I’ll be giving a paper on the new project to the Warwick Seminar for Interdisciplinary French Studies on 31 May 2023. The seminar will be online, and open to all. More details nearer the time.
It’s difficult to know what I’ll be in a position to say that far ahead, especially since the project hasn’t yet really begun. But here’s the abstract:
Indo-European Thought in Post-War France
This talk will report on preliminary work on a new research project on Indo-European thought in twentieth-century France. It will particularly focus on the post-war period when Georges Dumézil was elected to the Collège de France, Émile Benveniste regained his chair there after his war-time exile in Switzerland, and Mircea Eliade held visiting positions when unable to return to Romania.
This was a period when Dumézil completed his Jupiter Mars Quirinus and Les Mythes Romains series, and published a revision of his book Mitra-Varuna; Benveniste wrote a comparative study of Indo-European nouns; and Eliade started to publish his first books in French, including Traité d’histoire des religions.
Using published texts, reports of teaching, memoirs, and some archival sources, the talk will try to situate the intellectual relations between these and other figures, especially in light of a post-war reckoning about political positions.
Stuart Elden is Professor of Political Theory and Geography at the University of Warwick. He has recently completed a four-part intellectual history of Foucault’s entire career. He is currently funded by a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship on Indo-European thought in twentieth-century France.