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Sartre and Atheism: An Introduction to the Round-Table Discussion of Ronald Aronson’s Living Without God

Adrian van den Hoven

While reading Ron Aronson’s illuminating guide to the secular life, it struck me that, given the context, an exploration of the topic of Sartre and atheism was very much in order.

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Notice Board

The Notice Board seeks to publicise all matters relating to Sartre scholarship, most importantly publications, but also higher degrees (in progress or completed), forthcoming seminars and conferences. We are also pleased to publish conference reports and other Sartre news.

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Beauvoir, Kinsey, and Mid-Century Sex

Judith G. Coffin

This essay considers the near simultaneity of The Second Sex and Alfred C. Kinsey's reports on sexual behavior. It shows how reviewers in both France and the United States paired the studies; it asks how that pairing shaped the reception of The Second Sex; and it situates the studies in their larger historical context—a moment in which sexuality commanded new and much broader attention. An ever-widening number of disciplines, institutions, sectors of mass culture, and representatives of an expanding consumer economy (from studies of the authoritarian personality or juvenile delinquency to advertising) insisted that sexuality was key to their concerns and enterprises. The ways in which sexuality might be understood multiplied—to the point where an allencompassing notion of “sex” collapsed, giving way, eventually, to a plurality of terms: sexuality, sex roles, and gender.

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Biographers of Paris

Cultural Approaches to the Modern City

Victoria E. Thompson

Hollis Clayson, Paris in Despair: Art and Everyday Life under Siege (1870-71) (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2002).

Mary Gluck, Popular Bohemia: Modernism and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005).

Patrice Higonnet, Paris: Capital of the World, translated by Arthur Goldhammer (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002).

Alistair Horne, Seven Ages of Paris: Portrait of a City (London: Macmillan, 2002).

Colin Jones, Paris: The Biography of a City (New York: Viking, 2004).

Nicholas Papayanis, Planning Paris before Haussmann (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004).

Pierre Pinon, Paris, biographie d’une capitale (Paris: Hazan, 1999).

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Book Reviews

Alice L. Conklin Les Enfants de la colonie: Les métis de l’Empire français entre sujétion et citoyenneté by Emmanuelle Saada

Jason Earle Surrealism and the Art of Crime by Jonathan P. Eburne

Paul Jankowski Reconciling France against Democracy: The Croix de Feu and the Parti Social Français, 1927–1945 by Sean Kennedy

Jean-Philippe Mathy French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States by François Cusset

David Lepoutre La France a peur. Une histoire sociale de l'« insécurité » by Laurent Bonelli

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The Death of Maternity?

Simone de Beauvoir's A Very Easy Death

Christie McDonald

Contrasting the view of motherhood in Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex with the description of her mother's illness and death in A Very Easy Death, this essay examines the revelation of feelings previously unexplored in the relationship to her mother. Faced with a life-shattering experience, Beauvoir revisits issues not only about motherhood and maternity from her philosophical and sociological study, but her own feelings about her mother and disturbing ways in which doctors and families withheld knowledge from the dying in the mid-twentieth century.

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Ethics and Violence

Simone de Beauvoir, Djamila Boupacha, and the Algerian War

Judith Surkis

This article situates Simone de Beauvoir's involvement in the case of Djamila Boupacha, an FLN militant who was tortured by the French Army in 1960, in the context of the repeated revelations of torture in course of the Algerian War. Drawing on Beauvoir's writings on ethics and other contemporary denunciations of torture, the essay illuminates how Beauvoir worked to overcome wide-spread public “indifference.” By focusing public attention on the Army's sexually degrading treatment of Boupacha, Beauvoir figured torture as a source of feminine and feminizing national shame.