Published by Amy Martin on 27 Mar 2014

The Results Are In!

The FPSA officers for 2014-2015 will be:

Executive committee representatives: Thomas Muzart, Allison Faris

  • Alternates: Parfait Kouacou, Marguerite Van Cook

Chair, FPSA: Thomas Muzart

Graduate Council Rep: Phillip Griffith (2014-2017, 2-year term)

Secretary, FPSA: Amy Martin

Faculty Membership committee: Chris Brandon, Ashley Williard

  • Alternates: Mariana Goycoechea, Patricia Winter

Admissions and Awards committee: Phillip Griffith, Eric Lynch

  • Alternates: Lisa Karakaya, Marguerite Van Cook

Curriculum committee: Chris Brandon, Eric Lynch

  • Alternates: Frederic Baitinger, Amy Martin

Student Elections committee: Frederic Baitinger, Amy Martin, Antoinette Williams-Tutt

FPSA Alumni Relations ad-hoc committee: Amy Martin, Antoinette Williams-Tutt

Congratulations to our new representatives!

Published by Amy Martin on 25 Feb 2014

March 3rd FPSA Meeting

Meeting 3 March 2014 Sign

Published by Amy Martin on 12 Feb 2014

USS Scholarships – Application due April 7th

The University Student Senate (USS) is pleased to announce their Ernesto Malave Merit, Graduate Peer Mentoring, and Donald and Mary Ellen Passantino Scholarships competition.

One Ernesto Malave Merit Scholarship of $1500.00 will be awarded to a Graduate Center student in good academic standing with a 3.5 and above demonstrating outstanding academic and leadership performance under extraordinary circumstances.

The Donald and Mary Ellen Passantino Awards are for Graduate Center students with a disability and / or international students that have at least a 2.5 GPA. One Donald and Mary Ellen Passantino Award of $750.00 shall be awarded to a student with a disability and one to an international student. This scholarship recognizes international students and students with disabilities who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship and enthusiastic leadership and service under extraordinary circumstances.

In 2013, the University Student Senate of the City University of New York established the Graduate Peer Mentoring Scholarship. The scholarship awards $1000.00 to one student per campus, per academic year for demonstrating a tremendous effort to help other graduate students through academic support, professional development, and leadership development within their college community.

Applicants can apply to only one scholarship per academic year (either the Ernesto Malave Merit, Graduate Peer Mentoring, or the Donald and Mary Ellen Passantino Scholarship).

All applications must be received by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue – Room 7301– New York, New York 10016, byApril 7.

Please see the scholarship application forms.


Published by Amy Martin on 07 Dec 2013


FPSA Flag Logo

The French Program Student Association will be holding the third meeting of the semester on Wednesday, December 11 at 12pm in room 5489.

The first order of business is always to approve the proposed agenda and the previous meeting’s minutes, so be sure to review both before arriving. They’re both posted under the FPSA & DSC tab. Before we approve the agenda, anyone can motion to add, remove or edit items–so please feel free to suggest important ideas that might require some decision making or discussion by the group.

See you there!

Published by Amy Martin on 28 Oct 2013

Conférence@934 – “US Media’s Coverage of France”

US Media’s Coverage of France

Steven Erlanger    

London bureau chief for The New York Times, previous bureau chief in Paris

Laure Mandeville

Chief US correspondent for Le Figaro in Washington


Monday, November 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Consulate General of France

934 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10021

(btw. 74th and 75th Streets)

Please RSVP to:


The French American friendship is characterized by a fruitful political, cultural and economic dialog. French and American journalists are contributing to this dialog everyday, reporting on our respective countries. We will welcome two internationally recognized reporters: Steven Erlanger from The New York Times and Laure Mandeville from Le Figaro, for a productive discussion on the US media’s coverage of France in the 21st century.

Steven Erlanger became the London bureau chief of The New York Times in August 2013, after five years as bureau chief in Paris and, before that, four years as bureau chief in Jerusalem. He has served as Berlin bureau chief, bureau chief for Central Europe and the Balkans, based in Prague, and chief diplomatic correspondent, based in Washington. From 1991 to 1995, he was posted in Moscow, after being Bangkok bureau chief and Southeast Asia correspondent from 1988 to 1991.   In New York, he was Culture Editor from 2002 to 2004. Previously, he worked for The Boston Globe. He was European correspondent, based in London, 1983-87, and deputy national and foreign editor.  He reported from Eastern Europe, Moscow and revolutionary Iran.

Laure Mandeville has been the chief US correspondent for Le Figaro in Washington since January 2009. She joined the foreign desk of Le Figaro in 1989 and spent twenty years covering the post-soviet world (Eastern Europe, Russia, Baltic countries, Caucasus, Ukraine, Central Asia). She was correspondent to Moscow from 1997 to 2000. She also covered Europe, Islam in Europe and transatlantic relations. She is the author of The Russian Army, a Power in Tatters (1994) and The Russian Reconquest (2008).


