Department of French and Romance Philology  




Philosopher en islam et en christianisme (Les éditions du cerf), Philippe Capelle-Dumont and Souleymane Bachir Diagne, with Damien Le Guay.
Professor Souleymane Bachir Diagne’s L’encre des savants: réflexions sur la philosophie en Afrique has been translated into English by Jonathan Adjemian and published by CODESRIA.
Philip Watts' book, Roland Barthes' Cinema, edited by Dudley Andrew, Yves Citton, Vincent Debaene, and Sam Di Iorio, offers the first systematic English-language critical treatment of Barthes' writing on cinema. It includes nine translated texts written by Barthes about cinema, as well as an exclusive interview with Jacques Rancière.
Romanic Review
Issue 105.3-4 of the Romanic Review includes a special cluster "Proust Reread", edited by Elisabeth Ladenson, based on Columbia French department conference, held in October 2013: Proust Reread/ Proust Relu. Du côté de chez Swann at 100.
Philip Watts left a near complete manuscript of his book Le Cinéma de Roland Barthes when he died in 2013. This manuscript was edited for publication by four colleagues and friends, Vincent Debaene, Sam Di Iorio, Dudley Andrew and Yves Citton. Translated into French by Phil's wife Sophie Queuniet, the book was published by De l’incidence éditeur to critical acclaim.
Romanic Review
The issue 105.1-2 of the Romanic Review is a tribute to Philip Watts, by colleagues and friends who wanted to pay homage to Phil not only for his unparalleled human qualities, but also in recognition of his life as a scholar. It is divided into three parts: a cluster on the memory of World War II in contemporary French culture; a set of tributes “Reading (with) Phil Watts”; the republication of a 2011 article by Phil Watts on "Camus and film".
Baudelaire, l'irreductible
We are pleased to announce the publication of Professor Antoine Compagnon's new book on Baudelaire.
Romanic Review
Issue 104.3-4 of the Romanic Review includes a special Cluster "Thinking the Postcolonial in French", co-edited by Madeleine Dobie and Emmanuelle Saada, with contributions by Daho Djerbal, Dorris Garraway, Christopher Miller and Gayatri Spivak.

Far Afield
French Anthropology between Science and Literature

We are pleased to announce the English-language translation of Professor Vincent Debaene's book L'Adieu au voyage. Far Afield: French Anthropology between Science and Literature just came out with the University of Chicago Press; the translation is by Justin Izzo.
Romanic Review
Romanic Review, Vol. 104.1-2 (January – March 2013)

Antoine Compagnon
Une question de discipline

We are pleased to announce the publication of a book-length interview with Professor Antoine Compagnon.

Romanic Review
Professor Joanna Stalnaker co-edits special issue of the Romanic Review on Eighteenth Century Authorship.
L'Histoire littéraire des écrivains
We are pleased to announce the publication of "L'Histoire littéraire des écrivains", co-edited by Professor Vincent Debaene.
Relire Mayotte Capécia
Professor Madeleine Dobie republishes and comments on Mayotte Capécia's novels.


Empire's Children
Race, Filiation, and Citizenship in the French Colonies

University of Chicago Press

We are pleased to announce the English-language translation of Professor Emmanuelle Saada's book. "Empire's Children: Race, Filiation, and Citizenship in the French Colonies" was published in February by the University of Chicago Press with a translation by Arthur Goldhammer.


Claude Lévi-Strauss
l'homme au regard éloigne


We are pleased to announce the Turkish language translation of Professor Vincent Debaene’s book Claude Lévi-Strauss: l'homme au regard éloigné (co-authored with Frédéric Keck).

Lesbianismo en Proust

We are pleased to announce the Spanish language translation of Professor Elisabeth Ladenson's book Proust's Lesbianism.

Bergson postcolonial
L’élan vital dans la pensée de Léopold Sédar Senghor et de Mohamed Iqbal



"Bergson postcolonial" (Souleymane Bachir Diagne) is a study of the importance of the philosopher Henri Bergson in the thought of Léopold Sédar Senghor and Mohamed Iqbal. Senghor and Iqbal both played a fundamental role in the independence of their nations and both found in Bergson's theories a support for their own thought. For Iqbal, Bergson's thought served in the reconstruction of the religious philosophy of Islam while for Senghor Bergson's theories of the "élan vital” helped in the development of an African becoming.

Trading Places
Colonization and Slavery in Eighteenth-Century French Culture

Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010.


In Trading Places, Professor Madeleine Dobie explores the place of the colonial world in the culture of the French Enlightenment. She shows that until a turning point in the late 1760s questions of colonization and slavery occupied a very marginal position in literature, philosophy, and material and visual culture. In an exploration of the causes and modalities of this silence, Dobie traces the displacement of colonial questions onto two more familiar—and less ethically challenging—aspects of Enlightenment thought: exoticization of the Orient and fascination with indigenous Amerindian cultures.

L’Adieu au voyage
L'ethnologie française entre science et littérature

Gallimard "Bibliothèque des sciences humaines", 2010.


In L’Adieu au voyage, just released by Gallimard’s Bibliothèque des Sciences Humaines series, Professor Vincent Debaene illuminates the double book tradition central to French ethnography. Upon return from the field, the ethnographer often produces both a specialized monograph devoted to a certain rite or linguistic family, and a more “literary” account of his experience, aimed towards a more general audience. In addition to his 1940 Ethnology of Easter Island, for example, Alfred Métraux wrote L’Île de Pâques, published by Gallimard the following year. Seven years after The Social and Familial Life of Nambikwara Indians (1948), Claude Lévi-Strauss published Tristes tropiques (1955). Michel Leiris, Marcel Griaule and Jacques Soustelle offer additional examples of a tradition that continues to this day. Why two books? asks Debaene. Why do ethnographers feel the need for a “literary” supplement to their scientific texts? In addressing these questions, L’Adieu au voyage reveals the reciprocal fascination of French writers with anthropology and of French ethnographers with literature. As Debaene demonstrates these vexed, yet productive relationships between anthropology and literature provide a window onto 20th-century French intellectual history, from André Breton and Marcel Mauss to Jacques Derrida and Claude Lévi-Strauss.

The Unfinished Enlightenment
Description in the Age of the Encyclopedia

Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010.

Congratulations to Professor Joanna Stalnaker on the publication of her new book: "The Unfinished Enlightenment: Description in the Age of the Encyclopedia" (Cornell University Press, 2010). In "The Unfinished Enlightenment,"Joanna Stalnaker offers a fresh look at the French Enlightenment by focusing on the era's vast, collective attempt to compile an ongoing and provisional description of the world. Through a series of readings of natural histories, encyclopedias, scientific poetry, and urban topographies, the book uncovers the deep epistemological and literary tensions that made description a central preoccupation for authors such as Buffon, Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Diderot, Delille, and Mercier.
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