Nearly seventy-five years ago, Simone de Beauvoir published the monumental The Second Sex. An invaluable contribution to existential philosophy, the work laid the foundations for contemporary feminist thought. It led to the development of new disciplines, from gender studies to queer theory, all motivated by the central claim: that one is not born a woman, but rather becomes one. Who was the woman behind the text? How did her life feed into her philosophy, and in what ways were the two in contradiction? How did Simone de Beauvoir become herself? Join American Library in Paris Visiting Fellow and author of Becoming Beauvoir Kate Kirkpatrick and de Beauvoir expert Marine Rouch to discuss the biography of the woman who changed philosophy.
About the speakers:
Kate Kirkpatrick is a 2022-23 American Library in Paris Visiting Fellow. She is a philosopher based in Oxford, where she is Tutorial Fellow in Philosophy and Christian Ethics at Regent’s Park College. Kirkpatrick is author of Sartre on Sin (2017), Sartre and Theology (2017), and the internationally acclaimed biography Becoming Beauvoir: A Life (2019), which was selected as one of the best books of 2019 by the Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian, and the Telegraph, and is currently being translated into over a dozen languages. In 2021 she was awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship to write a philosophical commentary on Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex.
Dr. Marine Rouch is a researcher at the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès and teaches in several universities. She wrote a thesis based on the thousands of letters Simone de Beauvoir received from her ordinary readers, mostly women. She is the editor of the research blog “Chère Simone de Beauvoir” and the Communication Coordinator of The International Simone de Beauvoir Society. She co-created the Beauvoir Webinar Series and published numerous articles.
Important information: The discussion will be available both online and in person. While the conversation will happen in person (Kirkpatrick and Rouch will appear in the Reading Room), the Library will stream the conversation on Zoom for a live viewing experience. Both in-person and online attendees will be able to pose questions.
This event requires advance registration.
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