Lawrence D. Kritzman, an American scholar, is the Willard Professor of French, Comparative Literature and Oratory at Dartmouth College. He has previously held the Edward Tuck professorship in French, the Ted and Helen Geisel Third Century Professorship in the Humanities, and the John and Pat Rosenwald Research Professorship. He has written works on, edited works on, or given lectures on Barthes, Foucault, Kristeva, Sartre, Camus, Malraux, Derrida, Montaigne, Simone de Beauvoir, and others, focusing especially on twentieth-century French philosophy. Drawing on psychoanalytic theory, he has innovated sixteenth century French studies in his readings of Marguerite de Navarre, Scève, Ronsard, Rabelais, Montaigne, and the poètes rhétoriqueurs.
His books include Destruction/Decouverte: le fonctionnement de la rhetorique dans les Essais de Montaigne, The Rhetoric of Sexuality and the Literature of the French Renaissance, and The Fabulous Imagination: On Montaigne's Essays. He is currently completing "Death Sentences: Writing and Mortality in post 1950 French texts". Kritzman has also penned articles for Le Monde.
He has edited Fragments: Incompletion and Discontinuity; "France under Mitterrand"; Foucault: Politics, Philosophy, Culture; Le Signe et le texte; Sans aultre guide; Auscwitz and After: Race, Culture and the Jewish Question in France; and Pierre Nora's Realms of Memory.
As editor of European Perspectives, a series in social philosophy and cultural criticism from Columbia University Press, he has served as a cultural ambassader between Europe and the United States and has published authors such as Adorno, Althusser, Barthes, Baudrillard, Baumann, Bourdieu, Cixous, Deleuze, Derrida, Ginzburg, Kristeva, and Vattimo. He serves on more than ten editorial boards in fields such as Renaissance and contemporary literatures, French society and politics, and theory and cultural studies.
His most recent editorial venture, the Columbia History of Twentieth Century French Thought, was the winner of the 2006 Modern Language Association Scalgione prize for best book in French. This work also received awards from the Independent Publishers Association and the Ray and Pat Brown Foundation.
Interviews and consultation
Kritzman has been interviewed by Le Figaro, Télérama, and Radio France. Frequently consulted on both sides of the Atlantic on French culture, politics, and intellectual life, he has been interviewed by Liberation, Le Monde, the International Herald Tribuine, Newsweek, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Boston Globe and National Public Radio.
In 1990, the French government made him a knight in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques; in 1994, he was made an officer. In 2000, he was awarded the Ordre National du Mérite, the second-highest civilian award accorded in France, by Jacques Chirac. In 2012, he was named to the Legion d'Honneur, the highest honor that France bestows on a civilian, by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Kritzman has received fellowships and awards from the American Councial of Learned Societies, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the Florence Gould foundation. In 2013, Kritzman was elected to the Societe d'histoire litteraire de la France.
Kritzman is founder and director of the Institute of French Cultural Studies. The major goal of the Institute of French Cultural Studies is to allow advanced graduate students and assistant professors in French to partake in contemporary cultural debates on both sides of the Atlantic and to prepare them to supplement the programmatic needs of French departments in developing courses in interdisciplinary studies taught in French.
He also heads the Institute for European Studies at Dartmouth. In the past, he has taught at Rutgers, Stanford, Harvard, and Michigan. Kritzman has been invited as Directeur d'Etudes at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris) in 2010.