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From Violence to Action: the Blindspot of Contemporary Radical Politics in the West

From Violence to Action: the Blindspot of Contemporary Radical Politics in the West
1 Devonshire Place, Munk School of Global Affairs, Room 208N
Time: Sep 17th, 3:30 pm End: Sep 17th, 4:30 pm
Interest Categories: United States Studies, Political Science, French and Linguistics (UTSC), French (FAS), Critical Theory, Canada, 2000-
Lecture by François Cusset, American Studies, Nanterre

The Centre des Études de la France et du Monde Francophone is pleased to present:

François Cusset, American Studies, Nanterre

From Violence to Action: The Blindspot of contemporary radical politics in the West

A writer, publisher, translator, scholar in contemporary philosophy and political theory, and reknown intellectual historian, François Cusset is professor of American Studies at the University of Western Paris (Nanterre), and teaches seminars in various graduate schools and art institutions throughout Europe. A former director of the French Publishers' Agency in New York, he first specialized in transatlantic intellectual exchange, helping to introduce in France American critical theory and gender studies, and putting together the most comprehensive history to date of French Theory in North America and its far-reaching political and epistemological consequences (with a book translated into twelve languages as of now). He more recently extended his area of investigation to the larger field of contemporary political and intellectual history worldwide – with, among other books, a history of the neoconservative revolutions of the 1980s, an essay on the ritualized commemoration of May 68 and other 1960s rebellions, a collective cultural history of the 1990s, and two generational novels infused by a sense of emergency and revolutionary nostalgia which questions the specific powerlessness felt in our present historical moment. A pioneering critic of France's form of abstract universalism, in the name of our tense postcolonial situation and new types of identity politics, he devotes both his academic research and his literary endeavors to a general confrontation of such an unprecedented context (relative decline of Western hegemony yet global upholding of neoliberalism in times of financial crisis and social turmoil) with the major concepts of emancipation and social change inherited from Western modernism – and what is left of them.

Main publications
Queer Critics: la littérature française déshabillée par ses homolecteurs, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2002.
Eng. tr.: The Inverted Gaze, Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Publishers, 2011.

French Theory: Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze et Cie et les mutations de la vie intellectuelle aux Etats-Unis, Paris: La Découverte, 2003 (paperback 2005).
Eng. tr.: French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze & Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008 (also translated into Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Serbian, Greek, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Rumanian).

La Décennie: le grand cauchemar des années 1980, Paris: La Découverte, 2006 (paperback 2008).

(with Mike Davis) Le Stade Dubai du capitalisme, Paris: Les Prairies ordinaires, 2007 Contre-discours de Mai: ce qu'embaumeurs et fossoyeurs de 68 ne disent pas à ses héritiers, Paris et Arles: Actes Sud, 2008.

A l'abri du déclin du monde (novel), Paris: P.O.L, 2012.

(ed.), Une histoire (critique) des années 1990: de la fin de tout au début de quelque chose, Paris et Metz: La Découverte and Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2014.

Les jours et les jours (novel), Paris: P.O.L, 2015.

This event is free and open to all.  Registration is not required.  For further information, please contact the Centre des Études de la France et du Monde Francophone at (416) 585-4431.

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