The French Programme: How Theory Came to London – Colm McAuliffe on the 1973 ICA festival that sparked British interest in Francophone structuralist and post-structuralist thought.
March 1973: two months after Britain joins the European Economic Community, the French historian of ideas Michel Foucault is scheduled to give a lecture in London. Foucault is one of the star attractions of the French Programme, a month-long series of lectures and screenings at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, and Tzvetan Todorov are among the other avatars of Francophone structuralist and post-structuralist thought appearing throughout the month, described in the French newspaper Combat as “the most important French cultural event ever organised in Britain”, and one which has been almost entirely funded by the British Government, eager to foster positive cultural relations between Britain and its sister nations in the Common Market. [continues here]