Julia Kristeva

Does a European Culture Exist? Reflections on Margins and Centres

Lecture by the linguist, philosopher and psychoanalyst
Introduced by Joachim Sartorius

Julia Kristeva

Julia Kristeva

© J. Fohley

  • In French with simultaneous translation

Past Dates

The linguist, philosopher and psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva entered the arena of critical cultural criticism with her first and internationally recognized work Séméiôtiké, in which she argues that language is not confined to its functions as sign and signifier, but also possesses a complex and instinctive emotional quality. She also addressed the central structuralist concept of intertextuality. She published in the magazine Tel Quel alongside Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault and Philippe Sollers. Trained in Freudian psychoanalysis and Lacanian theory, she is regarded as one of the leading representatives of French feminism.

With her question about European culture Kristeva revisits ideas in Strangers to Ourselves (1988, German publication 1990), which was particularly responsible for establishing her reputation in Germany. Julia Kristeva was born in Bulgaria in 1941 and has lived and worked in France since 1966. She belongs to the Institut Universitaire de France and the British Academy and is a member of the Société Psychoanalytique de Paris. She has been awarded numerous prizes and was a visiting professor at Columbia and other universities. She has run the Roland Barthes Centre since 1999 and is director of a graduate college at Université Paris 7 – Denis Diderot.

This Berliner Lektion is organized in co-operation with the Berliner Zentrum für Literaturforschung, of which Kristeva has been an Honorary Member since 2009.