PASS - Vincent Barras and Yves Citton

Thursday, February 21, 2019, at 07 PM, Free Entrance


Conferences directed by Jérôme Mauche.

Jérôme Mauche invites Vincent Barras et Yves Citton. 

This “Poésie Plate-forme” session will feature a conversation between Vincent Barras, a historian of medicine, translator and performer, and Yves Citon, a literature theorist and essayist. Their studies and works powerfully transmit a passion for reality and for understanding intellectual, aesthetic and collective forms throughout the eras.

On the occasion of this “Passing” session, these unconventional researchers and teachers will experiment with an unusual form of exchange, by performing arrangements and knowledge flows, in the inventive image of their generous approach mindful of freedom.



Vincent Barras | is a historian of medicine and science, as well as a translator and performer. His wide range of his interests and studies makes him an exceptional figure when it comes to knowledge links and exchanges between experimental artistic and scientific practices.

After studying music, medicine and literature, Vincent Barras turned to the history of medicine. He is the director of the Institut des humanités en médecine at Université de Lausanne, where he teaches the history of medicine. He also teaches the history and anthropology of sound at HEAD in Geneva.

He has produced numerous of studies and translations linked to medical history and philosophy from Antiquity to the Enlightenment, from Galen to Tissot, from psychiatry to social and legal medicine. Recent publications include Maladies en lettres (co-edited with Martin Dinges, 2013) and Anatomies : De Vésale au virtuel (BHMS, 2015). He is also the author of essays and books on music, contemporary art, and poetry, including Poésies Sonores (co-edited with Nicholas Zurbrugg, Contrechamps, 1992).

He has translated books of poetry: Postkarten by Edoardo Sanguinetti (L’Âge d’homme, 1985), Journal de bord I, II, III by Georges Séféris (Melchior, 2000, republished by Héros-Limite, 2011), Silence by John Cage (Héros-Limite, 2003), Constellations et poésies concrètes by Eugen Gomringer (Héros-Limite, 2005), Monotonie by Simon Cutts (Héros-Limite, 2010), 1 2 3: Poèmes et journal by Robert Lax (Héros-Limite, 2011), Tactiques de mots by Franz Mon (Le clou dans le fer, 2011), Recherche climatique by Nora Gomringer (En-Bas, 2011). He has also translated essays on music for the publisher Éditions Contrechamps: Introduction à la sociologie de la musique by Theodor W. Adorno (1994), Schoenberg by Carl Dahlhaus (1998), Chemins vers la nouvelle musique by Anton Webern (2008).

As a performer, he develops sound poetry work, particularly with Jacques Demierre: Homard et autres pièces inquiétantes et capitales (ASM, 2000), Gad gag vazo gadati, (Madam/Héros-Limite, 2004), Voicing through Saussure (Bardem, 2013), and also improvisations. 

Through the magazine and publishing house Contrechamps, as well as with Roaratorio association, he has very actively contributed to the knowledge and circulation of contemporary music and experimental sound objects.






Yves Citton | is professor of literature and media at Université Paris 8 in the Department of French and Francophone Literatures. Holding a PhD from Université de Genève, he has taught at the University of Pittsburgh, New York University, Sciences Po in Paris and Université Grenoble Alpes. He is co-editor of the journal “Multitudes”.

Stemming from literary theory, his thought has significantly contributed to the revitalisation of critical thinking, by renewing heuristics. It is striking for the scope of its analyses, its conceptual power, its subtlety, and for the diversity of its fields of investigation. He inventively and actively explores the history of economic discourse, the social and political customs of literature and philosophy, the powers of scriptwriting, emotion regimes, as well as free jazz improvisation and the contribution of noise. He mixes these, as he does on his programme “Zazirocratie” broadcast on Radio Campus Grenoble, which he has hosted for several years (and which gave rise to the book Zazirocratie:Très curieuse introduction à la biopolitique et à la critique de la croissance, Amsterdam, 2011).

He has written numerous books, including Impuissances: Défaillances masculines et pouvoir politique de Montaigne à Stendhal (Aubier, 1994), Portrait de l'économiste en physiocrate: Critique littéraire de l'économie politique (L’Harmattan, 2001), L'Envers de la liberté: L'invention d'un imaginaire spinoziste dans la France des Lumières (Amsterdam, 2006), Lire, interpréter, actualiser: Pourquoi les études littéraires ? (Amsterdam, 2007), Mythocratie: Storytelling et imaginaire de gauche (Amsterdam, 2010), L’avenir des humanités: Économie de la connaissance ou cultures de l’interprétation ? (La Découverte, 2010), Renverser l'insoutenable (Seuil, 2012), Gestes d'humanités: Anthropologie sauvage de nos expériences esthétiques (Arman Colin, 2012).

His most recent books explore media and their regimes: Pour une écologie de l’attention (Seuil, 2014); and Médiarchie (Seuil, 2017).

He has coordinated and edited many collective books, including Les Doctrines orthographiques du XVIe siècle en France (with André Wyss, Droz, 1989), Spinoza et les sciences sociales: de la puissance de la multitude à l’économie politique des affects (with Frédéric Lordon, Amsterdam, 2008), Technologies de l'enchantement: Pour une histoire multidisciplinaire de l'illusion (with Angela Braito, Le Comptoir des presses d’universités, 2014), L’économie de l'attention: Nouvel horizon du capitalisme ? (La Découverte, 2014). He recently edited, and wrote the postscript to, Pensée en acte by Eric Manning and Brian Massum (Les presses du réel, 2018), and released Contre-courants politiques, Fayard, 2018.


This Poésie Plate-forme session is presented in anticipation of the programme Poésie Sonore: La voix libérée at Palais de Tokyo, 21 March – 16 May 2019.


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