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september, 2017

22sep12:15 pmThe Resistance of Translation: Gender Studies Today with Anne Berger


Event Details

From the start, women’s and gender studies developed along a transatlantic epistemological and geopolitical axis. An interdisciplinary field, they required and fostered difficult conversations between disciplines which had each developed their own conceptual language. They are thus centrally concerned with crossing(s), whether crossing(s) functions as a political goal, a meta-metaphor for the field’s variegated theoretical endeavor, or as the name of a multi-faceted epistemological problem. This workshop focuses on the problem of translation as a form and act of crossing in the geopolitical context of globalization. It asks whether translation, a neo-humanist practice of transnational exchange premised on the irreducibility of idioms and the hospitality to differences can withstand the homogenizing pull of globalization. And it asks what the collapse of differences might do to an intellectual, political and social field whose very “raison d’être” has been and continues to be the excavation of unrecognized or unwanted differences and the promotion of plurality.

About the Speaker

Formerly professor of French Literature at Cornell University, Anne Emmanuelle Berger is now Distinguished Professor of French literature and Gender Studies at Paris 8 University (Vincennes Saint-Denis). Co-founder and director of the CNRS backed national network Institut du Genre between 2012 and 2016, she currently heads the newly founded research unit LEGS (Laboratoire d’études de genre et de sexualité, CNRS/ Université Paris Lumières [Paris 8 / Paris Nanterre]). Initially a specialist of 19th-century French poetry, Enlightenment literature and 20th-century French thought, she has been writing mainly for the past ten years on the epistemology and intellectual history of the field of gender and sexuality studies in the Western world, the intersections between gender and postcolonial theories,  the politics of language(s), and the relations between literature, philosophy and politics. Her latest book, Le Grand Théâtre du genre. Identités, sexualités et féminisme en ‘Amérique’ (Paris: Belin, 2013) came out in English in 2014 under the title The Queer Turn in Feminism. Identity, Sexuality and the Theater of Gender (Fordham University Press). She is currently completing with Marta Segarra a manuscript on the cultural and political history of French women’s literature and its reception in France in the 20th-century, forthcoming at Gallimard in 2018.


(Friday) 12:15 pm


IRWGS Seminar Room, 754 Schermerhorn Ext

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The Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality is the locus of interdisciplinary feminist and queer scholarship and teaching at Columbia University.

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