Julia Kristeva's "Interpreting Radical Evil"

At the 2016 meeting of The Kristeva Circle, Julia Kristeva gave a keynote lecture entitled "Interpreting Radical Evil." Download it here in English and French



Feminism is Flourishing at the University of Memphis


Though Julia Kristeva has often expressed ambivalence toward feminism and feminist movements, feminist philosophers and theorists have been among the leading scholars, especially in the United States, to engage with her work. Kristeva’s themes, from the abject to her revaluation of motherhood, have been both appropriated and attacked by feminist philosophers. This tradition makes the Department of Philosophy at the University of Memphis especially suited to host this year’s Kristeva Circle meeting.

            Feminist philosophy has a strong home in Memphis. Though the push to include diverse figures in course syllabi is not department-wide, many professors and graduate instructors, each in her or his own way, incorporate female and feminist philosophers into their undergraduate courses. This is not just true of introductory courses. The department regularly runs courses on feminist philosophy at the upper-undergraduate and graduate-levels. Professor Mary Beth Mader, for example, has taught courses, such as “Continental Philosophy” and “The Family, Gender and Sexuality,” which have had strong components of feminist philosophy. Courses like “Philosophy of Law” and “Philosophy of Literature” taught by Professor Verena Erlenbusch and “African American Philosophy” by Professor Luvell Anderson also incorporate diverse, feminist figures. Professor Deborah Tollefsen recently led a graduate seminar on the epistemologies of ignorance. Several years ago, former Memphis professor, Dr. Sarah Clark Miller, led a seminar on the ethics of relationships which incorporated many feminist challenges to canonical ethical theories and inspired the following year’s Philosophy Graduate Student Association Conference on “Feminism and Liberalism.” Last semester, Professor Shaun Gallagher taught a seminar on action and interaction in which the works of fifteen female philosophers were studied. And two recent seminars led by Professor Pleshette DeArmitt have explicitly taken up feminist themes, one on Kristeva’s most recent work, and the other on understandings of narrative and subjectivity by female and feminist philosophers.

In addition to bringing feminist themes into the classroom, Memphis is home to Philosophical Horizons, a volunteer program in which students from the department discuss philosophical themes with students in local K-12 schools and incarcerated persons at the Shelby County Correctional Facility. The program’s aims of bringing philosophy to underrepresented persons and encouraging more diverse thinkers to enter the field of philosophy is a fundamentally feminist one.

In these ways, the Department of Philosophy at the University of Memphis promises to be an excellent host for the 2015 Kristeva Circle.


Video: Kristeva at the Chicago Humanities Festival


Julia Kristeva partcipated in the 2013 Chicago Humanities Festival last month. A video of the event "On Julia's Kristeva's Couch" is now available here

Julia Kristeva is one of France's most admired intellectuals and one of the world's leading psychoanalytic thinkers. In the tradition of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan, she has probed the vicissitudes of human nature as analyst and cultural critic, arriving at a novel conception of the subject as always in crisis. Developed in a series of books on such topics as abjection, desire, and melancholia, Kristeva's corpus has unparalleled influence across the contemporary humanities. Kristeva joins Northwestern University English professor Jules Law for a conversation about her remarkable life and work.

This program is generously underwritten by Ellen Stone Belic and features an artist, writer, or other creative authority reflecting on her extraordinary career. It is also presented in partnership with the Consulate General of France in Chicago.


JFFP Special Issue on Julia Kristeva

The Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy has published a special issue on the recent work of Julia Kristeva. Check out the table of contents below! The issue is available open-access on the JFFP website here

Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy
Vol 21, No 1 (2013)
Table of Contents


Scott Davidson
Oklahoma City University

John Drabinski
Amherst College

Kris Sealey
Fairfield University

Stockholm: Going Beyond the Human through Dance (1-12)
        Julia Kristeva

Kristeva’s Sadomasochistic Subject and the Sublimation of Violence (13-26)
        Kelly Oliver

Julia Kristeva and the Politics of Life (27-42)
        Sarah K. Hansen

Narrative Ethics and Vulnerability:  Kristeva and Ricoeur on Interdependence
        Elizabeth Purcell

On Kristeva's Fiction (60-82)
        Benigno Trigo

Julia Kristeva's Voyage in the Thérèsian Continent: The Malady of Love and
the Enigma of an Incarnated, Shareable, Smiling Imaginary (83-104)
        Maria Margaroni

Kristeva's Thérèse:  Mysticism and Modernism (105-115)
        Carol Mastrangelo Bové

Julia Kristeva’s The Severed Head (116-119)
        Pleshette DeArmitt

Kenosis, Economy, Inscription (120-126)
        Elaine Miller

Keeping it Intimate: A Meditation on the Power of Horror (127-131)
        Sara Beardsworth

Hume's Correlationism: On Meillassoux, Necessity and Belief (132-160)
        Paul O'Mahoney

Review Essays
Review Essay: Daniel W. Smith, Essays on Deleuze (161-172)
        Kenneth Noe

Review Essay:  Ann Murphy, Violence and the Philosophical Imaginary
        Erinn Gilson

Review Essay: Suzanne Césaire, The Great Camouflage: Writings of Dissent
(1941-1945) (183-192)
        Chike Jeffers

Book Review: Julia Kristeva, The Severed Head: Capital Visions (193-195)
        Matthew R McLennan

Book Review: Tamsin Jones, A Genealogy of Marion's Philosophy of Religion:
Apparent Darkness (196-198)
        N. N. Trakakis

Book Review: Benoît Peeters, Derrida: A Biography (199-204)
        John Thomas Brittingham


Kristeva at the 2013 Chicago Humanities Festival


Julia Kristeva is one of the featured speakers at the 2013 Chicago Humanities Festival. This year's theme is Animal: What Makes Us Human. Explore the CHF website for more information about the festival.