11-12 May 2018
09:00 - 17:00
University Park campus
£80 (inc dinner on the Friday night)
Reduced rate of £50 for postgraduate students/retired/ unwaged
Dr Chris Reynolds, Nottingham Trent University
Gabriel Albiac, Universidad Complutense, Madrid
In addition to a keynote lecture by Chris Reynolds, the conference will include a screening of Dominique Beaux’s new documentary film, Mai 68, un étrange printemps, and a Q&A with the director.
Department of Modern Languages and Cultures
The events of May 1968 were, in one sense, uniquely French. The alliance of students and workers, the Situationist occupations and even the slogans of les événements had a pronounced Gallic accent. And yet, writing precisely in 1968, it was a French-Algerian philosopher who recalled that the month of April that year coincided with ‘the weeks of the opening of the Vietnam peace talks and of the assassination of Martin Luther King’. If this conference is thus a commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of a recognizably French historic month, it is at the same time an interrogation of the memory of events that took place that year in cities other than Paris (Prague, Mexico City, Río) and in countries other than France.
What were the global socio-political but also artistic and intellectual antecedents of the uprisings of May ’68? What were its synergies with Marxism and Maoism, and with revolutionary militancy and Third World movements of national liberation? How was the French nouvelle critique (itself indebted to a certain German tradition and elaborated by intellectuals whose origins frequently lay beyond French borders) shaped by the events, and indeed how did it shape them? How might one trace the global impact of May ’68 through to the present day? What are its legacies, as one says these days—legacies understood not as bequests that one receives intact, objectively, but rather as inheritances that remain to be sifted, deciphered, worked through and criticized? And how have the various languages of May ’68 been appropriated by formal politics, either on the left or on the right?
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