Upcoming Events at the Maison Française


The Department of French is happy to welcome Professors Aubrey Gabel and Camille Robcis as the newest members of its faculty. Aubrey Gabel is a specialist of contemporary French literature and visual culture. Her dissertation, “Serious Play: Formal Innovation and Politics in French literature from the 1950s to the present,” examines how literary games have been interwoven with political theory and practice. Camille Robcis is an intellectual and cultural historian of Modern Europe, principally of modern French culture and thought. Her book The Law of Kinship: Anthropology, Pyschoanalysis, and the Family in France (Cornell UP, 2013) has been celebrated as a groundbreaking study on how a network of influential discourses (anthropological, psychoanalytic, religious, legal, political, historiographical) have contributed to the structuring role in French public debate and policy of the heterosexual family.

Additions to the graduate student community (Fall 2018) are: Ellen Burns (Trinity College, Dublin); Zachary Desjardins-Mooney (McGill University); Jeanne Devautour (ENS Lyon); Anna Langewiesche (Kenyon College); Soraya Limare (ENS Paris); Katherine Manansala (Boston College); Kaitlyn Matrassi (Ithaca College); Noah Mintz (Vassar College); Nyi Nyi Ohn Mint (Bard College); Emily Paull (University of Michigan); André Pettman (University of Arizona).

Eliza Zingesser has been awarded the Malcolm Bowie Prize for her 2017 article “Pidgin Poetics:  Bird Talk in Medieval France and Occitania” published in New Medieval Literatures

March 23, 2018 French daily Les Echos features Souleymane Bachir Diagne in culture section.

March 9, 2018 French daily Les Echos publishes article on Antoine Compagnon.

Souleymane Bachir Diagne is a recipient of the 2018 Frantz Fanon Lifetime Achievement award. The awards ceremony will take place this June at the Caribbean Philosophical Association international conference (Shifting the Geography of Reason: Ways of Knowing, Past and Future) at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar.

The French Embassy honored Souleymane Bachir Diagne and Emmanuelle Saada with ceremony on December 4, 2017. Bénédicte de Montlaur, Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy, presented them with the insignia of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

In November, Thomas Dodman discussed war literature and soldiers' writings with French historian Nicola Beaupré at the Maison Française. He also gave talks on the history of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and on the medical history of nostalgia -- the topic of his forthcoming book -- at the Richardson History of Psychiatry Research Seminar at Cornell's Weill Medical College in NYC.

At this year’s Anton-Wilhelm-Amo-Lecture, Souleymane Bachir Diagne presented "Decolonizing the History of Philosophy" at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg on October 26.

Antoine Compagnon, at the Frankfurt Book Fair, gave an interview to the Spanish newspaper El Pais (published on October 7, 2017) on French literature, among other topics.

Joanna Stalnaker recently contributed a chapter entitled “Rousseau’s First Person” to A History of Modern French Literature, published by Princeton. A chapter on Rousseau and Diderot’s silent dialogue at the end of their lives appeared in the volume Thinking with Rousseau, published by Cambridge. She spoke alongside Jonathan Israel, Brian Klug and Richard Wolin at a symposium in Lund, Sweden on “What’s Left of the Enlightenment?” In addition to her regular teaching, she is currently offering a course for Columbia alumni on the literary self-portrait from Montaigne to Colette.


Recent Publications

What Nostalgia Was book jacket

Thomas Dodman's new book, What Nostalgia Was, tells the story of how people used to die of nostalgia, or a severe form of homesickness, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Les Chiffonniers de Paris book jacket

Antoine Compagnon has just published  a new book, Les chiffonniers de Paris (Gallimard, 2017), a rediscovery of the important figure of the rag-dealer as an economic agent, a social myth, and, above all, a textual presence, throughout the nineteenth century in French literature. 

Wealth and Disaster, book jacket

Pierre Force’s new book, Wealth and Disaster, is a trans-generational case study of two emigrants from the Pyrenees who settled as colonists in Saint-Domingue and whose white and mixed-race descendants were scattered across the Atlantic following the Haitian Revolution.