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La Nuit des Idées: Philosophical Marathons Across the U.S.

La Nuit des idées, the global series of intellectual marathons, coordinated worldwide by the French Institute, will take place this year at more than 120 locations around the world, including 7 American cities, between January 25 and February 2. The events will unite around this year’s central theme: “Being Alive/Etre vivant,” exploring humanity’s relationship with the world and other species.

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy has partnered with cultural and academic institutions to bring conferences to BostonChicago, Los AngelesMiamiNew YorkNorfolk, and San Francisco. Additionally, the New York event will be live-streamed from the Brooklyn Public Library from 7pm to 11pm EST on February 1 and archived online.

This year’s events bring together major thinkers and artists to participate in philosophical conversations about some of the most pressing issues of our time, in an atmosphere resembling a summer music festival or a large-scale art happening. 2020 guest speakers and artists include 2019 Nobel Prize-winning economist Esther Duflo; Institute for Advanced Studies anthropologist, sociologist, and physician Didier Fassin; journalist and sex columnist Maïa Mazaurette; and philosophers Catherine Malabou and Barbara Stiegler. There will also be performances and installations by French juggler Jérôme Thomas and Armenian-Syrian artist Hratch Arbach.