Events

Current and Upcoming

The Sociology of Literature

April 24, 2024
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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East Gallery, Maison Française, Buell Hall

Given the arrest of more than 100 Columbia and Barnard students on campus by the NYPD, the numerous student suspensions and expulsions from student housing, and the administration's increasing restrictions on access to campus, public events at the Maison Francaise are cancelled for the near future.  Thank you for your understanding.

Gisèle Sapiro, in conversation (in English) with Tristan Leperlier

Gisèle Sapiro, the leading theorist of the sociology of literature, will present her book The Sociology of Literature, recently published into English by Madeline Bedecarré and Ben Libman, for the first time in the U.S.  Her book presents the history, methods, and potential futures of this growing field of study, which finds its origins in the French Enlightenment, and its most salient expression as a sociological pursuit in the work of Pierre Bourdieu. Sapiro refutes the common criticism that the sociology of literature does not take the text to be the central object of study. Sapiro describes methods for analyzing the roles and behaviors of agents and institutions (publishing houses, prize committees, etc.) in the circulation and reception of texts. The book emphasizes the rich interdisciplinary nature of the approach, which draws on literary history, sociology, postcolonial studies, book history, gender studies, and media studies, while also defending the sociology of literature as a discipline in its own right.

Gisèle Sapiro is CNRS Research Director and Professor of Sociology at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS).  She is the author of The French Writers' War (1940–1953) (2014), and numerous other books in French.

Tristan Leperlier is a CNRS Associate Professor, and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at Columbia University where he taught a class on Sociology of literature last semester. A sociologist of literature himself, he has specialized in postcolonial and transnational issues.

This event is being presented in connection with a major conference on Pierre Bourdieu to take place at the NYU Institute of French Studies, April 25-26. It is co-sponsored by the Columbia Maison Française and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS).