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[Related Event] A Documentary Film "The Right to Philosophy: Traces of the International College of Philosophy"

September 3, 8, 10, 11 2009
The New School for Social Research, Cornell University, New York University, Yale University

A Documentary Film
The Right to Philosophy: Traces of the International College of Philosophy
(Le droit à la philosophie: les traces du Collège international de Philosophie)


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What are we allowed to believe about the Right to Philosophy, about the future of the Humanities ?

  This is the first documentary film on the International College of Philosophy (Collège international de Philosophie: CIPH), founded by, among others, Jacques Derrida and François Châtelet in 1983 in Paris. The film consists of interviews with former presidents Michel Deguy, François Noudelmann and Bruno Clément, current vice-president Boyan Manchev, and with former and current program directors Catherine Malabou, Francisco Naishtat and Gisèle Berkman. The aim of this film is to consider the possibilities of the humanities in general and philosophy in particular under the current conditions of global capitalism. One of the main themes it tries to develop is the "question of the institution", namely the relationship between philosophy and institutions—a topic that was very central for deconstruction as elaborated and practiced by Derrida.

"Deconstruction is an institutional practice for which the concept of institution remains a problem." ——Jacques Derrida

  The film consists of eight chapters. In the first introductory chapter, "Profiles", each interviewee narrates his or her own profile in relation to the CIPH. The following chapter, "The Definition of the CIPH", highlights the very original characteristics of the research and educational activities taking place at the Collège. In the third chapter, "The CIPH and Universities", the interviewees explain the original nature of the CIPH in comparison with other academic institutions, including its principle of being free of charge, the equality among the professors, and its conceptions of curriculums and programs. Chapter four, "The Idea of the CIPH", contrasts the notion of "intersection" established by the Collège with that of inter-disciplinarity in departments such as Cultural Studies or Comparative Studies, mainly in the Anglo-Saxon academic landscape. The fifth chapter, "The CIPH and Economic Value", presents crucial problems faced by the human sciences stemming from the demands of global capitalism for profitability, efficiency, excellence etc. Chapter six, "The Question of Place", asks where research and educational activities can take place by looking at the example of CIPH as an institution that has no campus. The seventh chapter, "Problems", presents various problems the CIPH is currently facing. In the last chapter "Jacques Derrida and the CIPH", the interviewees recall Derrida's contributions to philosophy and to the Collège.

Movie Details
Featuring interviews with Michel Deguy, François Noudelmann, Bruno Clément, Catherine Malabou, Francisco Naishtat, Gisèle Berkman and Boyan Manchev
Music by matryoshka (Novel Sounds)
Directed by Yuji Nishiyama
Supported by The Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) KAKENHI No. 20720002 of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
Under the auspices of the University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy (UTCP)
Screening time: 95 minutes
Language: French, with English subtitles

Film Screening Schedule for September 2009
Admission Free; No Registration Required

Thu 9/3, 18:00-21:00 The New School for Social Research
Room 906, 6 East 16th Street, New York, NY 10003
with discussion moderated by Simon Critchley, Zed Adams and Y. Nishiyama

Tue 9/8, 16:30-19:00 Cornell University (French Studies)
Guerlac Room, Andrew D. White House, 27 East Avenue, Ithaca, NY 14853-1101
with discussion moderated by Laurent Dubreuil, Bruno Bosteels and Y. Nishiyama

Thu 9/10, 16:00-19:00 New York University (East Asian Studies)
Room 312, 715 Broadway, 3rd Floor, Department of East Asian Studies, New York, NY 10003
with discussion moderated by Thomas Looser and Y. Nishiyama

Fri 9/11, 17:00-20:00 Yale University (the Todai-Yale Initiative)
Room 208, the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall Street, New Haven
with discussion moderated by Haun Saussy, Yasunari Takada and Y. Nishiyama

This film will be shown at numerous locations in France and Japan in February and March in 2010.

About the Director, Yuji Nishiyama
Lecturer, University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy (UTCP)
Yuji Nishiyama received his PhD from Hitotsubashi University's School of Languages and Society in 2006. He has been teaching at the University of Tokyo since 2007. He works on modern French philosophy, focusing on Jacques Derrida and Maurice Blanchot. In the past few years he is working on a research project titled "Philosophy and University". He is the author of Literature as Contestation: Solitude, Friendship and Community in Maurice Blanchot (Tokyo: Ochanomizu-syobô 2007), and the editor of Philosophie et Éducation II: Le droit à la philosophie (UTCP 2009), and Philosophy and the University (Tokyo: Miraisya 2009). He is also the Japanese translator of several books by Jacques Derrida, Maurice Blanchot, Jean-Luc Nancy and Catherine Malabou.

A documentary film "A Song of Departure at the End of a Journey" (11 min)

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