Julia Kristeva

Within the context of the French Presidency of the European Union

The Speaker

Known throughout the world, Julia Kristeva is one of the most brilliant French philosophers and psychoanalysts of our era. In the 1960s, she actively participated in French intellectual life, known thereafter in the United States as "French Theory," with such important figures as Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, and Philippe Sollers.

She invented the notion of intertextuality and worked on the relationship between semiotics and psychoanalysis. She taught semiotics for several years at the State University of New York.

She also became a central figure in international feminism, with works including Le génie féminin: Hannah Arendt (Fayard, 1999); Mélanie Klein, (Gallimard-Folio, 2003); and Seule, Une Femme (L'Aube, 2007). Her research is at the convergences of literature, linguistics, and psychoanalysis, with additional titles that include Le Langage, cet inconnu. Une initiation à la linguistique, Points Seuil, 1969; Recherches pour une sémanalyse Seuil, 1969; and Les Nouvelles Maladies de l'âme , Fayard, 1993.

Julia Kristeva is a professor at the Institut universitaire de France and teaches at the Université de Paris 7-Denis Diderot, and is a card-carrying member of the Société Psychoanalytique de Paris.

She also teaches in the United States and Canada, often at the New School for Social Research in New York.

In 2004, based on the entirety of her work, Julia Kristeva was the first recipient of the prestigious Holberg Prize established by the Norwegian government to honor human and social sciences. In 2006, she was awarded the Hannah Arendt Award.

She has received several French honors as well, and is currently Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (1987), Officier de l'Ordre National du Mérite (2004), and is an Officier de la Légion d'Honneur (2008).


Emergence of a European cultural identity: fact or fiction?
Within the context of the French Presidency of the European Union, Julia Kristeva offers to discuss the emergence of a European cultural identity beyond the diversity of languages and cultural heritages. If, as Hannah Arendt puts it best, the core of politics is to make the singular appear in the plurality of connections, how do you explain in a new way the paradox of particularities versus universality measured by the yardstick of European construction?

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