Monthly Archives: January 2017

Laurent Binet – Creative Writing Reading Series

Creative Writing Reading Series

Laurent Binet 

Thursday 9 February 2017

6.30pm at Reid Hall, in the Salle de Conférence
4 rue de Chevreuse, Montparnasse, Paris 75006
All welcome.

Award-winner French author Laurent Binet will be reading from and talking about his book ‘The 7th function of language’ (2015), a story about Roland Barthes and the power of language. Binet’s novel starts with Barthes’ death, and assumes the death is an assassination. In the political and intellectual world of the time, everyone is a suspect…

“A brilliantly erudite comedy that recalls Flaubert’s Parrot and The Name of the Rose—with more than a dash of The Da Vinci CodeThe Seventh Function of Language takes us from the cafés of Saint-Germain to the corridors of Cornell University, and into the duels and orgies of the Logos Club, a secret philosophical society that dates to the Roman Empire. Binet has written both a send-up and a wildly exuberant celebration of the French intellectual tradition.” – Macmillan Publishers

Laurent Binet was born in Paris. His first novel, ‘HHhH’, was named one of the fifty best books of 2015 by The New York Times and received the Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman. He is a professor at the University of Paris III, where he lectures on French literature.

Anna Schaffner – Our Age of Exhaustion?


Warmly invite you to

Politics of Translation: Translating Cultures

Thursday 2 February 2017

6.30pm at Reid Hall, in the Grande Salle

4 rue de Chevreuse, Montparnasse, Paris 75006 (métro: Vavin)

All welcome

Anna-Katharina Schaffner:

Our Age of Exhaustion?


“The spectre of exhaustion appears to dominate our age. A particularly virulent form of cultural pessimism is evident in debates on the future of politics and the sustainability of both our economic and our ecological systems. Depression (which counts physical and mental exhaustion among its core symptoms) and burnout are now frequently diagnosed ailments. Depression affects more than 1 in 10 people in the Western world at some period in their lives and burnout is one of the three most commonly diagnosed complaints in the workplace. But is exhaustion really the bane of our age, a phenomenon intimately bound up with modernity and its discontents, or have other historical periods also seen themselves as the most exhausted? This lecture explores parallels and differences between past and present medical, theological and psychological discourses on exhaustion, paying particular attention to the ways in which theories of exhaustion tend to be combined with critiques of modernity.”

Anna Katharina Schaffner is Reader in Comparative Literature and Medical Humanities at the University of Kent. She has published on the histories of sexuality, psychology and medicine; modernism and the avant-garde; David Lynch; and Franz Kafka. Her most recent monographs are Exhaustion: A History (Columbia University Press, 2016) and Modernism and Perversion: Sexual Deviance in Sexology and Literature, 1850-1930 (Palgrave, 2012). She has also published a novel entitled The Truth About Julia (Allen & Unwin, 2016).

Fariba Hachtroudi: Creative Writing Reading Series


Thursday 26 January 2017

6.30pm at Reid Hall in the Grande Salle. All welcome.

4 rue de Chevreuse, Montparnasse, Paris 75006 (métro: Vavin)

Fariba Hachtroudi


Fariba Hachtroudi is a French-Iranian novelist, polemicist and political campaigner. Born in 1951, Fariba is the daughter of the prominent dissident Mohsen Hachtroudi and has continued her father’s struggle for freedom of expression and religious tolerance in Iran. She has written extensively on feminism and Islam, including the prize-winning Iran — Rivers of Blood. Her novels are informed by her political thought and personal experience, and explore themes of exile, torture and dissent. She will be speaking about her extraordinary life and her brilliant new novel, The Man Who Snapped His Fingers, in which the dictator of an unnamed Middle-Eastern country goes to horrifying lengths in order to control the population.

Click here to read more about other speakers in our Spring ’17 Creative Writing Reading Series