Conferences@934 is a series of monthly conferences organized by the Consulate General of France that brings together two leading experts who share their analyses on international issues.  More information: or on



Published by Amy Martin on 09 Sep 2013

CFP: DISAPPEARANCE: Spatial and Temporal Horizons

DISAPPEARANCE: Spatial and Temporal Horizons

a two-day interdisciplinary conference

November 7th & 8th, 2013

The Department of Comparative Literature

The Graduate Center, CUNY

New York, New York

The Graduate Students in The Department of Comparative Literature at The Graduate Center, CUNY invite you to a conference investigating the question of disappearance through various disciplines.  Disappearance is first used as a noun in English in a 1712 edition of the Spectator.  Founder Joseph Addison writes that if we “look into the Bulk of our Species, they are such as are not likely to be remembered a Moment after their Disappearance.  They leave behind them no Traces of Their Existence, but are forgotten as tho’ they had never been” (No. 317).

If disappearance is broadly considered as a transition from being there to no longer being there, then what is it that happens in the instance of vanishing? What disappears? What causes disappearance?  How does disappearance function?  How are questions of memory, existence and trace exacerbated when the term is directly applied in a political context, as it has commonly been used since the 1950s.  In what ways do academic disciplines perpetuate and protect against disappearances?  If the moment of disappearance is a horizon, how can we mobilize our understanding of space and time to open new perspectives within the question of disappearance?

We welcome examples and explorations from a variety of disciplines and intersections including: literature, languages, film, philosophy, political science, linguistics, psychology, education, human rights, theory, cultural studies, American studies, women’s studies, queer studies, journalism, medieval studies, art, art history, digital media studies, theater, music, sociology, history, science, Judaic studies, Latin American studies, fine arts and cognitive science.

Possible conference papers might take up the inquiries below, but additional investigations are welcome.  We invite papers exploring and theorizing:

what disappears in a disappearance
what marks the moment of disappearance
what gets revealed in a disappearance
what’s left behind in a disappearance
where the disappeared goes
who/what names something as a disappearance
how literature deals with disappearance
power and disappearance
ghosts and disappearance
death and disappearance
disappearance and erasure
distortion and disappearance
disappearance and deception
disappearance and identity
disappearance and the body
transformation and disappearance
disappearance and/in Magical Realism, Romanticism, post-modernity, etc
disappearance and translation
disappearance and history, oral traditions and artifacts
disappearance and religion
the space of disappearance
the temporal capacity of disappearance
the mobility of disappearance
disappearance in the contemporary world
disappearance and globalization
privacy, security and disappearance

We welcome submissions of individual papers and proposals for panels of 3-4 papers in English.  Please submit a 250-300 word abstract for a 15-20 minute paper by September 25th, 2013 to  Proposals should include the title of the paper, presenter’s name, institutional and departmental affiliation, and any technology requests.

Published by Timothy E. Wilson on 07 Nov 2012

CFP: Idiosyncrasy / Idiosyncrasie


March 1, 2013

A Graduate Conference by the Ph.D. Program in French at the CUNY Graduate Center

« On ne peut être normal et vivant à la fois. »
–E.M. Cioran
« On n’est peut-être pas fait pour un seul moi. On a tort de s’y tenir. Préjugé de l’unité. »
–Henri Michaux

The notion of idiosyncrasy is inextricable from the history of cultural production. In the humanities, this is attested by the twentieth-century obsession with deconstructions of the self, from the fragmented modern self to the empty self of existentialism, the constructed self of poststructuralism, the dissolved postmodern self, and the hybrid, creolized, and cosmopolitan selves of postcolonial theory. The social sciences have also investigated idiosyncrasy, from Gaston Bachelard’s notion of the epistemological rupture that breaks through common sense to Edwin Hollander’s idea of “idiosyncrasy credit,” Pierre Bourdieu’s critique of taste, and the “binding problem” in cognitive science. Yet the twentieth century was not novel: we may also cite Rabelais’s neologisms, the familiarization of strangeness in Montaigne, and the grotesque according to Victor Hugo. Nor does the question of the self exhaust the problem, for we may also consider the idiosyncratic work, the idiosyncratic medium or materiality, idiosyncratic hermeneutics, and the nexus of idiosyncrasy and technology, from print cultures to digital communities.

