Bard Events Calendar

Political Studies Program and the French Studies Program Present

Monday, March 5, 2018
The Seventh Wonder of the ZAD
Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
4:45 pm
Kristin Ross
Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature,
New York University
The longest-lasting ongoing struggle in France today is the occupational attempt to block the construction of an international airport in farmland in western France, the ZAD, or “zone à defendre,” outside of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. In this talk I will consider a number of innovative practices reworked and lived by the inhabitants of the ZAD, in relation to historic examples such as the Commune de Paris of 1871. At the center of my presentation will be the notion of the territory and the logics of difference, possibility and autonomy it implies—the local, often rural construction of an autonomous zone, in secession from the state, which does not result in a closing in upon itself. What is a territory worth defending? What does it mean to defend a zone, or to work at creating—over time, and perhaps over a lifetime—a territory worthy of defense? How can a struggle whose particularity lies in being anchored in one place be extended to other territories?

Kristin Ross is professor emerita of comparative literature at New York University. The recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, she is the author of a number of books about modern and contemporary French political culture, all of which have appeared in French translation, including The Emergence of Social Space: Rimbaud and the Paris Commune (1988); Fast Cars, Clean Bodies: Decolonization and the Reordering of French Culture (1995); and May ’68 and Its Afterlives (2002). Her most recent book, Communal Luxury (2015), was published first in France by La Fabrique.

For more information, call 845-752-4612, or e-mail

Time: 4:45 pm

Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium