photo pavelThomas Pavel

Thomas Pavel taught French and Comparative literature at the Université du Québec à Montréal, at Princeton University, and at the University of Chicago. In 2005-2006, he was a visiting professor at the Collège de France, where he gave a course on "How to listen to literature". He is the author of several books, including Fictional Worlds (1986), L’Art de l’éloignement: Essai sur l’imagination classique (“Art as distance. The neo-classical imagination”, 1996); The Spell of Language: Post-structuralism and Speculation (1988, revised edition, 2001), and The Lives of the Novel (2013).


Temptations and Warnings
René Girard on Literary Fiction


In his first book, Deceit, Desire and the Novel, René Girard launches a new way of reading literature, based on a strong, surprising, moral reflection. To understand human feelings and action, he argues, literature focuses on the close links between noteworthy individuals and their models and rivals. Some characters can find the sources of their passions and convictions within themselves. Most often, however, especially since the nineteenth century, the protagonists of novels, lacking this power, imitate instead the desires exhibited by fashionable models and become the victims of vanity and snobbery, if not even, in some extreme cases, cynical carriers of satanic impulses. As Girard shows, these novels denounce the temptations of blind, egotistic imitation, thus warning their readers about one of the most serious dangers of modern societies. The truly best novels by Stendhal, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, and Proust reconcile, however, human beings with the surrounding world, each revealing in its own way the salvific power of the sacred.



Speakers :

James by Rosie 2   James Alison 

"A Girardian approach to the virtue of humility "


James Alison is a Catholic Priest, theologian and author. He earned his doctorate from the Jesuit Faculty in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. James has lived in many countries and works as an itinerant preacher, lecturer and retreat giver. His professional life  has been dedicated to the interpretation for theology of the thought of René Girard, and he is a long-standing COV&R member and participant. Over the years James has firmly but gently faced down Church authority on matters gay and lived to tell the tale. His writing can be accessed on When not on the road he lives in Madrid.




 Capture d’écran 2023-01-16 à 20.09.07 Mark Rogin Anspach

"The Oedipus Case".


Round-table discussion :"Sophocles' Oedipus Retried"


A graduate of Harvard, with a doctorate in literature from Stanford and in ethnology from EHESS, Mark Anspach was for many years a researcher at CREA (École Polytechnique). He is the author of Vengeance in Reverse (MSUP, 2017) and the editor of The Oedipus Casebook (MSUP, 2020) as well as Oedipus Unbound, a collection of essays by René Girard (Stanford, 2004). His French publications include Œdipe mimétique (L’Herne, 2010), Cahier René Girard (L’Herne, 2008) and À charge de revanche. Figures élémentaires de la réciprocité (Seuil, 2002). For more information, see





Capture d’écran 2023-01-19 à 10.37.32 Elisabetta Brighi

“Towards a Mimetic Theory of Terrorism”


Elisabetta Brighi is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Westminster. Her main research interests are theories of violence, particularly mimetic approaches to violence, and the link between emotions, politics and violence. She has published widely on this topic, including the book The sacred and the political (Bloomsbury 2016) and the article ‘The Globalisation of Resentment’ (Millennium, 2016). Elisabetta is also a foreign policy expert who has been writing and advising public bodies on Europe’s relations with the Middle East, particularly on questions of democracy, ethics, and accountability. Her latest interventions can be found on Open Democracy, OrientXXI, and Al Jazeera.





Marinela C. Blaj   Marinela​ Blaj 


"Punic Carthage. The theories of René Girard and the braudelian "longue durée""


Marinela Blaj is the director of the Romanian branch of The Schuman Centre for European Studies and visiting professor at the University of the Nations, where she teaches Comparative Worldviews, Introduction in Epistemology and Causes of Poverty. She holds a doctoral degree in ancient history earned with Summa cum Laude. Her field of expertise is Punic history, and her book, "Carthage: the model-obstacle," is about to be published in Romanian. She is the translator of two of René Girard’s books into Romanian: "La route antique des hommes pervers" and "La voix méconnue du réel".




Barbara Carnevalli Barbara Carnevali

“Deviated transcendence. Girard’s legacy for social philosophy.” 


Barbara Carnevali is Full Professor in Philosophy at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). Her work is centered on "Social Aesthetics”. The core of this approach is the relationship between social forms and aesthetic forms. Another major part of her research focuses on philosophical modernity with a particular interest in the relationship of self and society, and the tension between recognition and authenticity. Publications :"Romanticism and Recognition. Rousseau and the Modern Self” (French edition Geneva 2012, English translation forthcoming for Columbia University Press), “Social Appearances. A Philosophy of Display and Prestige” (Columbia University Press, 2020). 




CHANTREbenoit Benoit Chantre 

 "René Girard, an intellectual biography"


Round table discussion : "René Girard, an intellectual biography"


Benoît Chantre is a fellow of the Imitatio Foundation, an associate member of the Centre international d'études de la philosophie française contemporaine (CIEPFC, Rue d'Ulm), and president of the Association Recherches Mimétiques. He has contributed to various journals, written on contemporary artists and organized university colloquia or writers' meetings. His research focuses on the works of Bergson, Girard, Levinas, Péguy and Simone Weil. He published with René Girard in 2007 Achever Clausewitz.




Chantal Delsol Chantal Delsol

« Violence et Apocalypse à l'époque post-moderne »


Professor emeritus of the universities in Philosophy. Author of works of philosophy, essays and novels, translated into some twenty languages. Regular columnist at the Figaro. Member of the Institute (Academy of Moral and Political Sciences).




Capture d’écran 2023-01-19 à 11.14.48 Vincent Delecroix 

Writer and philosopher, specialist in Kierkegaard and philosophy of religion, Vincent Delecroix is director of studies at the École pratique des hautes études. Also a novelist, he was a resident at the French Academy in Rome (Villa Medici) and received the Prix de l'Académie Française for his book Tombeau d'Achille and his entire literary work. Including his publications : Singulière philosophie. Essai sur Kierkegaard (Le Félin, 2006), Ce n’est point ici le pays de la vérité. Introduction à la philosophie de la religion (Le Félin, 2015),  Apocalypse du politique (Desclées De Brouwer, 2016), La Preuve de l'existence de Dieu, (Actes Sud, 2004), La Chaussure sur le toit (Gallimard, 2007), Tombeau d'Achille, (Gallimard, 2008), Ascension (Gallimard,2017)






paul Dumouchel Paul Dumouchel

“Things Hidden”


Round table discussion : "René Girard, an intellectual biography"  


Paul Dumouchel is Canadian and until recently professor at the Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan, where he thought political philosophy and philosophy of science. He is the author of Emotions (Seuil, 1999) The Ambivalence of Scarcity and Other Essays (2014) and The Barren Sacrifice (2015) both at Michigan State University Press. With Reiko Gotoh he edited Against Injustice: The New Economics of Amartya Sen (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and Social Bonds as Freedom (Berghahn Books, 2015). His most recent book, with Luisa Damiano, is Vivre avec les robots (Seuil, 2016) The English translationLiving with Robots (Harvard University Press) came out in 2017 and the Italian and Korean translation in 2019. He is presently Associate Professor at the department of philosophy of the Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada.





JPD_Slovenie  Jean-Pierre Dupuy

“Battling to the atomic end” 


Jean-Pierre Dupuy is Professor Emeritus of Political Philosophy, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris and Professor of Science, Technology, and Society, and (by courtesy) of Political Science, Stanford University. He is a member of the French Academy of Technology, He was the first chair of the Ethics Committee of the French High Authority on Nuclear Safety and Security. 

He is author of numerous major works, including, in English, The Mechanization of the Mind (Princeton University Press, 2000); On the Origins of Cognitive Science (The MIT Press, 2009); The Mark of the Sacred (Stanford University Press, 2013); Economy and the Future. A Crisis of Faith (Michigan State University Press, 2014); A Short Treatise on the Metaphysics of Tsunamis (Michigan State University Press, 2015); How to Think About Catastrophe. Toward a Theory of Enlightened Doomsaying (Michigan State University Press, 2022); The War That Must Not Occur (Stanford University Press, in print.)





Sandor Goodhart  Sandor Goodhart 

Round-table discussion :"Sophocles' Oedipus Retried"


Sandor ‘Sandy’ Goodhart is a Professor of English and Jewish Studies at Purdue University’s Department of English. He served as the Director of the Jewish Studies Program (1997-2002), of the Philosophy and Literature Program (2005), and of the Classical Studies Program (2007-2011). He is a founding board member of the  North American Levinas Society (founded with his students at Purdue), the former President of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion (2004-2007),  and the author of over ninety essays (including essays on Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, and Saul Bellow). Including his publications : Möbian Nights: Reading Literature and Darkness (2017), The Prophetic Law: Essays in Judaism, Girardianism, Literary Studies, and the Ethical (2014), Sacrifice, Scripture, and Substitution (2011; co-edited with Ann Astell), 

For René Girard: Essays in Friendship and Truth (2009). 





Keukelaere P. Simon De Keukelaere 

“Mimetic desire, literature and the desire for God”


Fr. Simon De Keukelaere FSO currently serves as the main university chaplain and head of the department for universities and colleges of the Catholic archdiocese of Vienna in Austria. Fr. Simon is a linguist and a theologian and has written articles and held talks in many languages on René Girard and mimetic theory.  




 Trevor C.Merrill  Trevor Cribben Merrill 

“Girard, Platon and the poets”


Trevor Cribben Merrill is program manager of Imitatio: Integrating the Human Sciences. He studied literature at Yale and the Ecole normale supérieure and in 2011 received his Ph.D. in French from UCLA, USA, where he was a Chancellor's Fellow. He has co-edited La Conversion de l'art (2010), a book of essays by René Girard, and collaborated on Psychopolitics (2012), a dialogue with French psychiatrist Jean-Michel Oughourlian. He is the translator of René Girard’s book   When These Things Begin: Conversations with Michel Treguer (Studies in Violence, Mimesis & Culture). He is the author of the novel Minor Indignities(2021). He is the author of an essay on Milan Kundera and contributes a regular column on current events and literature to the French literary magazine L’Atelier du roman





Orsini Christine Orsini

“The question of truth“


Round table discussion : "René Girard, an intellectual biography"  


Christine Orsini is a professor of philosophy and Vice-President of the Association Recherches mimétiques (ARM). She contributed to René Girard et le problème du mal (Grasset, 1982) and to the Cerisy colloquium "Autour de René Girard" in 1983. She is also the author of La Pensée de René Girard (Retz, 1984) and of an introduction to the thought of René Girard (René Girard, “Que sais-je ?” PUF, 2018)





Oughourlian JM  Jean-Michel Oughourlian 

“Towards a new mimetic psychiatry” 

Jean-Michel Oughourlian is the former chief of psychiatry at the American Hospital of Paris and a former professor of clinical psychopathology at the Sorbonne. He collaborated with René Girard on Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World (1978) and has authored several books on psychiatry, neuroscience, and mimetic theory, including The Genesis of Desire (2008), Psychopolitics (2012), and The Mimetic Brain (2016). 






Palaver  Wolfgang Palaver

“An Innsbruck Outlook on the Future of Mimetic Theory”


Wolfgang Palaver is Professor of Catholic Social Thought at the University of Innsbruck. From 2007 to 2011, he was president of the “Colloquium on Violence and Religion”. His recent book is Transforming the Sacred into Saintliness: Reflecting on Violence and Religion with René Girard (2020). Previously he published René Girard's Mimetic Theory (2013). He is the co-editor of Passions in Economy, Politics, and the Media (2005), The European Wars of Religion (2016), The Palgrave Handbook of Mimetic Theory and Religion (2017), and Mimetic Theory and World Religions (2018). In Fall 2018, he was a member of the research workshop on religion & violence at the Center of Theological Inquiry (CTI) in Princeton. In Spring 2021, he conducted a research project on Gandhi’s nonviolence at The Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study.





