AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR LEVINASSIAN STUDIES presents
Alterity in Question
“How Tasty Was my Little Frenchman“: Questioning Alterity
By Professor Jean-Claude Carron
The title of my talk is borrowed from the award-winning 1971 film by Brazilian director Nelson Pereira dos Santos. The film tells the story of the surprising treatment of a 16th-century French explorer by a tribe of cannibals. The historical encounter with the New World and the discovery of totally new civilizations raised the question of the “other” for Europeans. One of these encounters occurred when French Catholics and Protestants, having settled in the bay of Rio de Janeiro, came into contact with the Topinamba people, practitioners of cannibalism. We will see how this encounter with the so-called “savages” helped early modern writers reassess their sense of moral certitudes.
Jean-Claude Carron, who has a Doctorate (PhD) from the University of Geneva (Switzerland), is Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of French and Francophone Studies at UCLA. Specialist in Renaissance studies and poetry, he has published, among other topics, on sixteenth-century French literature (Rabelais, Montaigne, Tyard), rhetoric, the philosophical dialogue, and the history of gastronomy. He currently serves as the Scientific Director of the American Institute for Levinassian Studies.
Presented in English with Q&A and cocktail reception.