Science at The Graduate Center of CUNY. 6pm-8pm. Rooms 9204/9205.

Monday, November 10, 2014: "The Taste of Salt: Consuming and Talking about SALTED FISH in Early Modern Culture," an online forum by the Henri Peyre Institute. To participate, click here to register for the Institute's online forum. 1pm-7pm.

Friday, December 12, 2014: "Inquiétudes américaines : Possibilité de l’art dans une société démocratique (1880)," a talk by Philippe Geinoz. 5pm. Room 4202.

Friday, January 30, 2015: "Translating Aesthetics: Patterns of Interference," a discussion featuring Mary Ann Caws, Wayne Koestenbaum, and Joshua Wilner. 4pm. Room 4406.

Friday, Februray 13, 2015: "Sexual (Dis)continuities: A Graduate Student Conferece," organized by the Ph.D. Program in French. 8:45am-6pm. Martin E. Segal Theatre.

Monday, March 23, 2015: "Futuristic Visions: Jules Verne, Nellie Bly, and the Flights of Imagination," a seminar with Professor Ali Nematollahy, bestselling author Matthew Goodman, and James Melo, ERC’s musicologist and Senior Editor at RILM. 5:30pm-7:30pm. Skylight Room.

Friday, April 17, 2015: "Rewriting the Promethean Theft of Fire in Cyrano’s Les États et Empires de la lune," a talk by Professor Michael Taormina. 5pm. Room 4202.

Event Descriptions


Tuesday, September 30, 2014: "The Impact of Foods and Cuisine on Culture in France and the Francophone World," an online forum by the Henri Peyre Institute. To participate, click here to register for the Institute's online forum. Additional information on this and other Henri Peyre Institute activities is available on their website.

Are you interested in the ways foods and cuisine impact culture in France and in the Francophone world, in the distant past and in the present? Join our first Food Seminar Online Forum. This forum is an event of our ongoing seminar, Food, Power, Exchange and Identity: Food and Foodstuffs in the French and Francophone Worlds. 

We invite you to our ongoing debate on the practices of food preparation and consumption from the 19th century to the early 20th century, and to contribute to our overall project. Watch our video stream of the talk on “The Discourses of Food from the 19th-century to the Inter-war Period,” by Julia Przybos, Joseph Rienti and Lauren K. Christensen. View our online exhibit “French Street Fairs and Street Foods, from the 1800s to the early 20th century.

To participate, click here to register on our forum page.
 

Monday, October 6, 2014: "Désidentification-Réembrayage-Bricolage, ou d’une poétique contemporaine," a lecture by Jérôme Game, Poet and Professor of Philosophy and Film Studies at the American University of Paris. 6pm. Room 4116 (Comparative Literature/Spanish Lounge).

Jérôme Game is an award-winning teacher of Film Studies and Philosophy currently on the faculty of the American University of Paris. He is also a poet who travels between Paris and New York, and it is (in) this movement that his poetry operates: The fluidity of the real – of bodies, cities, languages, images, events, collective or individual – via that of signs, and vice versa. As an academic, Game has taught at Cambridge, London and Columbia Universities and received research grants from the Mellon Foundation, Cambridge University, the American University of Paris, Université Paris 8, Institut Français, Centre National du Livre, the British Council amongst others. His research interests focus on a theoretical and critical examination of modern visual/literary culture (cinema, visual arts, literature) around a philosophical reworking of subjectivity and time. As a poet, he has been described as “a writer at once inside and outside of literature: tooling up with textual cameras and microphones to compose open-ended narratives” (Flora Moricet). Famous for its effects of stuttering and voice bloquage, his poetry creates rich effects of hindrance and interruption in écrire à même les choses, ou (2004) and ça tire (2008); breaking up the verse as well as the utterance into irreducible syncope, thus opening up meaning and expanding it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014: "La Beauté de la haine, des guerres de religion à Céline," a lecture by Jan Miernowski, Professor of French at University of Wisconsin at Madison. 6:30pm. Room 4202.

Can one consider hatred to be beautiful? Prof. Jan Miernowski doesn't seek to justify such an ugly passion, but rather to explore the most extreme hatred, the type of pure hatred that does not need political, economic, or psychological motivation for mass killings and destruction. Such self-sufficient hatred can be better grasped when considered as an aesthetic principle. Indeed, the beauty of hatred informs key moments of French literary writing between early and post-modernity: anterotic poetry of the Renaissance, as well as the most vitriolic pamphlets of religious wars. The beauty of hatred is prominent in Corneille’s and Racine’s conception of tragedy, Rousseau’s thinking about literature, and Céline’s perverse vision of the sublime. Finally, hatred becomes an autonomous object of art, and manifests itself in the contemporary novel through pastiche and parody. When writing about the hatred that has destroyed her country, Nobel laureate Wisława Szymborska admitted with irony: “Let’s not lie to ourselves: she is capable of creating beauty…” Although hatred can indeed create beauty, only literature has an unlimited capacity to explain and heal the world.

