Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Lingua Franca or Koine

Prof. Marie-Christine Garneau.

As odd as it may seem, the unexpected comparison between Marguerite Duras, Jacques Derrida and Voltaire offers what Barthes used to call a "combinatoire" -- rich concept which opens multiple horizons. As this paper will attempt to show, this "combinatoire" is worth examining in the context of the Humanities today and the debate which opposes lingua franca and Koine, this, because each one of these authors proposes a vision on language which may eventually determine the course of the Humanities and of humanity. It is not at random that Derrida makes statements such as :« Yes, I have only one tongue and this tongue is not mine» or "I am the last defensor and illustrator of the French language". This pact with a particular language based on one of the most fundamental creed of the Enlightenment and which involves the relativity and therefore the equivalence of all languages and cultures allows an investigation of Voltaire and Duras's betrayal with their lingua franca as well as Derrida's commitment to Koine.


Prof. Marie-Christine Garneau  (United States)
Associate professor in French
Department of Languages & Literatures of Europe and the Americas
University of Hawaii

Born in France, settled in the US 20 years ago, has taught French literature at the University of Hawaii for the past 15 years...

  • Humanities
  • Language
Person as Subject
  • Derrida, Jacques

(30 min. Conference Paper, French)