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Collectivity and the Digital in French Thought and Culture


Edited By Susie Cronin, Sofia Ropek Hewson and Cillian Ó Fathaigh

The relation between the digital and the collective has become an urgent contemporary question. These collected essays explore the implications of this relation, around the theme of #NousSommes. This hashtag marks the point where the «personal» modalities of social media have become embroiled in collective expressions of unity, solidarity and resistance. As this volume demonstrates, the impact of this cannot be isolated to the internet, but affect philosophy, literature, cinema, politics and the public space itself. The contributors approach the issue of #NousSommes from a diverse range of disciplines and methodologies, bringing out both the continuity and discontinuity with other forms of collective expression. Important contemporary philosophers such as Nancy, Derrida and Deleuze are engaged here, as are issues of ecology, community, automation, postcolonial identity and addiction. Featuring eight academic essays and an interview, this volume testifies to the importance of French philosophy and culture in understanding the digital and the collective today.

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This publication emerged from the twentieth annual French Graduate Conference, held at Pembroke College, Cambridge, in May 2017. The conference received generous financial support from the Society for French Studies, Pembroke College, and both the Department of French and the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Cambridge, for which we are very grateful. This conference would not have been possible without the endless help and assistance of Bill Burgwinkle. We would like to thank Laurel Plapp and Simon Phillimore at Peter Lang for all their kind support and patience. We are grateful to Edinburgh University Press for permission to reproduce Patricia MacCormack’s article. Finally, we would like to thank Ian James, Peter Collier and Martin Crowley, whose support was invaluable in developing the publication.

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