University of Pittsburgh
March 4, 2008

Étienne Balibar Keynote Speaker for Pitt's International Colloquium on Citizenship in the 21st Century March 17-18

Sponsored by the University's Cultural Studies Program, the two-day event will include panel discussions with noted international scholars
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh's Cultural Studies Program will host Citizenship in the 21st Century, an international colloquium featuring political philosopher Étienne Balibar, March 17 and 18 in the University's Posvar Hall, Suite 2500, 230 S. Bouquet St., Oakland.

Balibar, Professor Emeritus of Political Philosophy at the Université de Paris X-Nanterre and Distinguished Professor of French and Italian and Comparative Literature in the School of Humanities at the University of California at Irvine, will give the keynote address, titled "Historical Dilemmas of Citizenship and Their Contemporary Relevance," at 5 p.m. March 18 in the William Pitt Union Ballroom, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

The two-day colloquium will open at 8:30 a.m. March 17 with Giuseppina Mecchia, director of the Cultural Studies Program, an associate professor of French and Italian, and undergraduate advisor in French in Pitt's Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures, providing opening remarks.

Monday's panel presentations are titled "The Cultural Subject as Citizen," "The Subaltern as Citizen," and "The Hybrid Subject as Citizen." Two panels, titled "The American Outsider as Citizen" and "The Neo-liberal Subject as Citizen," will be held Tuesday prior to Balibar's keynote.

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Noted international scholars who will take part in the colloquium are Yves Citton, professor of French literature at Université Stendhal, Grenoble; Antonella Corsani, economist and lecturer in economy at Université de Paris I, Pantheon-Sorbonne; Todd May, professor of philosophy at Clemson University; James Swenson, chair and associate professor in the French department at Rutgers University; and Philip Watts, associate professor of French and department chair and director of graduate studies at Columbia University.

Born in 1942 in Avallon, Bourgogne, France, Balibar was a student of Louis Althusser at the École Normale Supérieure. While there, Balibar participated in a seminar on Karl Marx's "Das Kapital" (Alfred Kroner Verlag GmbH & Co KG, 1957), which resulted in the book "Reading Capital" (Verso Books, 1979), that he coauthored with Althusser.

Balibar's research subjects include philosophical anthropology, extreme violence and the problem of civility, politics as war and war as politics, and borders and the representation of the stranger. He is the author of several books, including "We, the People of Europe?: Reflections on Transnational Citizenship" (Princeton University Press, 2003).

Cosponsors of the colloquium are Pitt's Graduate Program for Cultural Studies, Office of the Provost, School of Arts and Sciences Dean's Office, University Center for International Studies, European Union Center of Excellence, and Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures.

For more information about the conference, contact Karen Lillis at 412-624-7232 or