Monday, October 20, 2014: "The Travesty of Justice," a talk by Michèle D. Pierre-Louis (President of Fondation Connaissance et Liberté-FOKAL), sponsored by The Henri Peyre French Institute, the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, and the Ph.D./ M.A. Program in Political Science at The Graduate Center of CUNY.
Haiti’s justice system functions in such paradoxical ways that it appears to reinforce impunity. Overcrowded jails are costly to maintain on an already tight budget while pretrial detention affects close to 90% of the prison population. Official executive rhetoric constantly reaffirms the independence of the judicial system when at the same time interference from Government and Parliament can free or detain defendants depending on their political ties. For the past twenty five years there has been an ongoing reform of the system on which millions are spent on international experts to review codes and procedures but with practically no results, while judges and prosecutors remain poorly trained, underpaid and subject to temptations and pressure by alleged criminals. What are the causes of such a persistent situation in times of dictatorship or of “democratic transition”? What is the meaning of “the rule of law” under such circumstances? What is the meaning of justice for a historically marginalized majority?

Friday, January 30, 2015: "Translating Aesthetics: Patterns of Interference," a discussion featuring Mary Ann Caws, Wayne Koestenbaum, and Joshua Wilner. 4pm. Room 4406.

The participants will take their own (unscripted) view of the topic, which has to do with both translational interest and issues and aesthetic issues and how they merge or conflict or whatever seems most interesting at the time - each has dealt with some variety of the issue or several thereof, and we will just chat about our dealings in this public dealing.

Participants include:

  • Mary Ann Caws (The Graduate Center, CUNY)
  • Wayne Koestenbaum (The Graduate Center, CUNY)
  • Joshua Wilner (The Graduate Center and City College, CUNY)
  • Alyson Waters (Yale University)

See more at: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Public-Programming/Calendar/Detail?id=29186#sthash.VTBXfmW9.dpuf .
 

Friday, Februray 13, 2015: "Sexual (Dis)continuities: A Graduate Student Conferece," organized by the Ph.D. Program in French. 8:45am-6pm. Martin E. Segal Theatre.

Foucault’s influence on the field of sexuality studies is undeniable, yet many scholars have taken him to task for his famous assertion that the nineteenth-century gave birth to the homosexual as “un personnage” whereas the sodomite was simply “un sujet juridique”. These distinctions between acts and persona, between alterity and continuum have been vigorously analyzed and debated by scholars in all areas of sexuality studies, including hetero-, homo- and queer sexualities. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick sharply criticized this divide as presupposing that the modern homosexual is a “coherent definitional field”, and that earlier sexual categories simply disappear as new ones take over. In taking Sedgwick's consideration that sexualities and sexual categories are always unstable and always ever imbricated in historical sexual typologies, eroticisms, and desires, this conference seeks to question the pertinence of the divisions between early modern and modern, modern and postmodern periods in regards to sexualities and their representations in French and Francophone literature.

Introduction by Dr. Francesca Canade Sautman
Keynote by Dr. Todd Reeser

Program details coming soon. Please check our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/frenchconference2015

Monday, March 23, 2015: "Futuristic Visions: Jules Verne, Nellie Bly, and the Flights of Imagination," a seminar with Professor Ali Nematollahy, bestselling author Matthew Goodman, and James Melo, ERC’s musicologist and Senior Editor at RILM. 5:30pm-7:30pm. Skylight Room.

Join us for an interdisciplinary seminar investigating the background and cultural context for Jules Verne’s futuristic visions, the reception of Verne’s writings in France and abroad, and the pioneering journey around the world undertaken by the enterprising American journalist Nellie Bly, who was determined to beat Verne’s own estimate in Around the World in Eighty Days. The aesthetics of French music from Verne’s time, especially the interest in exotic musical cultures prompted by the several Expositions Universelles in Paris, will be addressed as a parallel to the unknown worlds where Verne set his adventures.

Presented by the Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation, CUNY, and the Ensemble for the Romantic Century in connection with ERC’s theatrical concert From the Earth to the Moon at BAM To find out more about ERC’s theatrical concerts, visit our website: www.romanticcentury.org .

Ali Nematollahy is Associate Professor of French at Baruch College and the Graduate Center. He has published on nineteenth century literature and politics, such as Proudhon, Nietzsche's reception in France prior to 1900, Jules Vallès, Georges Darien, and Hugues Rebell among others and is currently working on the counter-revolutionary currents of the period of Directoire and Empire and their relations to early Romanticism.

Matthew Goodman is the author of three books, including most recently the national bestseller Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World. Eighty Days was a Barnes & Noble "Discover Great New Writers" selection, an Indie Next "Great Reads" selection, and an Amazon Best History Book of the Month; it has been translated into eight languages. Matthew Goodman is also the author of The Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York; and Jewish Food: The World at Table.

James Melo has written extensively for scholarly journals and music magazines in Brazil, Uruguay, Austria, and the United States, and has been invited to participate as a panel discussant in conferences in Indiana, New York, and Canada. He is the New York correspondent for the magazine Sinfonica in Uruguay, reviewer of music iconography for the journal Music in Art, and senior editor at RILM (Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale) at CUNY. He is the program annotator for the recordings of Villa-Lobos’s complete piano music and Camargo Guarnieri’s complete piano concertos and solo piano music on Naxos.

Friday, April 17, 2015: "Rewriting the Promethean Theft of Fire in Cyrano’s Les États et Empires de la lune," a talk by Professor Michael Taormina. 5pm. Room 4202.