The entrance to the Department of History’s office in Sidney Smith Hall

Writing the Commune: The Lived and the Conceived

Start Date and Time:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 4:00PM

End Date and Time:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 6:00PM


Prof. Kristin Ross (Comparative Literature-New York University)

In this talk, Kristin Ross examines some of the methodological and theoretical problems she confronted while writing Communal Luxury: The Political Imaginary of the Paris Commune in her attempt to construct the 72-day insurrection as a laboratory of political invention.

Kristin Ross is Professor of Comparative Literature at New York University. Her first book, The Emergence of Social Space: Rimbaud and the Paris Commune (1988; reissued, Verso, 2008) examined cultural movement during the 1871 insurrection. Her cultural history of the French 1950s, Fast Cars, Clean Bodies: Decolonization and the Reordering of French Culture (1995), won the Laurence Wylie award for French cultural studies and a Critic’s Choice award; it has been published in France under the title Rouler plus vite, laver plus blanc (Flammarion, 2006). May ’68 and Its Afterlives (Chicago, 2002), a study of French memory of the political upheavals of the 1960s, was published in France as Mai 68 et ses vies antérieures (2005; re-issued, Agones, 2010). Her most recent book, Communal Luxury: The Political Imaginary of the Paris Commune (2015) appeared in France from La Fabrique as L’Imaginaire de la Commune.


  • Centre for the Study of France and the Francophone World (CEFMF)
  • Centre for European; Russian; and Eurasian Studies

Contact Information

Véronique Church-Duplessis


The Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, 1 Devonshire Pl, Toronto, ON M5S 3K7 view full map




Alumni and Friends, Faculty, Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students

Men barricading the Voltaire Lenoir Commune in Paris 1871
Source: BHVP/Roger-Viollet, Author: Bruno Braquehais (1823–1875)