Archive for the 'translation' Category

What is utopia?

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

I’ve been thinking about what counts as utopian in my research site, and happened to come across a handy definition by René Schérer, now an emeritus professor. It’s from an interview, “Utopia as a way of living“, that appeared in in l’Humanité in 2007. Je définis l’utopie comme de l’ordre du non-réalisable mais cela n’empêche […]

La vie active and French right-wing vocationalism

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

The always useful website of Sauvons L’Université has just published the text of a curious proposal in the French Senate for a new law that would require all French students pursuing a traditional high school or university degree to also study for a vocational diploma. The proposal has some interesting remarks on what a university is: […]

A campus controversy

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Over in France, there’s a controversy brewing over a conference on Israel that was going to be held at Paris-8 next week. It’s been covered in a range of newspapers. The gist is that the conference, subtitled “Israel, an apartheid state?”, had been authorized to be held on campus, but when a major French Jewish […]

Losing the Excellence Sweepstakes

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

In France, one way that the Sarkozy government has been financing major projects on universities is with a large loan it took out in 2010, termed the “Grand Emprunt.” (I would translate this as “major loan” — “grand loan” would sound a bit silly in English.) Part of the funds have been directed towards so-called […]

“Nothing left but the fac”

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

I’ve just started reading the most prominent book on French university reforms of the past year, Refonder L’Université: Pourquoi l’enseignement supérieur reste à reconstruire, which translates to “Refounding the University: Why higher education awaits reconstruction.” It came out last October from La Découverte, and has spawned debate at, for instance, ARESER (the Association of Reflection […]

Rage, repetition and incomprehension in precarious work

Monday, June 6th, 2011

The following is the text of an open letter sent to the President of the University of Paris-8 by a teacher in visual arts. She’s losing her job because of a particularly Kafkaesque circumstance: she doesn’t make enough money from art to maintain her tax status as an artist, and in France there’s a regulation […]

Testimonial from French protests

Monday, October 25th, 2010

So as everyone who reads the news has probably heard, there has been a major “social movement” here the last few weeks, basically opposing the government’s reform of the pension system. There have been a number of street protests, major strikes of public transit and railroad workers, and fuel shortages because of industrial strikes. I’m […]

Academic activism flier, september 2010

Monday, September 13th, 2010

I confess I’m not sure this will really interest anyone besides me, but on the off chance… this is a quick translation of the higher education flier that accompanied the street demonstration I wrote about a few days ago. It’s useful if you want to get a sense of what oppositional faculty are talking about. […]

Fictitious seminar on imaginary disobedience

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

I’ve been reading some listserve archives from the 2009 strikes and I came across a mocking proposal for an alternative seminar. I don’t think the somewhat heavy-handed irony is likely to get lost in translation. Hello, You will find below a proposal for an alternative seminar. A seminar titled “The expression of social malaise” will […]

Philosophizing in senior year?

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

I met an interesting professor in Aix earlier this spring, Joëlle Zask, who has worked on Dewey and early 20th century culture theory (she suggested the Sapir article I mentioned earlier this spring). Here I want to translate a short interview she did in 2007 with a monthly culture magazine in Marseille called Zibeline. Philosophy, […]