This conference invites graduate researchers and theorists to examine idiosyncrasy in French-language culture from a wide variety of philosophical and disciplinary perspectives. We welcome contributions not only in literary and media studies but from any and all neighboring disciplines where idiosyncrasy is an important subject, including but not limited to history, philosophy, linguistics, archeology, architecture, psychology, sociology, cognitive science, and computer science. Below is list of potential themes that is of course not exhaustive:

– the idiosyncratic self
– the idiosyncratic artwork
– disability theory and the idiosyncratic body
– cultivating idiosyncrasy as self or style
– idiosyncrasy and the human/animal nexus
– idiosyncratic mediums and materialities
– the Deleuzian anomal
- taste, class, and idiosyncrasy
– language and poetic idiosyncrasy
– cinematic auteurism
– idiosyncrasy in pop culture: cult cinema, underground comics
– idiosyncrasy in linguistics: exceptions, idioms, colloquialisms
– genre conventions and idiosyncrasy
– collecting, curating, and idiosyncrasy
– idiosyncratic hermeneutics
– postmodernism, pastiche, and idiosyncrasy
– A.I. and computational idiosyncrasy
– the avant-garde and idiosyncrasy as ideal
– postcolonial hybridity as idiosyncrasy
– individual and group idiosyncrasies
– Darwinian idiosyncrasy and genetic norms
– paradox as conceptual idiosyncrasy

Submit proposals containing an abstract of no more than 250 words, your name, affiliation, and contact information to by December 15, 2012. Presentations must be 20 minutes or less, in French or English. Keynote speaker TBA. Please check this website for further updates. Conference website:



Le premier mars, 2013

Une conférence organisée par le département de Français du Graduate Center de la City University of New York (CUNY) 

« On ne peut être normal et vivant à la fois. »
 –E.M. Cioran
« On n’est peut-être pas fait pour un seul moi. On a tort de s’y tenir. Préjugé de l’unité. »
–Henri Michaux

La notion d’idiosyncrasie, bien qu’habituellement utilisée dans les contextes de la médecine ou de la linguistique pour qualifier des comportements inhabituels, se retrouve de plus en plus dans d’autres domaines, notamment artistiques. Dans les milieux universitaires, ce phénomène est attesté par l’obsession au 20ème siècle pour des notions telles que la déconstruction ou la fragmentation du soi (« the self »), que ce soit la fragmentation associée au moi existentialiste, celle du moi poststructuraliste, celle du moi postmoderne, dissous, ou encore le moi hybride, résultat de cultures créolisées ou cosmopolitaines, cristalisé par les théories postcoloniales.

Les sciences sociales se sont également emparé du terme, que ce soit à travers Gaston Bachelard, et sa notion de rupture épistémologique qui ouvre de nouvelles portes à ce qu’est le « bon sens », ou bien Edwin Hollander et son concept de « idiosyncrasy credit », ou encore les idées de Pierre Bourdieu sur la question du goût, et le fameux « binding problem » dans les sciences cognitives, qui s’appuient sur la perception individuelle.

On peut également revenir sur des contextes plus anciens : pourquoi ne pas citer alors les néologismes de Rabelais, la notion d’étrangeté, rendue populaire par Montaigne, et le grotesque selon Victor Hugo. La question de l’idiosyncrasie ne se limite pas à la question du « soi », car l’on peut considérer l’idiosyncrasie dans le travail, les médias, l’herméneutique, et les liens avec les nouvelles technologies, des débuts de l’imprimerie jusqu’à l’apparition de l’ère digitale et de la création de nouvelles communautés d’internautes.

Il s’agira donc durant cette conférence de se pencher sur ce qu’est l’idiosyncrasie dans un contexte français ou francophone d’un point de vue global, ce qui comprend un large éventail de disciplines, que ce soit la littérature, ou l’étude des médias mais aussi d’autres domaines : la philosophie,  la linguistique, l’archéologie, l’architecture, la psychologie, la sociologie, les sciences cognitives, et les sciences liées aux nouvelles technologies. Les thèmes abordés peuvent être liés à l’art au sens large du terme ainsi qu’à toutes les disciplines mentionnées ci-dessus.

Veuillez envoyer votre proposition de communication (250 mots maximum) à l’adresse suivante avant le 15 décembre : Site web de la conférence :

Published by Timothy E. Wilson on 15 Sep 2012

Will Pathways Draw Blood at Queensborough Community College?

This week, CUNY’s Pathways to Whatever pulled a bureaucratic knife on the English Department at Queensborough Community College, where faculty members had the wherewithal to stand up for their rights and the rights of their students. They were asked to dilute their composition courses from four credits to three. They refused. In an email from the Vice President of the College, Karen Steele, they were then informed of the following:

We will no longer be able to offer EN-101, 102, or 103 in their current configuration (i.e., four contact hours) as of Fall 2013. Since we don’t have in place courses that will meet the Pathways requirements for the Common Core, we can’t put forward a Fall 2013 schedule of classes that includes English Composition courses. Given that fact, and the resultant dramatic drop in enrollment, we will have to take the following actions:

All searches for full time faculty in the English Department will be cancelled immediately;
The existing EN 101, 102, and 103 will not be included in the common core, and therefore will not be offered in Fall 13;
Beginning March 2013 (our Fall 13 advisement cycle), continuing and new students will be advised to take the common core requirement for I A at another CUNY institution, since the courses will not be available at Queensborough;
Neither EN 101 or 103, nor EN 102 will be submitted to the University in the QCC list of ‘gateway’ courses for the English Major (we must submit the list of gateway major courses by October 1, 2012);
Of necessity, all adjunct faculty in the English department will be sent letters of non-reappointment for Fall 2013;
The reappointment of full time faculty in the English Department will be subject to ability to pay and Fall 13 enrollment in department courses.

