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Pierre Rosanvallon and Emmanuelle Saada in Conversation

General Programming

dateNovember 16, 2015 timeMonday, 5:00pm–6:45pm EST location Buell Hall, East Gallery (Maison Française), Columbia University

This event has been canceled. In its place, a vigil will begin at 5:30 pm at the Maison Française.

  • Maison Française
  • Emmanuelle Saada, Associate Professor of French at Columbia

The Heyman Center for the Humanities and the Maison Française at Columbia present an evening of conversation on French and American political thought with Pierre Rosanvallon, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Political History at the College de France, and Emmanuelle Saada, Associate Professor at Columbia University's Department of French and Romance Philology and Director of the Center for French and Francophone Studies. The discussion will center around Pierre Rosanvallon's project Raconter la vie (loosely translated as “telling life"), a collection of books and participatory website which tell the stories of ordinary people.

The project seeks to tell the story of ordinary lives, of voices heard small-scale with everyday aspirations taken into account. Raconter la vie wants to help make today's society more readable and to help individuals who compose it to fit into a collective history. In order to "tell the life" of all the diversity of experiences the collection welcomes entries and multiple approaches - those of the testimony of sociological analysis, journalistic investigation and ethnographic literature. In Raconter la vie all hierarchies "genres" or "styles" are abolished; crude words are considered as legitimate as the writings of writing professionals. Thus, invites each of us to relate to a facet of its existence, to exchange with those with whom we share a community of experience, and to listen to those we are far away from in the interests of mutual understanding. This virtual space welcomes all life stories equally and under the same conditions. Making them known and recognized, it gives them back their dignity.

  • Pierre Rosanvallon Professor of Modern and Contemporary Political History Collège de France
  • Emmanuelle Saada Associate Professor of French and Romance Philology; Director of the Center for French and Francophone Studies Columbia University