Spotlight Interview with CICI Faculty Director Debarati Sanyal

September 3, 2022

BCSR was delighted to speak recently with Professor Debarati Sanyal, the new Faculty Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Critical Inquiry (CICI), which supports BCSR. She is Professor of French and affiliated with Critical Theory, The Center for Race and Gender, and European Studies. Her research and teaching interests include critical refugee studies; aesthetics and biopolitics; human rights and humanitarianism; postwar French and Francophone culture; transcultural memory studies; Holocaust studies; critical theory; and 19th-century French literature. Sanyal’s first book, The Violence of Modernity: Baudelaire, Irony and the Politics of Form (Johns Hopkins, 2006), reclaims Baudelaire’s aesthetic legacy for ethical inquiry and historical critique, pursuing it in later authors, including Rachilde and Despentes. Her second book, Memory and Complicity: Migrations of Holocaust Memory (Fordham, 2015), addresses the transnational deployment of complicity in the aftermath of the Shoah (from Primo Levi, Albert Camus, Alain Resnais, and Jean-Paul Sartre to Jonathan Littell, Assia Djebar, Boualem Sansal and Giorgio Agamben). She is currently completing a book on migrant resistance, biopolitics and aesthetics in Europe’s current refugee “crisis,” with the support of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2021-2022).