Angus Johnston already posted on this over at Student Activism. The PSC and the GC Advocate have also weighed in, as should be expected. The blog you’re now reading was created two years ago as a parasocial space for students in the Ph.D. Program in French at the CUNY Graduate Center to connect and share ideas. I believe that for many of us in the department, this development in the Pathways Foutoir (excuse my French) is unjust, terrifying, and warrants further rebellion. That said, I can only speak for myself: I am convinced that the punishment to be administered to the English Department at Queensborough Community College must be met with loud, sustained outrage and an unswerving commitment to support those on the chopping block.

If you agree, whoever you are, I strongly encourage you to send an email to Karen Steele at expressing your sentiments. If you are short on time, as are many (if not all) of those who will be directly impacted by Pathways if it goes through, here is a template*:


Dear Dr. Steele,

I am outraged at what occurred between your administration and the English Department at Queensborough Community College this week. I am therefore writing to express my support for the English Department and my anger and frustration at this ugly new development in the implementation of the Pathways Initiative. This turn of events exemplifies the top-down manner in which the Pathways Initiative has been forced on CUNY’s faculty and students. Faculty governance in particular has been systematically ignored and circumvented by a process that has proved itself not only disrespectful toward CUNY’s faculty but toward its students and its educational ideals. As faculty are deeply engaged in the academic lives of CUNY’s students, to marginalize their unique knowledge of students’ strengths, weaknesses, skill-levels, and needs devalues their work, insults their commitment to CUNY, and risks incurring poor decisions that could hurt CUNY’s students. If the faculty in the English Department at Queensborough Community College believe that it would be a serious mistake to reduce composition classes from four credits to three, it is irresponsible not to listen to them, absurd to threaten them, and it would be outright reprehensible to punish them. Please do not follow through on your planned dismantlement of their program. That would be a terrible error and an incredible shame.



By Timothy E. Wilson

*If the above template isn’t concise enough for you, here’s a cheekier option: No No No Cat

Published by Timothy E. Wilson on 03 Apr 2012

CUNY TV at the New York Emmys!

What follows is a note from Nancy R. Tag of the City College of New York on our very own Jerry Carlson’s appearance at the New York Emmys this month:

Dear Esteemed MCA Faculty & Staff,

On Sunday night, MCA’s Jerry Carlson scored BIG. Looking dapper in a tux, he attending the Emmy ceremony and — for the 4th year in a row — took to the podium as NUEVA YORK was named the Best Magazine Show in New York. Plus, a segment on the young Puerto Rican fashion designer Auralis who makes ecologically green clothing took home an additional Emmy.

Here are the winning pieces.


Best of Season #6

Nueva York is an Emmy® Award-winning series about Latino culture in New York. The 30-minute show explores the rich textures of Latino society in the city, focusing on politics, art, culture, and the traditions of Spanish-speaking populations across the metropolitan area. 

Each episode is subtitled in English so that the largest numbers of viewers may appreciate more fully the richness and diversity of the Spanish-speaking communities in the city. Nueva York premiered on CUNY TV in October 2005, and also airs on Channel 22 in Mexico, and Channel 11 in Panama. The series won its first New York Emmy® in 2009, two in 2010, three in 2011, and two more this year.

And proof that he does indeed look dapper in a tux:

Please join me in congratulating Jerry on his continued success as one of the most awarded producers at CUNY-TV.



We are thrilled! May this post symbolize the Ph.D. Program in French standing in ovation!

Published by Timothy E. Wilson on 01 Mar 2012

Chantal Akerman at CUNY: “The Captive” (2000) at Hunter College

The Film and Media Studies Department at Hunter College invites you to meet Chantal Akerman for a screening of The Captive (2000), her film adaptation of Marcel Proust’s The Prisoner . A Q&A with Ivone Margulies (Film and Media), author of Nothing Happens: Chantal Akerman’s Hyperrealist Everyday, and Constance DeJong (Art Department, writer and media artist), will follow.

March 9th, Lang Recital Hall, 6:00-9:30pm, Free admission

With support of the School of Arts and Science and the Art Dept.

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