To commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the birth of Nobel Prize winning author Albert Camus (1913-1960), Boise State will present an international colloquium April 18-19. All events are free and open to the public.
The event will culminate in a keynote address by eminent Camus expert Raymond Gay-Crosier, professor emeritus at the University of Florida. His address takes place from 6-7:30 p.m. Friday, April 19, at the Ron and Linda Yanke Family Research Park at 200 E. Parkcenter Blvd.
All other conference sessions will be held in the west wing of the Idaho Capitol Building. In conjunction with the colloquium, the Boise State Theatre Arts Department will stage Camus’s play, “The Misunderstanding,” April 18-21 and 24-28 in the Morrison Center’s Danny Peterson Theatre.
The theme of the conference, “Topography and Toponymy in the Works of Albert Camus,” will unite scholars from around the world to present on and discuss the relevance of space and place in Camus’s literary and philosophical essays, as well as the influence that both human and natural environments had on Camus himself, his thought and his ever-evolving social, cultural and political engagements.
Gay-Crosier is the author of four books and more than 75 articles devoted to Camus. His talk, titled “Exiled in a Spiritual Geography: Albert Camus’s Road to Values,” will situate Camus’s physical, intellectual and spiritual geography within the triangle Alger-Paris-Athens, including his excursions to North- and South America. By tracing Camus’s travels and the intimate relationships (both harmonious and confrontational) Camus shared with the many diverse human and natural landscapes he encountered, Gay-Crosier will provide an illuminating itinerary by which to more fully appreciate the settings Camus chose for his works as well as the significance of some of the place names he elected to identify within these settings.
Gay-Crosier is an accomplished public speaker who has given lectures in multiple languages around the world. His encyclopedic knowledge of Camus and unrivaled stature as a Camus scholar make him especially well suited to provide an informative and original perspective of the French-Algerian author, journalist and philosopher. Camus’s works, including “The Stranger and the Myth of Sisyphus,” are some of the most widely read in the world and remain in many ways as pertinent today — socially, politically and ideologically — as the day they were written.
The colloquium is made possible thanks to support from the Idaho Humanities Council, Boise State’s departments of English, World Languages, Philosophy and Theatre Arts, Office of International Learning Opportunities, Arts and Humanities Institute and College of Arts and Sciences, Berry College (Ga.). The colloquium also is supported by the Camus Studies Association — the North-American branch of the Société des Études Camusiennes, an international organization devoted to facilitating worldwide communication and research on the life and work of Albert Camus that is based in Paris, France, and has more than 250 members worldwide.
For more information on individual sessions or the colloquium in general, contact Jason Herbeck at Camus2013@boisestate.edu.