Author Archives: gg292

David Hockney: transatlantic artist

Politics of Translation: Translation of Cultures

David Hockney: transatlantic artist

Presented by Martin Hammer,

Professor of History and Philosophy of Art at the University of Kent.



With the major Hockney show coinciding with his 80th birthday about to arrive at the Pompidou, having attracted huge visitor numbers in London, this is a good moment to offer fresh thinking about what made his early art so distinctive, but also what concerns and attitudes he may have shared with his 1960s contemporaries. This talk will focus in particular on a comparative discussion of the work of Hockney and Ed Ruscha, born within a few months of one another, friends and fellow Los Angeles residents, who have both tended to be categorised as Pop Artists, and now number amongst the most famous painters on the planet. What, then, can we learn about well-known Hockneys such as Tea Painting in an Illusionistic Style (1961) and A Bigger Splash (1967) from juxtaposing them with Ruscha’s current production as painter and maker of photobooks?

 Tuesday 23 May 2017

6:30 pm at Reid Hall in the Grande Salle

4 rue de Chevreuse, Montparnasse, Paris 75006

All welcome.

Lee Ann Brown – Creative Writing Reading Series

Creative Writing Reading Series

 Wednesday 22 March 2017

6.30pm at Reid Hall, in the University of Kent in the Kent Paris  Seminar Room

4 rue de Chevreuse, Montparnasse, Paris 75006

All welcome.

Lee Ann Brown

“To paraphrase Lee Ann’s version of her own poetic genealogy: enthusiasm is the mother (‘We are the daughters of enthusiasm’), excitement the sister (‘Where are my excitement sisters’). Sappho, Emily Dickinson, and Gertrude Stein are among the many innovative godmothers who grace her work with their influential kisses. As a woman writer myself, I am grateful to Lee Ann for the way she unabashedly connects gender to knowledge. In her poems, knowing is knowing as a woman. Knowledge is pleasure. The life of the mind is refreshingly erotic. What was once deemed too trivial here shines.”

– Elaine Equi

Lee Ann Brown was born in Japan and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is the author of several works, including Other Archer, which also appears in French translation by Stéphane Bouquet as Autre Archère, In the Laurels, Caught, which won the 2012 Fence Modern Poets Series Award, and Polyverse, which won the 1996 New American Poetry Competition, selected by Charles Bernstein. In 1989, she founded Tender Buttons Press, which is dedicated to publishing experimental women’s poetry. She currently divides her time between New York City, where she teaches at St. John’s University, and Marshall, North Carolina.

Abdulrazak Gurnah: Rendered into English

Politics of Translation: Translating Cultures

Thursday 30 March 2017

7:00 pm at Reid Hall, in the University of Kent in the Grande Salle

4 rue de Chevreuse, Montparnasse, Paris 75006

All welcome.

Abdulrazak Gurnah: Rendered into English

A reflection on the implications of ‘rendering’ into English concepts and beliefs which derive from another culture and language, from the perspective of writing fiction and the issues that arise in this process.

Abdulrazak Gurnah was born in Zanzibar and is now best-known as a novelist. His fourth novel Paradise was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 1994. His latest novel is The Last Gift (2011). His main academic interest is in postcolonial writing and in discourses associated with colonialism, especially as they relate to Africa, the Caribbean and India. He has edited two volumes of Essays on African Writing, has published articles on a number of contemporary postcolonial writers, including Naipaul, Rushdie and Zoe Wicomb. He is the editor of A Companion to Salman Rushdie (Cambridge University Press 2007).

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).

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

Spring Term: Politics of Translation – Translating Cultures


in association with:

University of London Institute in Paris
Columbia Global Centers Paris
American University of Paris


Politics of Translation – Translating Cultures

Spring Term 2017

All seminars are at Reid Hall

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

2 February 2017                  Anna Schaffner                     Grande Salle

‘Our Age of Exhaustion’

16 February 2017                Claire Joubert                        Grande Salle

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

11 March 2017                    Ensemble Quintitus              Grande Salle

‘Soufflé Coupé : A Minute at Noon’, Chamber Music concert

30 March 2017                     Abdulrazak Gurnah              Grande Salle, 7 pm

‘Rendered into English’

23 May 2017                       Martin Hammer                      Grande Salle, 6:30pm

‘David Hockney: transatlantic artist’

— free and open to all —

Spring Term: Creative Reading Writing Series


Creative Writing Reading Series

Spring Term 2017

All readings are at 6.30pm at Reid Hall

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

26 January 2017                  Fariba Hachtroudi                 Grande Salle


9 February 2017                  Laurent Binet                         Salle de Conférence


23 February 2017                David Szalay                          Maison Verte


22 March 2017                     Lee Ann Brown                     Salle de Conférence

— free and open to all —