Center of Excellence

The Center of Excellence seeks to foster interdisciplinary research and collaboration with scholars across the university working on topics related to France and the French-speaking world or involving cooperation with French educational institutions. It aims to engage students, scholars, and the general public through lectures, conferences, colloquia, and other events on campus. Read more.

Upcoming Events

Details of future events will be displayed soon.

Previous Events

  • Theatre Without Borders/Théâtre sans frontières
    Translating, Circulating and Performing Early Modern Drama

    The conference explored the work of Corneille in the context of European theatre and the circulation of early modern drama through both translation and performance, from the 17th to the 20th century.

    Friday, September 27, 2019
    Conveners: Karen Newman, Owen F. Walker ’33 Professor of Humanities, and Lewis Seifert, Professor of French Studies
    9:00 AM – 9:30 AM Coffee and Pastries
    9:30 AM – 9:45 AM Welcome
    9:45 AM – 10:45 AM Jennifer Row (University of Minnesota) • Corneille’s Queer Temporalities
    10:45AM – 11:45 AM Christian Biet (Université Paris Nanterre) • La Place Royale, ou l’urbanisme moderne : les lieux de la nouvelle comédie
    11:45 AM – 12:00 PM Break
    12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Katherine Ibbett (Trinity College, Oxford) • Andromaque in Translation: Foreignness and Refuge
    1:00 PM – 2:30 PM Lunch
    2:30 PM – 3:30 PM François Lecercle (Université de Paris-Sorbonne) • Corneille’s Comedies and the Rise of Theatrophobia
    3:30 PM – 4:00 PM Coffee Break
    4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Michael Moon (Emory University) • Corneille, Racine, Molière, and New York Queer Theater in the 1960s and After
    5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Reception

    This conference was presented by the French Center of Excellence and the Department of Comparative Literature with the support of the French Embassy’s Cultural Services, and was co-sponsored by the Cogut Institute for the Humanities, the Department of French Studies, and the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World.

    Center of Excellence, Conference, Early Modern World, Humanities
  • Nov
    9
    7:00pm

    Antoine Jacobsohn • “Sustainable Gardening”

    Martinos Auditorium, Granoff Center for the Creative Arts

    November 9, 2018

    Antoine Jacobsohn discussed the “Potager du Roi,” the King’s vegetable garden, established by Louis XIV at Versailles and currently run as an ongoing experiment in sustainable gardening.

    Antoine Jacobsohn has degrees from Cornell University, Paris 8, and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. He is the director of the Potager du Roi, which also houses the École nationale supérieure de paysage, Versailles. He writes on the history of French agriculture and on contemporary movements that advocate “gardening with, not against, nature.”

    This event was part of the lecture series  Paysagisme: Art and Ecological Responsibility  organized by Cole Swensen, Professor of Literary Arts.  The series was sponsored by the French Embassy through the Brown University French Center of Excellence, by Brown Arts Initiative, and by the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.  Read more about the Center of Excellence .

    Arts, Performance, Center of Excellence, History, Cultural Studies, Languages, Humanities
  • Nov
    2
    7:00pm

    Gilles Tiberghien • “Land Art”

    McCormack Family Theater, 70 Brown Street

    November 2, 2018

    Gilles Tiberghien presented the largely American movement known as Land Art, both its history and its present.

    Gilles Tiberghien, agrégé in philosophy, teaches at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and has written two books on land-based visual arts: Land Art and Nature, Art, Paysage, and has written extensively on contemporary landscape artists and designers.

    This event was part of the lecture series  Paysagisme: Art and Ecological Responsibility  organized by Cole Swensen, Professor of Literary Arts.  The series was sponsored by the French Embassy through the Brown University French Center of Excellence, by Brown Arts Initiative, and by the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.  Read more about the Center of Excellence .

