French writer-philosopher Pascal Bruckner to lecture at IU Bloomington

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French writer-philosopher Pascal Bruckner to lecture at IU Bloomington


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Pascal Bruckner, a French writer and intellectual and a leading critic of cultural trends in Europe, will give a free public lecture Sunday at Indiana University Bloomington.

Bruckner will speak on "Islamophobia and Antisemitism: The Inversion of the Debt" at 8 p.m. April 6 in the Frangipani Room of the Indiana Memorial Union. Part of the Simona and Hart Hasten Visiting Scholars Program, the lecture is sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism.

Writing in the vein of the "nouveaux philosophes," the generation of thinkers who broke with Marxism in the 1970s, Bruckner has established himself as one of his country's most acute social critics.

"Pascal Bruckner is one of France's most creative and original minds -- a formidable intellectual and the author of over 20 books," said Alvin Rosenfeld, director of the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and professor of Jewish studies and English in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington. "His lecture will deal with subjects most people have only superficial knowledge of. We can count on a well-informed, eye-opening, stimulating and, I suspect, challenging talk."

Bruckner studied at the Universities of Paris I and Paris VII and at the École Pratique des Hautes Études. He became a faculty member at the Institutes of Political Studies in Paris and for many years has been associated with the French weekly magazine Nouvel Observateur. A number of his books are available in English translation, including "The Tears of the White Man," "The Temptation of Innocence," "The Tyranny of Guilt," "Perpetual Euphoria," "The Paradox of Love" and "The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse."

Critic Clive James has called Bruckner "one of the indispensable philosophers of our time." Historian Richard Wolin said Bruckner "might well be the most distinguished essay writer in France today. … Whether one agrees or disagrees with him, he does the life of the mind an invaluable service."

The Hasten Visiting Scholars Program, established in the early 1980s by Indianapolis residents Simona and Hart Hasten, has enabled IU's Borns Jewish Studies Program to organize lectures by many distinguished speakers, including Yigael Yadin, Elie Wiesel, Claude Lanzmann, Emil Fackenheim, Conor Cruise O'Brien and Natan Sharansky.

For people who have a disability and need assistance to attend Sunday's lecture, arrangements can be made to accommodate most needs. Contact Melissa Deckard at

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