Monthly Archives: February 2017

David Szalay – Creative Writing Reading Series

Creative Writing Reading Series

Thursday 23 February 2017

6.30pm at Reid Hall, in the Maison Verte

4 rue de Chevreuse, Montparnasse, Paris 75006

All welcome.

David Szalay


“Nine men. Each of them at a different stage of life, each of them away from home, and each of them striving – in the suburbs of Prague, beside a Belgian motorway, in a cheap Cypriot hotel – to understand just what it means to be alive, here and now. Tracing an arc from the spring of youth to the winter of old age, All That Man Is brings these separate lives together to show us men as they are – ludicrous and inarticulate, shocking and despicable; vital, pitiable, hilarious, and full of heartfelt longing. And as the years chase them down, the stakes become bewilderingly high in this piercing portrayal of 21st-century manhood.”

– Penguin Random House

David Szalay was born in Canada in 1974, but moved to London as a small child. He has published four novels: London and the South-East (which won the Betty Trask Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize), The Innocent, Spring, and most recently, All That Man Is, which was short-listed for the 2016 Man Booker Prize and won the 2016 Gordon Burn Prize. He currently lives in Budapest.

Claire Joubert – Politics of Translation

Politics of Translation: Translating Cultures

Claire Joubert

Saussure the ethnographer: Peoples, the popular, and non-identity in Europe

 Thursday 16 February 2017

6.30pm at Reid Hall, in the Grande Salle, all welcome

4 rue de Chevreuse, Montparnasse, Paris 75006

2016 celebrated the centenary of Ferdinand de Saussure’s Course in General Linguistic. This key work in the intellectual history of the twentieth century has traditionally generated an image of Saussure as a formalist theoretician and an abstractor of language, inspiring the Francophone structuralism which has now been widely critiqued, after having shaped and affected so much of European thinking from the late 1950s on, including English-language theory specifically.

Saussure’s lesser-known work on Germanic legends shows a strikingly different Sausure, engaged in ethnology and folkloristics and delving deep into social and cultural themes which, long after the debates of early nationalisms and their colonial developments, after the horror of World War Two and the violent fractures of Decolonisation, still preoccupy Europeans: what is a people, in the anthropological and conflict-laden fact of the plurality of peoples? And how do we think about the contemporary pressures bearing on the political notion of the people, in a context of advanced Globalisation, new patterns of migrations, and the current populist moment?

Claire Joubert, Professor of English Literature at Université Paris 8 and director of the interdisciplinary research programme “Poétique de l’étranger”, conducts research on the theoretical and political effects of the diversity of languages, exploring the critical issues raised by linguistic difference in the history of discourses on language, literature and culture. Her recent work engages with three terrains rich with the differentials within the English language itself: Indian literary history (Problèmes d’histoire littéraire indienne, co-edited with L. Zecchini, Revue de littérature comparée, special issue Oct-Dec. 2015), the history of Black Globalities, and the genealogy of Global Studies. Her last publications include Le Postcolonial comparé : anglophonie, francophonie (ed., PUV, 2015) and Critiques de l’anglais. Poétique et politique d’une langue mondialisée (Lambert-Lucas, 2015).