April 28: the HPFI co-sponsored a poetry recital celebrating The Complete Poetic Oeuvre in English of Edouard Glissant, translated by Jeff Humphries, and published by University of Minnesota Press, 2005. Readings were performed by the celebrated poet as well as by Jayne Cortez and several GC faculty members, accompanied by the musical ensemble BlackSalt

October 30, 2006: the HPFI sponsored, with the Ph.D. Program in French, French sociologist David Lepoutre who spoke on “The Banlieue.”

November 2006: with the Certificate Program in Women’s Studies, the HPFI invited the distinguished feminist Haitian writer Marie-Célie Agnant who spoke on her writing, politics and autobiography.

March 5, 2007: the HPFI was one of the sponsors (along with the Alliance Française, the Film Studies Certificate Program, and the PhD Program in French) of a program entitled After ’68: French Film, History, and Politics in the 1970s, a discussion to launch a film series on French Cinema of the Seventies with Jean-Michel Frodon, Editor-in-Chief of the Cahiers du Cinéma and Lynn Higgins Parents, Distinguished Research Professor in French and Italian at Dartmouth College.

April 19th, 2007: the HPFI invited Professor Sara Melzer (UCLA),who spoke on “From Native American ‘Savages’ Into Civilized French Catholics: The Foundation of France’s Assimilation Policy in the 17th Century.

May 9, 2007: The First Annual Henri Peyre Lecture and Reception at the Services Culturels of the French Embassy in New York, with Professor Victor Brombert (Princeton University—and most recently, author of Trains of Thought fame), on: “Victor Hugo and the Grand Century.”

The academic year began with the October 23, 2007 Memorial held for Professor Emeritus Alex Szogyi, who passed away in spring 2007. The Memorial and Tribute featured presentations and encomia by such luminaries of Dr. Paul Leclerc, President of the New York Public Library, and an impromptu musical tribute by celebrated pianist Byron Janis.
It was preceded by a day-long symposium, Rich Stews: Reading Food and Culture, which recognized Professor Szogyi’s singular contribution to the field of food studies and the Humanities. .>link to Symposium program

On March 11, 2008, the HPFI held its first Distinguished Lecture, inaugurated by Distinguished Professor Edouard Glissant

[1928-2011] and was a brilliant and memorable evening. Professor Glissant’s talk, “La Philosophie de la Relation,” developed his theories of the “New Region of the World,” and of the world’s interconnected cultural borrowings. His talk was delivered in French, while the non-French-speaking part of the audience was able to follow every word, projected simultaneously in English on a screen behind him, in a translation provided by Professor Sautman.

On March 27, 2008, and May 5, 2008, the HPFI co-sponsored, with the Ph.D. Program in French, two events on the Sixties, respectively “The Sixties are Back/Back to the Sixties: Jeune Cinema and New Wave,” and “The Sixties on both Sides of the Atlantic, Ideologies and Philosophies: A Conversation between Emmanuelle Loyer and Peter Carravetta,” both part of the series on the cross-Atlantic events and cultural trends of the Sixties.

On October 21st 2009, the Memorial for John W. Kneller took place in an elegant off-campus venue, and was graced by some moving words by Graduate Center President William Kelly. The Memorial brought Jack Kneller’s academic colleagues and former students as well as many of his large circle of friends—including artists, administrators, and financial experts—with members of his family. It was an apt celebration of his life and work.