communityThe Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to join us for a lunchtime presentation and dialogue with Rémi Astruc, on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 12:30-2:00PM at 20 Cooper Sq, 5th Floor. For more info and to RSVP, please visit the event page. 

What is it that brings us together and allows to feel a sense of shared experience and existence with people whom we don’t even know? Why is it that the question of community remains highly important, despite an increasing majority of individuals who are less and less in contact with actual forms of living in common? Why (and how) is it that art – in the first place, narrative arts (telling tales, novels, films) but also dancing or poetry – occasionally allow us to feel that we belong to a community of beings?

Astruc argues it is because, through the arts (and beyond one’s conscious will), community not only unveils itself, but also, if we are in a position to be affected by it, ‘speaks’ itself to us and acquires a form in doing so. He will present the research he is conducting alongside an international network of researchers (the ‘CCC’) focused on the notion of community across disciplinary frameworks, including two new works published in 2016: a book-length essay entitled Nous? l’aspiration à la communauté et les arts and La Communauté revisitée/Community Redux. Both books explore the actuality of the notion of Community in contemporary thinking as it relates to the issues that define our present, ultimately seeking to understand what can still bring us together in societies where the answer to this question remains largely unclear. This roundtable presentation and discussion will provide an opportunity to share research concerns on all aspects of thinking Community—in the past, present, and future—on a multidisciplinary level. It will also provide the occasion to learn more about the “CCC” and its future activities. 

Rémi Astruc is Professeur de littératures francophones et comparées at Université de Cergy-Pontoise, where he was also Director of the Department of Literature. He is an expert on representations of identity and community in literature, comedy and the grotesque, and the anthropological function of literature, and is the author of numerous books and articles on these themes. He is currently a visiting scholar at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

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