French Natures

"French Natures" is a conference/festival co-organized by Frédérique Aït-Touati (CRAL-EHESS/CNRS) and Phillip John Usher (New York University) taking place at New York University on 26 and 27 October 2018.

Each culture maps its understanding of the physical world (nature, physis) in different ways. This conference-festival  thus asks: what do French and Francophone literature, film, visual art, theater, and philosophy make of our planet? How can they help us understand our world marked by environmental catastrophe?

As part of this conference-festival, French Natures is sponsoring the US première of Bruno Latour’s Inside, in New York, October 26, 2018. Details here.


Friday October 26 (La Maison Française, Washington Mews)

9.30: Opening Words

Frédérique Aït-Touati (CRAL [EHESS, CNRS]) and Phillip John Usher (NYU)(conference organizers)

Sarah Kay (Professor and Chair of French Literature, Thought and Culture, and Director of the NYU Center for French Language and Cultures)

Carolyn Dinshaw (Silver Professor; Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and English; NYU Dean for Humanities)

10.00-11.15: Our Troubled Planet. Chair: Phillip John Usher (NYU)

The World on Fire
Peggy McCracken (University of Michigan)

Dialectics of Meteors
Frédéric Neyrat (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

11.15-11.30: Break

11.30-1.15: Smokiness and Lightness Chair: TBA

Visualizing the Nature of Northern French Smokestacks from Dubigny to Pissarro
Daniel Finch-Race (Bristol University)

The Unbearable Lightness of Ecology
Pauline Goul (Vassar College)

1.15-2.30: Break

2.30-4.15: Fields and Beaches. Chair: Peder Anker (Gallatin, NYU)

Being on Earth, or The Cosmic Agriculture
Emanuele Coccia (EHESS)

Queer Ecology and the Modernist Beach
Hannah Freed-Thall (NYU)

4.15-4.30: Break

4.30-5.30: Pamela H. Smith, Making and Knowing: Material Imaginaries of the Early Modern (Columbia)

7.30: Bruno Latour, US-première of Inside (For more information, click here.) (Tickets required- click here to receive an email as soon as they go on sale.)


Saturday October 27 (La Maison Française, Washington Mews)


9.30-10.00: Reading of Olivier Kemeid’s Aeneid. Directed by Judy Miller (NYU) and Rachel Watson (NYU)

10.00-10.15: Break

10.15-11.45: Theatrical Natures Roundtable. Chair: Judy Miller (NYU) Featuring: Frédérique Aït-Touati (CRAL [EHESS, CNRS]), Una Chaudhuri (NYU), Sarah Cameron Sunde (director, New York).

12.00-1.00: Outing to Earth Room with Robin Joyce. The Earth Room has been open to the public (for free) since 1980 (Details and directions  here).

1.45-3.15: Territories (1). Chair: Hannah Freed-Thall (NYU)

Paysages de  France et paysage français dans la littérature (française) du XX ème siècle
Eugène Nicole (NYU)

Theological-Political Arborescences: Louis Dorléans’s La plante humaine
Rose Gardner (Columbia University)

3.15-3.30: Break

3.30-4.45: Territories (2). Chair: Jeanne Etelain (NYU)

Wild Diplomacy. Cohabiting With the Others Among Us
Baptiste Morizot (Université Aix-Marseille)

On the Exterranean
Phillip John Usher (NYU)

4.45-5.00: Break

5.00-6.45: Future Perspectives for Cohabitation on the Earth. Chair: Sarah Kay (NYU)

French Zoopoetics: Animals at the Intersection of Nature, Language, and Ethics
Anne Simon (CRAL [EHESS, CNRS])

Ferality in the Arts: Visualizing the Next Nature
Bénédicte Ramade

Reading Ecologically with Posthuman Cultures
Stéphanie Posthumus (McGill University)


Organization : The Center for French Language and Cultures, New York University.

Sponsors  : The Cultural Services of the French Embassy, NYU Center for French Language and Cultures, The Florence Gould Foundation, Centre de Recherches sur les Arts et le Langage (EHESS, CNRS), Department of French Literature, Thought and Culture (NYU), The NYU Center for the Humanities, La Maison Française NYU.


More informations

  • Vendredi 26 octobre 2018 - 09:00 - Samedi 27 octobre 2018 - 19:00
  • La Maison Française of New York University - 16 Washington Mews, New York NY 10003
Frederique Ait-Touati