Reineke  Martha Reineke 

Introduction to Mimetic Theory


Martha J. Reineke (Ph.D. Vanderbilt University) is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Philosophy and World Religions at the University of Northern Iowa and President of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion.  Her publications include Sacrificed Lives:  Kristeva on Women and Violence (Indiana University Press, 1997) and Intimate Domain:  Desire, Trauma, and Mimetic Theory (Michigan State University Press, 2014).  She is the editor, with David Goodman, of Ana-María Rizzuto and the Psychoanalysis of Religion:  The Road to the Living God (Lexington Books, 2017).  





Portrait-philosophe-Camille-Riquier-maitre-conferences-Institut-catholique-Paris-auteur-livre-Philosophie-Peguy-memoires-imbecile-publie-Editions-Puf_0  Camille Riquier

“Girard and Bergson”

Round table discussion : "René Girard, an intellectual biography"  


Camille Riquier is professor and dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at the Catholic Institute of Paris, member of the committee of the journal Esprit as well as of the journal Philosophie. Laureate of the Académie française for his book Archéologie de Bergson, which received the Prix La Bruyère. He is co-editor of the Annales Bergsonniennes. Including his other publications : Nous ne savons plus croire (Desclée de Brouwer, 2020), Métamorphoses de Descartes. Le secret de Sartre( Gallimard, 2022). 



Scubla  Lucien Scubla 

Round-table discussion :"Sophocles' Oedipus Retried"


Lucien Scubla studied philosophy and ethnology at the Sorbonne and at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (6th Section). He also studied computer science and logic at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers and at the University of Paris V. He been a member of the Centre de Recherche en Épistémologie Appliquée at the École Polytechnique since 1982. His work focuses on formal models of anthropology and the ritual foundations of human societies. Including his publications : Giving Life, Giving Death (2016), Lire Lévi-Strauss - Le Déploiement D'une Intuition (1998)



Jerome Thelot  Jérôme Thélot

“A reading of Oedipus Rex

Round-table discussion :"Sophocles' Oedipus Retried"


Jérôme Thélot is Professor Emeritus of French Literature at the University of Lyon 3. His latest publications: Géricault. Genealogy of Painting, L'Atelier contemporain, 2021; Painting and Screaming. From Botticelli to Francis Bacon, L'Atelier contemporain, 2021; L'origine du poème et ce qu'il peut, Invenit, 2023. He edited, in collaboration, Yves Bonnefoy’s Œuvres poétiques in the Pléiade collection (Gallimard, 2023).




Frédéric Worms  Frédéric Worms

“The unique problem of radical violence : Michel Serres and René Girard”


 Frédéric Worms is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, and has served as a member of the National Consultative Ethics Committee and Director of the International Center for the Study of Contemporary French Philosophy. He develops his « critical vitalism » both in the history of philosophy, the work of Henri Bergson and a general  notion of "moment", and through contemporary issues in ethics, politics, and democracy. Among his publications : La Philosophie en France au xxe siècle. Moments (Gallimard, 2009), Revivre, Flammarion, Sens propre 2012, Champs 2016, Les Maladies chroniques de la démocratie, (Desclée de Brouwer, 2017), Vivre en temps réel (Bayard, 2021).





Andreas Wilmes  Andreas Wilmes

Apocalypse, Technology, and the Future of Mimetic Theory


Andreas Wilmes holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is a lecturer at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University (Budapest) and a research fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies (Rijeka). His doctoral dissertation aimed at inquiring into sexual and serial homicide through the lenses of epistemology and René Girard’s anthropology. His published articles focus on topics such as jihadism, psychopathy, public perceptions of police brutality, and the status of the notion of violence within Western philosophy. He is the editor-in-chief of The Philosophical Journal of Conflict and Violence (PJCV) which he founded in 2017. In addition to his articles on René Girard, he translated (along with David Dawson) in English several interviews with the French anthropologist and authored the foreword of Violence, the Sacred, and Things Hidden: A Discussion with René Girard at Esprit (MSU Press, 2021).  Andreas’s forthcoming publications are an edited volume on René Girard and the Western philosophical tradition (MSU Press, due end 2023) and a study on Girard’s first critique of Hegel’s philosophy titled The Novelistic Dialectic (MSU Press, due 2024). His current research deals with how technology impacts our ways of defining and perceiving violence 



Dernière modification : 07/03/2023