I’ve been reading lately about the French Women’s Liberation Movement, which had its first public event in 1970, at the University of Paris 8, which would become my primary French fieldsite. In its early days, the university was called the Centre Universitaire Expérimental de Vincennes (Experimental University Center at Vincennes). It was located east of Paris amidst the woods of a major city park. It was notorious for overcrowding. It was notorious for far-left activist “frenzy,” which stemmed from the political movements of 1968.
I was not surprised to find out that in the 1970s, sexism and rape culture were major problems among the male-dominated French far left. They remain issues on French campuses today.
Continue reading “Sexist anti-feminism in the French Left, 1970”
The book project that I’m working on, Disappointed Utopia: Radical Philosophy in Postcolonial France, is basically an ethnographic study of “French Theory.” The book’s preface tries to explain why, at this point in history, we would still be interested in an ethnography of that. And the answer, in short, is that the historical problems of “French Theory” are not so different from our own (in Anglophone anthropology, if that who “we” is here).
So here is a little excerpt from the preface that explores the relationship between French Theory and the recent controversy over the HAU journal in my field.
Continue reading “The politics of HAU and French Theory”