Emory Report

September 27, 1999

 Volume 52, No. 6

Colloquium will honor the late Jean-François Lyotard

Emory's French and Italian department will hold an international colloquium from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 to honor the work of the late French philosopher and Emory professor Jean-François Lyotard.

The event will begin Thursday, Sept. 30, with a keynote address by renowned philosopher Jacques Derrida, considered the father of "deconstructionism." His lecture, "Lyotard and Us," will explore who "us" and "we" means in today's society, a central concern of Lyotard's work, which long focused on the social and political problems intensified by the fragmentation of today's societies and the global interconnection of capital and media.

Scholars from the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris, the State University of New York at Binghamton and at Buffalo, the University of Notre Dame, the University of King's College, the University of Sussex and Emory will also give presentations.

In the years prior to his death on April 21, 1998, the controversial Lyotard, best known for his popularization of postmodernism, split his time between Paris and Atlanta, where he was a Woodruff Professor of Philosophy and French.

Lyotard introduced postmodernism into contemporary philosophical, political and literary discussions. The term had previously referred to an architectural movement that distanced itself from the more uniform and homogeneous spaces of classic and modern architecture. In his most famous book, The Postmodern Condition, the term "postmodernism" came to refer to the absence of a common idea of the "good" in today's heterogeneous societies.

Derrida's keynote address will be held at 4 p.m., Sept. 30, in 208 White Hall. The colloquium runs from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 1 and from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 2. All events on Oct. 1 and 2 will be held in the Carlos Museum Reception Hall.

For more information, call the French and Italian department at 404-727-6431.

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