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Conflicted Power of the Pen

The Impact of French Internment on the Pacifist Convictions and Literary Imagination of Lion Feuchtwanger

Nicole Dombrowski Risser

among former nationalist artists and previously patriotic intellectuals in both France and Germany. Pacifists sought to expose the material, spiritual, and corporal waste that lay in war’s wake. Already during the conflict, Feuchtwanger gained notoriety

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Ronald Aronson

By what incredible foresight did the most significant intellectual quarrel of the twentieth century anticipate the major issue of the twenty-first? When Camus and Sartre parted ways in 1952, the main question dividing them was political violence—specifically, that of communism. And as they continued to jibe at each other during the next decade, especially during the war in Algeria, one of the major issues between them became terrorism. The 1957 and 1964 Nobel Laureates were divided sharply over which violence most urgently demanded to be addressed and attacked—the humiliations and oppressions, often masked, that Sartre described as systematically built into daily life under capitalism and colonialism, or the brutal and abstract calculus of murder seen by Camus as built into some of the movements that claimed to liberate people from capitalist and colonial oppression.

The Sartre-Camus conflict remains, fifty years later, philosophically unresolved. And I would argue—against today's conventional wisdom so persistently asserted by Tony Judt—it is also historically unresolved, despite today.

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Gavin Rae

Sartre's phenomenological ontology discloses that understanding consciousness and its mode of being requires an analysis of its relation with other consciousnesses. The primordial manner in which the Other relates to consciousness is through the look. Sartre claims that consciousness tends to adopt a pre-reflective fundamental project that leads it to view the Other as a threat to its pure subjective freedom. This creates a conflictual social relation in which each consciousness tries to objectify the Other to maintain its subjective freedom. But Sartre also notes that consciousnesses can establish a social relation called the “we” in which each consciousness is a free subject. While certain commentators have noted that communication allows each consciousness to learn that the Other is not simply a threatening object but another subject, communication can only play this positive role if both consciousnesses have undergone a specific process called conversion. Only conversion brings consciousness to recognise, respect, and affirm the Other's practical freedom in the way necessary to create a we-relation. To support my argument, I spend significant time outlining what conversion and the social relations created post-conversion entail.

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Basil Kingstone

For over fifty years Francis Jeanson has been one of the world’s exemplary radical thinkers and actors. We Sartreans know him as the author of one of the earliest, and still most insightful, books on Sartre’s philosophy, Le Problème moral et la philosophie de Jean-Paul Sartre [Available in translation. See Sartre and the Problem of Morality, Bloomington, 1980], Sartre par lui-même, and Sartre dans sa vie, as well as of the review of Camus’ L’Homme révolté [The Rebel, New York, 1954] which instigated the Sartre/Camus break. Then came Algeria. As his biographer writes, “His intervention against the Algerian War shapes our collective destiny. Without Francis Jeanson, the resistance of French intellectuals to this colonial war would have been different” (Marie-Pierre Ulluoa, Francis Jeanson: un intellectuel en dissidence [Paris: Berg International, 2001], 244). At the beginning of the insurrection he and his first wife wrote a book about French colonialism and its effects on Algeria. He then organized the Jeanson network, the “porteurs des valises” who hid Algerian activists and deserters from the French army, and raised money for the FLN. In this role he lived underground for several years and was tried and sentenced in absentia to 10 years prison, a sentence which was only commuted at the end of the war. Jeanson was invited to Chalon-sur-Saône to direct its House of Culture and then worked as a philosopher participating in a continuing education program for psychiatrists in a mental hospital. He then returned to a small family house in Claouey, on the Bassin d’Arcachon, where he has continued to write and involve himself in such activities as the France-Sarajevo Association, which has encouraged a multi-ethnic Bosnia.

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Think Global, Fight Local

Recontextualizing the French Army in Algeria, 1954–1962

Terrence G. Peterson

, located just outside Paris, to brief France's allies on the developing conflict over Algerian independence. His tone was dire. For the last twelve years, he began, “the Communist bloc has won an almost continuous series of successes against the Free World

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Incarnation, Alienation, and Emancipation

A Sartrean Analysis of Filmic Violence

Daniel Sullivan

more, philosophical analysis of an individual conflict must follow a dialectical procedure that recognizes both of these aspects of the relationship between personal and structural violence. Two dialectical procedures are possible on the basis of an

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Roll Out the Barrel

French and Algerian Ports and the Birth of the Wine Tanker

Owen White

some ways the story told here might seem a familiar one: of labor conflict in the era of the Depression, and, in a broader sense, of the way technological innovation can produce both winners and losers. But this story also illuminates some easily

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Michael J. Monahan

In his Critique of Dialectical Reason, Sartre argues that it is the milieu of scarcity that generates human conflict. His account of scarcity is rather ambiguous however, and at points he seems to claim that conflict is inevitable given the context of scarcity. In this article I provide a brief account of Sartre's position, and offer a critical evaluation of that position. Finally, I argue that Sartre's claims regarding the necessity of conflict are excessive, and that the resources provided in the Critique offer a means to re-evaluate our relationship to scarcity.

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In Search of Lost Radicalism

The Hot Autumn of 2010 and the Transformation of Labor Contention in France

Marcos Ancelovici

This article asks whether the wave of protest in the fall of 2010 in France can be interpreted as evidence of persisting radicalism. It argues that, in spite of appearances, the French labor movement is no longer radical. This claim does not imply that industrial conflict is disappearing. Strong legacies and institutional processes still feed conflict in the workplace and often push workers to use contentious, extra-institutional means; but industrial conflict is not what it used to be, with the total number of working days lost to strikes decreasing steadily over the past forty years, and with conflict itself being reconfigured and transformed. Labor contention is no longer driven by an offensive agenda and has become essentially defensive. If there is radicalism left in France, it might be best described as a "radicalism of tradition." The article concludes by discussing the relevance of "radicalism" as an analytical category to make sense of labor contention in contemporary France.

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La naissance d'un géant

Arcelor-Mittal (1948-2006)

Éric Godelier

In 2006 a terrible fight pitted two steel makers, Mittal and Arcelor, against each other. Understanding the dynamic of this enormous takeover requires a historical perspective. The structure, business strategy, and corporate governance of these groups evolved over a long period of time. This article explores the conflict in the context of the history of French steel industry. An examination of Usinor, moreover, as the ancestor and creator of Arcelor, can reveal a lot about the political, social and economical influence of steel makers in French society. Understanding the conflict also calls for an analysis of how a large company could change its corporate culture. Instead of reducing corporate culture to individual or collective “values,” as Edgar Schein did some time ago, this article explores Usinor's culture as a system of representations, material elements, technologies, products and ways of doing and thinking.