    Arts, Performance, Center of Excellence, History, Cultural Studies, Languages, Humanities
  • Nov
    1
    6:00pm

    Panel • “Paysagisme: Art and Ecological Responsibility”

    Studio 2, Granoff Center for the Creative Arts

    November 1, 2018

    Speakers from local communities, including Brown University faculty, discussed work that blended aesthetics, sustainability, and ecological responsibility in a series of brief 10-minute presentations. Speakers included:

    • Adam Anderson,  Landscape Architecture, RISD
    • Geri Augusto, Center for Slavery & Justice / International & Public Affairs, Brown University
    • Tess Brown-Lavoie, sustainable farmer & poet
    • Mark Cladis, Religious Studies, Brown University
    • David Kim, creative technologist at the Nature Lab, RISD
    • Lenore Manderson, Institute at Brown for Environment & Society
    • Lucia Monge, Visual Arts, RISD & Brown University
    • Kate Schapira, creative non-fiction and poetry, Brown University
    • Maggie Spivey-Faulkner, Early Native American Studies, Harvard Society of Fellows

    This event was part of the lecture series  Paysagisme: Art and Ecological Responsibility  organized by Cole Swensen, Professor of Literary Arts. The series was sponsored by the French Embassy through the Brown University French Center of Excellence, by Brown Arts Initiative, and by the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.  Read more about the Center of Excellence .

    Arts, Performance, Center of Excellence, History, Cultural Studies, Languages, Humanities
  • Oct
    26
    7:00pm

    Gilles Tiberghien • “Paysagisme”

    Martinos Auditorium, Granoff Center for the Creative Arts

    October 26, 2018

    Gilles Tiberghien presented the French concept of paysagisme, its main practitioners and relationship to environmental issues. Though the French word paysagisme is usually translated as “landscaping,” “landscape design,” or “landscape architecture,” the field covers much more than that. It incorporates a wide range of land-use issues, including urban planning, public spaces, land reclamation, and ecology, while it also has a pronounced aesthetic element in garden and park design, and overlaps with the important late 20th-century and contemporary art movement known as land art.

    Gilles Tiberghien, agrégé in philosophy, teaches at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and has written two books on land-based visual arts: Land Art and Nature, Art, Paysage, and has written extensively on contemporary landscape artists and designers.

    This event was part of the lecture series Paysagisme: Art and Ecological Responsibility organized by Cole Swensen, Professor of Literary Arts. The series was sponsored by the French Embassy through the Brown University French Center of Excellence, by Brown Arts Initiative, and by the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Read more about the Center of Excellence .

     

    Arts, Performance, Center of Excellence, History, Cultural Studies, Languages, Humanities
  • February 24, 2017

    This conference will examined the debates surrounding the place of Islam in French society today. Focusing on the current polemics surrounding Laïcité—a uniquely French phenomenon that differs fundamentally from other forms of secularization in that the State guarantees the private practice of religion while insisting on a strict separation of Church and State—participants investigated the emergence of a new public visibility of Islam in the West and the anxieties it is generating. On the one hand, Islam is seen by some as a fundamentally different religion posing a new, specific threat that makes it incompatible with French identity and modernity. On the other, because it is the religion of immigrants from Muslim countries, its practice is seen as posing particular challenges to French society, as the controversies over the headscarf and halal meat testify. In the context of European integration, globalization, and migrations, recent debates over French identity have focused on Islam and are reshaping the intellectual and political landscape. The goal of this conference was to achieve a better understanding of the contemporary place of religion and religiosity in public life. View full video playlist.

    Panel 1 [Video]
    Ian Coller, University of California, Irvine • Islam before Laïcité: The French Revolution and the Muslim Citizen
    Ethan Katz, University of Cincinnati • Under Every Hijab Can be a Kippah: The Uncertain Place of Jews in Contemporary Debates about Islam in France
    Moderator: Maud Mandel, Brown University

    Panel 2 [Video]
    Naomi Davidson, University of Ottawa • “Je veux que l’islam brille au coeur de la République”: Making Islam Public in 20th-Century France
    Mayanthi L. Fernando, University of California, Santa Cruz • Sex and Secularism: The Embodied Politics of Public/Private
    Moderator: Gretchen Schultz, Brown University

    Panel 3 [Video]
    John Bowen, Washington University • The Specificity of Scandal: Halal, Handshakes and Sociability in France and the Netherlands
    Nadia Marzouki, École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) • Academic Freedom in the Context of the French “War on Terror”
    Moderator: Kelly Colvin, Brown University

    Concluding Roundtable Discussion with all participants [Video]
    Moderator: Ourida Mostefai, Brown University

    This conference was convened by Lewis Seifert, Brown University, and co-sponsored by the French Embassy in the United States, Pierre and Mary Ann Sorel ’92, Dean of the College, Department of French Studies, the Cogut Institute for the Humanities, and the Humanities Initiative.

    Center of Excellence, Conference