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Charles William Johns and Marcos A. Norris

Cox, Gary, How to Be an Existentialist: Or How to Get Real, Get a Grip and Stop Making Excuses, (London: Bloomsbury, 2020) 144 pp. ISBN 9781350068988 £9.99 (paperback).

Wicks, Robert L. Introduction to Existentialism: From Kierkegaard to The Seventh Seal. (London: Bloomsbury, 2020) 240 pp. ISBN 9781474272520 £21.59 (paperback).

French and Italian Stoicisms: From Sartre to Agamben. Edited by Kurt Lampe and Janae Sholtz. (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021), 237 pp. ISBN 978-1-3500-8203-8 (hardcover).

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Certainty as Insanity

Lacanian Misrecognition and Sartrean Bad Faith

Constance De Meulder

Abstract

I examine the Lacanian concept of misrecognition (méconnaissance) by comparing it with the Sartrean notion of bad faith (mauvaise foi). I focus on Jacques Lacan's 1946 article ‘Presentation on Psychical Causality’ in which Lacan criticises organicist psychology for misrecognising the cause of madness to be essentially organic and consequently failing to distinguish between ‘mad’ and ‘true’ ideas. I argue that bad faith, discussed by Jean-Paul Sartre in Being and Nothingness in 1943—and referred to six times in the Écrits by Lacan—has essential similarities with misrecognition in the Lacanian sense. By juxtaposing these concepts, I argue that this early Lacanian text is marked by an existentialist attitude which views human reality—and madness—as meaningful and grounded in being.

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Alfred Betschart

François Noudelmann, Un tout autre Sartre (Paris: Gallimard, 2020), 206 pp. ISBN 978-2-07-288710-9. €18/e-book €13.

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John Gillespie and Katherine Morris

Imagination and the imaginary, both in life and in Sartre's treatment of these phenomena, seem so wide-ranging that it is hard to find your feet—what is in common between imagining the absent Pierre's face and imagining something never before seen? What role does imagination play in seeing someone in a portrait of them? What about in seeing Chevalier in Franconnay's imitation (or ‘performative simulation’) of him? Elad Magomedov's question is even trickier: how do we navigate the similarities and differences between Franconnay's Chevalier, Sartre's waiter's ‘playing at being a waiter’, and Jean-Claude Romand, ‘the “real” impostor who for fifteen years pretended to be a medical professional and ended up killing his entire family’?

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The Feel of the Past

Sartre on Memory and Imagination

Kathleen Lennon

Abstract

This article addresses the distinction which Sartre draws between memory and imagination. The article is in two parts. In the first part it is suggested that, in common with the distinction he draws between imagining and perceiving, the separation of memory and imagination is undermined by Sartre's own phenomenology. Memories are part of the family of imaginings to which Sartre directs us. Nonetheless, in the second part of the article, Sartre's distinction is revisited. The working of imagination in memory does not mean that we are making up our past. Utilising Barthes’ discussion, in Camera Lucida it is argued that memory provides a distinctive relation to our past, which makes evident to us what it is to live a life in time.

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From Jean-Paul Sartre to Critical Existentialism

Notes for an Existentialist Ethical Theory

Maria Russo

Abstract

This article examines Sartre's works in which his attempt to find an existentialist ethics is evident. Most of the clues to this project are to be found in texts published posthumously since during his lifetime he never managed to fulfil the promise he made at the end of Being and Nothingness. It will be argued that this existentialist ethics owes a strong debt to Kantian philosophy, even if it confronts more directly the historical dynamics of violence and oppression. Despite the fact that this project is unfinished and only sketched out, it is possible to ask what Sartre's direction of development would have been, pointing to the outline of a normative theory, Critical Existentialism, that could have its place in contemporary ethical debate.

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Performative and Eidetic Simulations

Three Imaginary Regimes

Elad Magomedov

Abstract

Different kinds of fakery and imposture can be differentiated by means of the imaginary regimes within which a performative simulation unfolds. Engaging with Sartre's analysis of the imaginary, we will identify three such regimes, calling them the objective, the reflective, and the phantasmatic. Each of these regimes involves its own kind of image and accordingly a specific type of simulation. It is proper to the objective image to attain dissimulation of the self by replacing the real with fiction. In the reflective regime, the real is not substituted by the imaginary, but rather contaminated by it. Finally, whereas the objective and the reflective regimes operate within the sphere of intentional (dis)simulation, the phantasmatic image carries us beyond Sartre's findings, as it shapes the very structure of pre-reflective disclosedness which provides the background for our projects.

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Madeline Woker, Caroline Ford, and Jonathan Gosnell

Owen White, The Blood of the Colony: Wine and the Rise and Fall of French Algeria (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2020).

Andrea E. Duffy, Nomad’s Land: Pastoralism and French Environmental Policy in the Nineteenth-Century Mediterranean World (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2019).

Charlotte Ann Legg, The New White Race: Settler Colonialism and the Press in French Algeria, 1860–1914 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2021)

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A “Capital of Hope and Disappointments”

North African Families in Marseille Shantytowns and Social Housing

Dustin Alan Harris

This article traces the history of specialized social housing for North African families living in shantytowns in Marseille from the early 1950s to the mid-1970s. During the Algerian War, social housing assistance formed part of a welfare network that exclusively sought to “integrate” Algerian migrants into French society. Through shantytown clearance and rehousing initiatives, government officials and social service providers encouraged shantytown-dwelling Algerian families to adopt the customs of France’s majority White population. Following the Algerian War, France moved away from delivering Algerian-focused welfare and instead developed an expanded immigrant welfare network. Despite this shift, some officials and social service providers remained fixated on the presence and ethno-racial differences of Algerians and other North Africans in Marseille’s shantytowns. Into the mid-1970s, this fixation shaped local social assistance and produced discord between the promise and implementation of specialized social housing that hindered shantytown-dwelling North African families’ incorporation into French society.

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Decorating Mothers, Defining Maternity

The Invention of the French Family Medal and the Rise of Profamily Ideology in 1920s France

Hannah M. Stamler

This article offers a detailed analysis of the symbolism and early operation of the Family Medal, a maternity award created by the French government in 1920. Launched at a time when the women’s rights were fiercely debated and when politicians feared for the longevity of the “French race,” this article claims the medal as a revealing tool of state efforts at gender and racial retrenchment. Honoring mothers who were moral and metropolitan, the medal represented an early attempt at institutionalizing a conservative and racialized vision of motherhood that would find fuller expression in the 1939 Family Code, itself a blueprint of Vichy family law.